Local handpump manufacture : a development option for aid agencies : attitudes expressed by New Zealand NGOs : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Agricultural Engineering/Development Studies at Massey University
A major reason for implementing water supply programmes is their potential contribution to health. The recently concluded United Nations International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981-1990) attempted to provide access to clean water and sanitation for everyone in the Third World. There are several problems and constraints which preclude success in this area, many of them are sociological factors concerned with the transfer of technology and practices to cultures other than those in which they were conceived. Projects are implemented, often by outsiders, involving handpumps for water supply mounted on wells or boreholes. Such systems have a poor record with regard to their sustainability; often the handpump breaks down after donor withdrawal and is never repaired. Donor assisted projects often use handpumps sourced from the industrialised countries and paid for in hard currency, usually $US. When spare parts are needed they too must be sourced from overseas and paid for in scarce foreign exchange. Local inflation and currency devaluation can make these spares prohibitively expensive. The result has been neglected maintenance and breakdowns. This thesis examined the potential for local handpump manufacture to address operation and maintenance problems and assess the economic contribution local manufacture could make to the local community through employment and income generation. A case study of the Makeni Handpump Workshop in Lusaka. Zambia was used to compare the cost, landed in Lusaka, to an aid agency of handpumps sourced from the U.K. and from a local manufacturing operation. The provision of employment and income to local people arising from patronising the handpump workshop was also assessed as a 'developmental benefit'. This was over and above the acquisition of handpumps alone; aid money would be spent directly in the community by choosing a local source of equipment. Interviews with selected NGOs in New Zealand were conducted to establish their attitudes to water supply projects in general and to local handpump manufacture specifically. It emerged that local handpump manufacture could be profitable at the small-scale level of the case study and a viable form of income generation. New Zealand NGOs agreed that there should be more to water supply projects than a welfare consideration alone, an element of development should be included. They were supportive of local handpump manufacture where it existed but did not invest in it as a means of income generation.