|The use of simple but effective rope and washer pump systems to hoist water from shallow wells in the Sodo area has provided a cost effective and popular solution to a problem of drawing water for irrigation purposes in the area.|
Rope and washer pump technology uses a manually operated hoist and simple pulley system to draw water from shallow wells in areas where the water table is in the range of between eight and 15 metres deep.
The collected water is drawn from the well and stored in a 200 litre barrel in a barrel which is positioned on an elevated 1.5 metres long stand that provides the necessary gravitational fall to enable the barrel to feed a drip system covering an area of 500 sq metres.
Providing a sustainable and suitable techological solution to farmers who can ill afford to invest in diesel pumps, the rope and washer system was originally piloted by Self Help on demonstration to 16 farmers operating in the Negesa and Gogeti areas of Sodo II project.
Fabricated locally at a cost of 1,500 Eth Birr (€120), and with a further 200 birr (€15) required for cement to fix the stand to the ground, local farmers who participated in the pilot scheme were required to supply sand, stone, and timber, and undertake all of the excavation work on the hand dug wells.
Farmers who were involved in the initial trials of the pump system used the technology and drip irrigation kits - costing less than 400 birr (€30)to enable them to produce garlic, onion, potato and other high value vegetable crops under irrigated farming conditions.
'Farmers who took part in the pilot, and others who attended demonstrations of the technology saw how the pump provides a simple solution to a difficult problem. It is hard work to draw the water you would require for irrigation from depths of up to 15 metres, and these hoists made if far easier', says Self Help's Teshale Jemal.
'The rope and washer system also increased their drawing capacity, and has made it possible for them to irrigated far wider plots of land', he added.
As a result of the successful Sodo II demonstrations, demand for the pump has grown dramatically - with the project planning to distribute more than 150 of the pumps to farmers in Sodo in the coming years.
Farmers who participate in the scheme are required to pay 25% of the costs of the pumps up-front, an additional 50% at the end of the first year, and following their harvests, and the balance of the cost during the following year.