Many hundreds of types of handpump are in use around the world, from home-made inventions to protected commercial designs.  The most comprehensive overview of handpump types remains "Community Water Supply: The Handpump Option" Arlosoroff et all (1987), but some designs have emerged since.

Disclaimer: The following list is not exhaustive and does not represent an endorsement by RWSN or Skat.

We welcome the submission of further information and documentation on different designs.

Access 1.2

A direct-action pump developed by Water4 Foundation (USA) "inspired by the sketches of Leonardo de Vinci". Largely made from PVC pipe with a GI T-bar handle-spout. It has some similarities with the the EMAS pump.

Cemo Hand Operated Pump

A helical rotation pump (similar to the Mono Pump), manufactured and sold by Cemo Pumps (South Africa)

Consallen Deep Well

A recipocating lever action pump developed and manufactured by Consallen Ltd. (UK).  The pump uses ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) for the rising main, which is flexible, strong and doesn't corrode, however it is not as widely available as PVC.

Duba Tropic

A reciprocating rotary action pump developed and manufactured by Duba (Belgium)

Also see Duba Tropic entry on Akvopedia

Elephant Pump

A type of rope pump developed by PumpAid (UK)

Also see Elephant Pump entry on Akvopedia


A type of low-cost irrigation pump developed by David Hutton (UK)

Hydraulic Sleeve Pump (Bomba de Camisa Gaviotas)

What appears to be a reciprocating level action pump developed by Fundación Centro Experimental (Colombia)

Mark 5 Shallow Well Pump

A direct action shallow well pump used by Marion Medical Mission (USA) in Malawi and Zambia.

Photo courtesy of Larry Bentley (Engineers without Borders, USA)

MoneyMaker Hip Pump

A low cost manual irrigation pump from KickStart (USA)

Also see MoneyMaker Hip Pump entry on Akvopedia

Mono Pump

A helical rotation pump produced by Franklin Electic (South Africa)

PolDaw Ultra Deep Well

In development by PolDaw Designs (UK)

The PolDaw ultra-deepwell handpump has been developed in response to the need for pumping from depths of 200 to 300 feet (60 to 90 metres), in various countries.
The design concept was finalised circa 2004 and was then extensively tested using a test rig at Reading University.  Currently (2008) a pilot programme of using a number of these pumps in 3 African countries is being undertaken by WaterAid.  The eventual intention is to release the design into the public domain, and to help set up manufacture in each country where this pump is needed.

Simple Pump

Two types are produced: a reciprocating lever action pump and a windlass reciprocating pump designed to be used by those with physical disabilities. Both appear to be primarily aimed at the US market.  Simple Pump (USA)

Sunflower Pump

A solar powered irrigation pump that is being developed by FuturePump (UK/Kenya).


A reciprocating lever action pump that is common in Tanzania, and elsewhere, developed and manufactured by VRM Development (Netherlands)


A reciprocating level action pump for deep wells. Developed and manufactured by Sovema (France) who bought the licence for UPM, an older model that is found in many areas of West Africa.


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