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Operation and maintenance of handpumps in Afghanistan

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:09 authored by Leendert Vijselaar
One problem in water programs is the operation and maintenance by communities. DACAAR has pioneered in Afghanistan a system where the community is responsible for their wells but pays a mechanic (selected by the communities and trained by DACAAR). A contract binds each community to the mechanics and he gets paid in kind by each community. The mechanic serves around 100 pump sites. The community pay for the sparesand a spare parts shop is organised. HITeams (Handpump Inspection Team) have been created, each covers 2,000 wells, and they visit all wells twice a year. The HITeam solves problems but does not repair the pumps. The HITeam reports on the wells and the data are entered in to a database and in this manner DACAAR know the percentage of wells functional and keep the down-time low, not more than 15%. The mechanic has proven to be self sustaining. The HITeams will have to be taken over by the government.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


VIJSELAAR, L., 2005. Operation and maintenance of handpumps in Afghanistan. IN: Kayaga, S. (ed). Maximising the benefits from water and environmental sanitation: Proceedings of the 31st WEDC International Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 31 October-4 November 2005, pp. 373-376.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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