Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > Handpumps For Rural Water Supplies in Developing Countries

Only 20 per cent of the world's rural population have access to safe drinking water. One remedy for this situation is to install handpumps on wells, wherever possible. However, most handpumps used in developing countries today are imported from the developed world where the pump is designed to be used by one family. These pumps cannot stand the severe use required in developing countries, working continuously every day for 6-7 hours. Most available handpumps are expensive, complicated, a high percentage are inoperative. This report reviews all available testing and experience with handpumps. This information is summarized for each type of pump and criteria for evaluating the different pumps are presented. The report commends one very simple handpump, the Blair Pump, in which polyvinyl chloride pipes are used as the pump cylinder and piston. In addition, seven other pumps, for both deep and shallow wells, are deemed most appropriate for developing countries. Recommendations for improvement of handpumps are suggested.