Innovative funding methods for rural communities and their water pumps

Swan, Andrew and Cooper, Nathan John (2013) Innovative funding methods for rural communities and their water pumps. Water Resources and Rural Development, 1-2 . pp. 17-26. ISSN 2212-6082

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The recent surge in global cell phone ownership has meant that many rural Africans now travel to local towns in order to recharge their cell phones. These recharging facilities are typically located within shops or informal businesses, and are often powered by a car battery or solar panel. Recent years have seen the emergence of other novel solutions for providing phone-charging infrastructure in remote regions. One such example has been the development of bicycle dynamos that recharge the cyclist’s cell phone whilst they pedal. This paper discusses the merits of a novel solution for recharging cell phones via the mechanical movements of a water hand pump, and the potential for income generation from local residents paying to recharge their cell phones to help fund the upkeep of the water point. Many water pumps installed on the African continent fall in to a state of disrepair because local communities have insufficient funds to keep them well maintained. The paper overviews the development of a ‘proof-of-concept’ prototype system for this purpose, and considers how this solution embodies a ‘commons’ theory of resource allocation and local owner/usership. Moreover, the potential to embed ‘commons thinking’ within one such low cost community-centered venture opens a wider debate about the role of commoning within the water and sanitation sector.


Keywords:Cell networks; Hand-pumps, Monitoring, Telemetry, Water, water rights
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D443 Water Resource Management
M Law > M290 Law by topic not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:12687
Deposited On:13 Dec 2013 12:18

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