Despite the existence of underground water and rivers in arid areas, access to affordable technology to transfer water to where it is needed remains a challenge.
Sufficient supply of water to rural households can tremendously reduce time taken to look for water and increase sanitation while contribution to livestock husbandry and irrigation especially in arid and semi arid regions.
In a typical store around the East Africa region a diesel or petrol powered pump goes for about $500 which is way above the reach of many low income earners living below one dollar a day.
Moreover, cheap pumps are often powered by kerosene, further driving up the cost of running them. Wide-scale use of kerosene for powering irrigation would also have substantial effects on the environment, and the engines are notorious for noise pollution.
A team of Makerere University Innovators have developed a very-low-cost solar powered irrigation pump that is cast from locally available scrap materials with an optimized engine to increase its efficiency.
The pump has the potential to substantially increase access to low cost solutions for local irrigation and water transfer for other purposes. This technology will increase agricultural output from semi-arid communities in Eastern Africa and transform social attitudes, community perceptions about irrigation as a means to increased crop yield and livelihoods diversification in marginal communities in sub-Saharan Africa.