WA:Garden Water Access Project

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GWAP Members as of Spring 2014
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Student Members
  • Open Door Development
  • Serving In Missions, Burkina Faso

Many families in rural Africa subsist on food and revenues generated by farming small plots of land. The arid climate in Africa makes providing ample irrigation for the plants difficult during the dry season. A solution to this problem is a small, family owned, shallow well handpump. Many pumps in Africa are owned and used at the community level. Since many people draw from these wells, they must be deep and extremely robust. However, providing irrigation for an acre-size plot of land requires much less water. Most shallow well pumps are out of reach financially for most families, especially if a well is also needed. A common problem also found with other pumps is that they require specialty parts, tools, or technical skills to repair and maintain.

This project is attempting to address that need by providing a cheap, locally sustainable pump and well solution. We plan to utilize a simple design that is a legacy of past pump projects' research into modifying other existing pumps as a design basis for our pumps. We want to make this pump out of locally sourced and widely available materials, and design a manufacturing process requiring a minimum of tools. We hope that our design will provide families with a reliable source of irrigation water at a reasonable cost.

Mission Statement

To provide an economically viable irrigation solution that enables inhabitants of arid, rural regions to increase production of self-sustaining and income generating crops.


General Overview:

  • Our goals for this project are to design a hand-pump capable of providing irrigation water for an acre-size garden plot during the dry season. The financial goal for this project is to provide a borehole and pump for under $250.

Our goals for the pump are to:

  • Have an approximate price of $250.
  • Have a 5 gallons/min flow rate at 10 meters of head.
  • Mean time until repair 1 year.
  • Use nationally-sourced parts.

Our goals for the well drilling rig are to:

  • Work up to 15 meter depth.
  • Have a mean time before failure of 4 years.
  • Be able to drill through unconsolidated soils (sand, dirt, gravel, etc.)

News and Updates

  • After constructing and testing our drill bits, our client determined that any drill bits should be shipped at the end of summer with a shipping container going through SIM. Current goals are to refine the process for using percussion drill bits, test rotary drill bits, redesign the existing pump, and prepare for a site team trip in May 2014.


Well Drilling Rig

  • Manufacture prototypes (completed)
  • Test (In process)


  • Redesign (In process)



and Draft National Code of Conduct (Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes]


Contact Information

For more information about this project, please contact:

For information, contact Marcus Upton (Water Group Leader) or Tony Beers (Project Advisor).

For more information about this template, please read Help:Project Alternate and Help:Template.
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