Handpump installation is the most widespread solution for supplying water to the many millions of people in Africa’s rural areas. However, at any given moment an average 30 percent of all potentially functional handpumps in Africa are not working. In some areas 50 percent or more are nonfunctional, due in part to difficulties in obtaining spare parts. This field note describes lessons drawn from a review of 25 studies conducted in 15 different countries that looked at handpump spare parts supply, primarily in rural areas of Africa.
A number of key factors are identified for sustaining supply chains. These are discussed under the headings of supply chain management, choice of technology, and type of supply chain (whether private sector, public sector,or private/public partnership). Research worldwide shows that overall management of handpump spare-part supply chains is carried out primarily by donors and Governments, although the supply chains themselves generally involve both the public sector and private enterprise.