In Third World Villages, a Simple Handpump Saves Lives

by Allen Morrison, Asst. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 10, Pg. 68-72

Document Type: Feature article


Millions die each year and many more suffer in the developing countries from diseases spread by contaminated water. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of all disease in the world is due to impure or inadequate water and poor sanitation. The United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) in conjunction with the World Bank is helping the developing countries to remedy this situation by funding a program of research and development aimed at improving the reliability and economics of handpumps. Handpumps, used to draw water from protected wells, are the cheapest alternative to the use of polluted surface water supplies or open wells. If their use can be made more economical, mainly through lowering the cost of maintenance from its present high level, and if the pumps can be produced cheaply in the country where they will be used, it will be a major contribution toward reaching the goal of the UN Water Decade (1980-1990)--safe water and sanitation for the entire world.

Subject Headings: Water pollution | Developing countries | Diseases | Economic factors | Wells (water) | River bank stabilization | Financing | Research and development

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