In Blue Nile State hybrid solar handpumps provide a sustainable water supply system

UNICEF is using innovation and solar power to provide access to water for vulnerable populations.

Yahya Alkhalifa
solar powered water pump
UNICEF/Yahya Alkhalifa
29 July 2020

UNICEF supports and encourages innovation to help vulnerable people living in development and emergency settings. The water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programme is working to provide innovative, sustainable, cost-effective, gender-sensitive and child-friendly water and sanitation technology to those who need it most. 

The WASH team worked diligently to make the water supply in Blue Nile State more accessible by improving the design/efficiency of the water delivery system with solar technology. One of the innovations the team decided to implement was in the use of Hybrid Solar Handpumps (SHP). The new handpumps are cost-effective, sustainable and need less maintenance as they do not require diesel or batteries. Women who usually go to fetch water will now spend less time collecting water and will get larger amounts of water, which will lessen their trips to the water pump and will also serve twice the amount of people with water.

Children at handpump
UNICEF/Yahya Alkhalifa
In Blue Nile State hybrid solar handpumps provide a sustainable water supply system for rural communities.

Feedback from the communities with newly constructed SHPs indicated their happiness with the new innovative system and many of their comments can be summarized in three phrases: less effort, less time and more water.

The SHPs are currently being installed and operational in ten locations across Sudan. Blue Nile State has received four SHPs to be piloted in the state with the government of Sudan in partnership with UNICEF. A total of four innovative SHPs were constructed in Roseries locality, two of which were constructed in communities with high rates of Open Defecation (ODF), while the other two were constructed in the most cholera affected neighborhoods in peri-urban Roseries town.

The constructed systems have been successfully operational for six months . UNICEF continues to monitor their performance as part of the pilot phase with hopes of bringing this innovative technology to even more communities throughout Sudan. Feedback from the communities with newly constructed SHPs indicated their happiness with the new innovative system and many of their comments can be briefed in three phrases: less effort, less time and more water.

These WASH efforts have been generously supported by the United Nation’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).