Brighton used to repair bicycles, but now he makes low-tech household and irrigation water pumps that are simple to use and easy to maintain. He sells them to households and farmers who want to improve their lives and livelihoods and his business has been so successful that he has been able to buy another shop. He is now hiring staff, so that he can provide even more customers with reliable access to clean, safe water.
Enelsi and her family in Kasungu
Enelsi and her family live in a village where their community pump, after many years of service, had ceased to function. Fortunately there was a mechanic in their area who not only fixed their pump, but also offered them an ongoing maintenance contract. Now everyone in Enelsi’s village pays a small amount to use the pump, secure in the knowledge that it will be regularly maintained and always in service.
Brighton building a household pump
Key to the success of any new business is access to a reliable and affordable supply chain. Brighton is based in Kasungu, but the low-tech household and irrigation water pumps he makes are sold by well diggers and area mechanics all over Malawi’s Central Region. As their businesses grow, his business grows and together they are creating a supply network that is financially independent of outside help or dependent on outside assistance.
Memory on her farm in Kasungu District
Memory lives on one of Malawi’s 11 million small-scale farms, 89% of which have no access to irrigation. But, since she bought an irrigation pump, her family is no longer dependent on unpredictable rainfall and her crop yields have more than doubled. Now she can look forward to two harvests each year and she has already recouped the cost of buying the pump from her first additional harvest.
Joseph building a water pump
Joseph is a mechanic who installs basic household water pumps and repairs more complex community water pumps. DFID estimates that as many as a third of Malawi’s community water points are non-functional at any given time and, by using his skills to bring them back into use, Joseph is improving health, increasing life expectancy and making his community more independent and self-sufficient.
Maria Phiri fixing a broken community pump
Maria used to be a midwife, but realised that a lack of clean water was one of the main causes of infant mortality. Now Maria runs her own business repairing broken community water pumps and restoring clean, safe water to the mothers and children that need it most. She also sells water filters and offers a range of other services to the other communities in her area.
Memory and her husband on their farm
Malawi’s small-scale farmers know they need to regularly water their crops, but the treadle pump Memory and her husband were given just wasn’t suited to their needs; the water pressure was hard to control and they couldn’t use it to water their seedlings. So she used their savings to buy a locally made rope and washer pump which not only increased their productivity, it recouped its cost within a year.