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Obtaining handpumps in Haiti


Could you possibly assist with the following: Where can I obtain India Mark II or III pumps (or reliable shallow well pumps) for my work in northern Haiti (nearest city: Cap Haitian)? - location? - associated costs? - contact info? Is there reliable pump maintenance people available in the northern Haiti area?

I will be attempting to rehabilitate 4 or 5 shallow dug wells, which have concrete rings of approximately 6 foot (~2 m) diameter; are up to 20 feet deep; with water levels of only a few feet below surface. I have been told that the Haitian government prefers the India Mark II or III pumps presumably for standardization of maintenance.



4 Answers


I’m a little out of date with recent handpump developments and so I’m willing to be corrected by others in this circulation but here is my brief response: The dug wells are shallow (approx 6m you state). India Mk II and III handpumps are deep well pumps unsuitable for shallow wells. The India handpumps rely upon the weight of the connecting rods to return the pump handle. In a shallow well there will not be sufficient connecting rods to provide enough weight to return the handle unless you add extra weight which is not easy and you want to avoid. There are alternative pumps that are cheaper and easier to maintain. Depending on precise dynamic water level (depth to water table when pumping) you will need a shallow or medium lift handpump. Any number are available but I’m not familiar with supply constraints and availability in Haiti. If you have time to obtain then I suggest you take a look on the SKAT website ( and order the following: Technology Selection - and Buyer's Guide for Public Domain Handpumps for drinking Water by nrobson, 02.12.2005 “Water Lifting” in a Series of Manuals on drinking Water Supply, Vol. 7 by Erich Baumann from SKAT The Haitian government may well prefer the India Mark II or III pumps on deep wells but avoid for this application. There are a series of issues to consider – not just the technology – and so difficult to recommend alternatives without understanding the situation and the likely demand on the pumps: is it for small community use or for heavy daily use by a displaced population? If water quantity is an issue, rather than quality, then consider rubber buckets as an interim solution. Possible medium and shallow lift alternatives: Rope & Washer Pump used extensively in Nicaragua and available from: Managua, Nicaragua (e-mail: Direct action medium lift handpump, Maya-Yaku, used and produced in Bolivia Regards,



I agree with Jan's reply but please also forward the following comments to Pat. The extra weight to ensure the return of the piston can be provided by using larger diameter pump rods than usual. The piston return is more of a problem with leather piston washers (which are hard to form to the right size and which swell when wet) than with nitrite rubber washers. Some Indian manufacturers provide a direct-link version of the India Mark II which does not use the suspension chain but a direct link to the rod. This means that the rod can be pushed down when the handle is lifted, something that is not possible with the chain link.




The AFRIDEV hand pump is a good medium lift hand pump also made the same place India Mark 2 are made. It is favorable because it is not necessary to remove the drop pipe to service the cylinder as the cylinder is of slightly smaller diameter and repair teams can repair several pumps in one day with less risk of loss down well.A pump set at say 80 ft can be repaired in less than one hour, no lifting equipment neceessary as only the pump rods are pulled and interlock, no threading required.


Dear Patrick

If the government (DINEPA) prefer India Mark, then go for that - if the well is deep enough. Preferably the India Mark III which is easier to maintain for the reasons pointed out by Les. It is slightly more expensive because rising main diameter is wider so that the foot valve assembly can be lifted out without having to pull out the whole rising main. I notice that they put it in their guidance manual:

For sourcing, talk to DINEPA and they should know who the main stockists/importers are.

A couple of alternatives, if the wells are only going to be used by a few families (rather than 200-400 people) are: A rope pump: An EMAS pump:

Hope that helps


Sean FUREY MSc FRGS Rural Water Supply Specialist

Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Secretariat / Sustainable Groundwater Development co-lead

Knowledge Broker for UPGro: Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor:

Skat_Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development Skat Foundation, Vadianstrasse 42, CH-9000 St.Gallen, Switzerland phone: +41 71 228 54 54, web: , skype: seanfurey.skat