The Save the Children programme has established serviced handpumps and spare parts depots in several villages in Rajasthan, India.
The operation and maintenance of each handpump is looked after by trained local mechanic. Local water user groups are monitoring the progress of operation and contributing to the maintenance costs.
Satish Raj Mendiratta, Save the Children
Handpumps,Usersgroup,community participation,Women Support Group,VWHSC
Save the children to its partner Vaagdhara has installed one hand pump alongwith the water recharging unit each in ten villages in Ghatol block, Banswara district, Rajasthan. In each of the 10 villages spareparts depot has been setup in a house close to the handpump. The operation and maintenance of each handpump is looked after by trained local mechanic.
A user group has been formed in each village. The handpump mechanic collects spareparts from the spareparts depot and is paid for the coost of spare parts as well as labopur charges for repair by the usersgroup. The handpump mechanic gets complaint of handpump from the villager on his mobile phone,which is rectified by him on the same day or at the maximum the next day. The spare parts depot maintains the record of repair of handpumps, issue and receipt of spare parts as well as the amount paid to hand pump mechanic. These details are reviewed in the monthly meetings of usergroup.
The village water, sanitation and health committee (VWSHC) monitors the progress of operation and maintenance of all the handpumps in the village in its monthly meetings.
The solution is expected to be implemented in various blocks,districts in Rajasthan, India
The district/block administration should initiate the project. The village water, sanitation and health committees, water user groups and Local NGOs will be strategic in the implementation. The follow up should be done both by the water user group and the VWHSC at the Local level.
The solution to reduce the downtime of handpumps for continous provision of safe water to the communities has been initiated since last one year,which has given very good results.
Initially the handpump repair and maintenance tools have been provided to the handpump mechanics during the training by Save the Children, India. Now the VWHSCs are planning to collect contribution from the water user groups for the purchase of handpump tools for the other handpumps in the villages.
During the field assessment carried out by save the children prior to implementation of the project it was found that 40% handpumps were non functional due to lack of trained mechanics and non availability of spare parts at village level as well as lack of community ownership forcing people to fetch water from the unprotected water sources.
The community based handpump maintenance through trained handpump mechanics and water user groups at the village level will guarantee access to safe water for all and ensure there right to water the availability of safe water round the clock will prevent the men, women and children from using contaminated water from the unsafe water sources viz open wells, ponds, streams, etc.
The repair is being carried out very fast by the local handpump mechanics and the downtime of handpumps has been reduced from 2 weeks to one or two days.
The trained handpump mechanics also promote cleanliness around handpumps and ensure that the handpump surroundings are kept dry and clean. This has resulted in substantial reduction in diseases like malaria,dengue and chicken gunia.
The community ownership of the handpumps has increased. The community based handpump maintenance demonstrated through the network of trained handpump mechanics with the support of spare part depot managed by users group is a successful and sustainable model which could be easily replicated in other villages/blocks/districts where water is supplied through handpumps.
The minimum investment to implement this solution is on training of local handpump mechanics,procurement of tool kits one each for each village and certain quantity of fast moving spare parts. The total cost of these three items works out to US$300 per village.
The district/block administration who is presently responsible for the repair and maintenance of handpumps will be very much willing to adopt the solution because it is most effective and efficient solution with least cost to ensure the uninterrupted availability of safe water from all the handpumps in the villages.
The block administration presently five to seven handpump mechanics at the block headquaters to look after the repair and maintenance of more than 300 handpumps in 50 to 60 due to which the downtime of out of order handpump varies from ten to fifteen days this solution would work best in the villages where the village water, sanitation and health committees have created demand for safe water in the communities through awareness creation activities and the communities are prepared to contribute for the repair and maintenance of the handpumps.
This solution has inspired the block administration of the neighbouring blocks of the district to undertake the community based handpump maintenance in the villages under their jurisdiction.
The project has organized the training of trainers and trained the master trainers for handpump mechanics at the district level. The district/block administration has agreed to provide tools to the village handpump mechanics to be trained by master trainers to implement the community based handpump maintenance in all the villages of the district.
Mr. G.L.Gujar, Water and Sanitation Coordinator,
Save the Children, State Program Office, Nirman Nagar,Jaipur
The best practice documentation carried out by Jupiter Knowledge Management and Innovative Concepts (JKMIC) Pvt. Ltd.,New Delhi is attached.