March 2022

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Training (solar) pump selection and installation.

Water at your doorstep is a dream for many families in Africa, especially in rural areas. Most people in rural areas depend on a community pump or if there is no pump nearby, they depend on open wells, streams or rivers. It often takes women and children hours to fetch water for the family. They cannot open a tap to drink a glass of water, let alone use water for a (vegetable) garden or keep livestock.
Fortunately, thanks to your help, Jacana has been providing water to families in villages for the past 5 years. These selected families use water not only for household purposes but also to generate an income, such as growing vegetables or keeping livestock such as chickens, pigs or goats.

Five years ago, Jacana focused on installing locally made rope pumps. Although they seem less robust compared to the expensive imported pumps, they are well maintained and 93% of them are still functioning today. Times are changing and Jacana has gained access to affordable electric solar pumps and many families are opting for this option.
Training by Douglas Mudenda

In order to meet the new demand, Jacana trained 18 entrepreneurs in March 2022 who can advise customers on what type of pump is most suitable for the family and/or business. The size of the pump depends on the pressure that the pump has to deliver (think of the groundwater level and the height of the tank) and the amount of water that the family or company needs. Furthermore, the amount of water that the borehole –or better the ground surrounding the borehole- can produce has to be sufficient to meet the capacity of the pump. These are important indicators for pump selection.

Participants learned how to read pump diagrams

Small-scale farmers have no financial reserves. After the annual harvest in May or June, the farmers get "cash in hand" after selling the harvest. They can invest part of that money in their business every year. Saving is of little use if the currency is only worth half of it after a year. Borrowing is extremely expensive, 25% interest per year is a good deal here. This is partly due to currency devaluation and it is also difficult for financiers to get their money back, because there are no permanent addresses and the distances are enormous.

So: Without affordable and scalable solutions, small-scale farmers can never expand their business. There are currently no suppliers of affordable solutions (besides the Jacana trained entrepreneurs). The existing providers of water solutions focus on people with more capital.
Jacana has a range of affordable electric pumps for families and businesses. These systems can easily be expanded every year with the cash flow of the harvest. The pumps are small and very affordable, in Europe they are often used in aquariums. After more than a year of testing of many different types of affordable pumps in various places in Africa, it appears that some meet a local need.

An example: Year one, a family receives a partly sponsored solar pump that supplies enough water for the family and irrigates a small vegetable garden. Year two, the family itself can pay for an extension, with which a larger piece of land can be irrigated. In year three, for example, the family can purchase a water tank and in year four they can choose to double the tank’s capacity. In short, because the SMART techs are affordable, a family can choose their own expansion.
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Solar design and installation training

In our previous newsletter we wrote about the course “solar design and installation”. This training was about solar installations for different purposes, not specifically about pumps. Almost all students have already made their own design and will install it this coming month.

After the newsletter there was a huge demand for the manual which Jacana developed for this course.
The manual is now available to everyone at, also thanks to Martijn Schootstra (from PUM) and Maarten Elffers. In addition, you will also find an Excel file that will help you with the calculations of the system, optimizing and calculating cable thicknesses.

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