TAF Pilot Assessment by Netwas (U) and WaterAid Uganda

rope-pump-ugThe rope pump (also known as the rope and washer pump) consists of a continuous rope with washers spaced at equal intervals. The rope passes over a rotatable wheel at the surface. When the wheel is turned the rope passes down into the well below the water level. It then moves up into the base of a submerged vertical pipe, trapping water with each washer. Water is drawn up the pipe to the surface to an outlet where it can be collected.


Many of the issues identified in this evaluation relate to the method of pump introduction rather than efficacy of the pump itself. The researchers make the following recommendations for sustainability and scalability of the rope pump in Uganda:

  • The rope pump should be deployed in a self supply context rather than at community level to avoid frequent breakdowns.
  • Implementers need to ensure the optimal siting and depth of wells. This is due to the fact that some areas dried up after a short period of time and others are serving numerous people.
  • The rope pump could be promoted more strongly in areas where there is shallow groundwater as a possible alternative to boreholes.
  • Although the rope pump is regarded as a self supply technology for smaller user numbers, MWE should include it in the operations and maintenance budget to support establishment of stronger supply lines for parts.
  • Organisations that introduce technologies should carry out adequate follow up with communities and district governments before scaling up.
  • There is also need for standardisation of this technology to avoid counterfeits and ensure scalability.