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Moving from manual pumps to INUMA TM Mini-grids

About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water. Water also exists in the air as water vapor, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers, in the ground as soil moisture and in aquifers.

The globe illustration shows blue spheres representing relative amounts of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. Are you surprised that these water spheres look so small? They are only small in relation to the size of the Earth. This image attempts to show three dimensions, so each sphere represents "volume."

The volume of the largest sphere, representing all water on, in, and above the Earth, and The smaller sphere represents Earth's liquid fresh water in groundwater, swamp water, rivers, and lakes. Yes, all of this water is fresh water, which we all need every day, but much of it is deep in the ground, unavailable to humans.

Do you notice the "tiny" bubble just below the fresh water bubble? That one represents fresh water in all the lakes and rivers on the planet. Most of the used water comes from these surface sources. All this to show you in which extent ground water is very important and in much bigger quantities that we can imagine.

Since surface water is not always accessible from everywhere, people started digging water wells since at least eight thousand years ago. This practice was mostly done in arid places as people needed water to build their lives around it. With technology, different kinds of pumps were invented and new ones are still being developed nowadays. Manual pump are the ones mostly used since most of the boreholes drilled for water supply are drilled in remote areas which have lack of public infrastructure such as electricity that can operate an electrical pump.

Sometimes, people are fooled by how manual pumps are cheap, but comparing there prices and the maintenance cost that follows, they end up costing more than electrical or solar pumps. This is the main reason wherever you go you will always find broken handpumps. The cost of keeping a handpump is very high since at least every 3 to 6 months a part is broken and needs to be replaced. Where handpumps can work would required a monthly preventive maintenance, where a skilled technician must visit the well every month checks and replace some of the items. Once you are able to keep the repairing it's good.

However you need to consider SDG-5. As we know, women are mostly in charge of fetching water: A UNICEF research says that women spend 200 million hours per day going to fetch water since most of them don’t have water home and that mostly the handpumps are located far from the communities and which are often broken resulting in walking more distances to find water.

Looking into the other corners of the box, SDG-6 isn’t only limited to accessing water but also goes far beyond to the quality of water that needs to be consumed. With handpumps, it’s almost impossible to treat water however you can try putting chlorine on a regular basis which will of course increase your maintenance cost with the transportation of technicians to perform that. As of today, a lot of handpump maintenance does not include regular quality monitoring, with the wrong assumption that the pump will produce the same quality water as it did on opening day.

Last but not least about the handpump, they can deliver limited quantity of water, where a good pump can only yield 16.6 LPM, which will mean a jerry can of 20L in almost 2 minutes. In other word, if let say people fetch from 5am to 6pm or 13hrs per day, the handpump would only produce 13m3/day. If we consider the WHO recommendation of per capita consumption per day, 20L, then only 647 people would be served from a borehole that would serve more people if the same was equipped with an electrical pump which have more yield that can reach up to 150,000LPH.

Our alternative is the INUMA TM mini-grid, which is a decentralized water infrastructure that has the capacity of supplying water in a radius of 1km and privately connect more than 200 households. The mini-grid supplies clean and purified water from a 4 to 5 stage filtration system (Sediment, UV, Chlorine, GAC and CTO) and uses borehole water as a source. It’s equipped with a hybrid pump capable of using any kind of electrical energy but currently uses Solar and grid electricity. People connected to INUMA mini-grid are expected to use 250L per household per day, with each mini-grid rated for 1,500 users. The mini-grid provides employment to a water vendor at each public water point and to a maintenance technician. It’s constructed in the way it’s in the center of the community, and it branches to make sure that everyone access water in at least 500m if they are fetching from the public points (or no more than 15 minutes of collection time). The technician performs monthly preventive maintenance and also carries monthly water quality tests to insure that people are drinking purified water.

To conclude, handpumps can work and are useful, but seeing how fast the world is developing and the increasing demand of water, they can not keep up. We need technologies that simplifies lives, saves people time and cut long distances, mostly for girls and women. Solutions like INUMA TM provides clean and purified water to drink directly from the tap in a way that is easily accessible to the community living around it and also even allow a private connection for household on-premise access. With a handpump, you can not shower or have a modern bathroom into your house, we think even those in rural areas deserve safe tap water. We believe in providing a water source that is aspirational, and that is why our users are happy to pay for. So Let's all join the effort of switching from handpumps into INUMA TM mini-grids and allow private connections.


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