Category: Water

SADC Water Dialogue opens up new channels

The 7th SADC Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue recently was held in Windhoek, Namibia from 29-30 September 2015.
Theo Diergaarat, Namibia’s deputy minister for agriculture, water and forestry, called the SADC roadmap and strategy for the region a major milestone which will accelerate economic growth in the region, and also diversify and broaden the manufacturing and industrial bases.
The stakeholder dialogue is a joint organisational collaboration between the SADC Secretariat and the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWP-SA), operating under the theme of ‘Watering development in SADC: The central role of water in driving industrialisation’.
“Water cuts across all sectors of our economy and is not a one-man business as it requires all sectors to work together in a nexus approach. We acknowledge the efforts made by GWP-SA together with the SADC Secretariat’s water division who singled out Namibia to be the host for the water dialogue,” Diergaarat said.
Assistance for the conference has also been received from the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia, which acted as the secretariat for Namibia Water Partnership, and support staff from the Namibian Agriculture Ministry, according to Diergaarat.
Diergaarat added that Namibia, like most African water-scarce countries, is looking to take advantage of cooperation in international shared water resources in order to maximise the benefits for industrial development.
The multi-stakeholder water dialogue is a bi-annual activity which originated through the Integrated Water Resources Management awareness creation programme. –

Rain water harvesting for farmers

South Africa is a particularly water scarce country, leaving it in a perilous position when met by drought like in recent months. A viable solution to help save water and aid dams the opportunity to refill themselves and recover, is through rain water harvesting.
Water tanks are self-sufficient and made to work with the environment. Rainwater tanks are a fundamental invention and have been used for many years. In today’s times, water tanks continue to benefit farmers and various other industries as well as for domestic use. According to many a research study, rainwater has proven to be naturally clean and chemical free. In the instance of farmers, water for irrigation is a luxury in times of drought and in traditionally dry areas. By saving and storing water during the rainy season one can provide much needed irrigation for land when the seasons change.
South African based Roto Tank produces polyethylene tanks which are ideal for rainwater harvesting. According to the company these polyethylene tanks are lighter than the stainless steel alternative, making them easier to transport and unaffected by corrosion and rust, which may render water unusable in certain circumstances.
Furthermore, Roto Tank has introduced a combination of water tanks and troughs for efficiency. Water troughs, have a variety of uses on the farm and can work in conjunction with water tanks for optimum results. Says Roto Tank: “Many farmers make use of rainwater harvesting methods in order to save on water expenses. Water collects into various water tanks during rainfall. Farms in general consist of hectares of land and farmers harvest water by making use of water tanks fitted to a trough at the bottom tank that will allow water to be available for animals to drink. Some of our troughs can hold more than 800 litres of water at a time. Moreover water can also be treated with nutrients and medication and used in a livestock water trough. Various animals can drink from the trough including horses and ostrich.
The ball valves present in the water tank and trough will ensure that water levels remain constant. The ball valves are tamper proof and secure from any potential damage caused by livestock.”
Jojo Tanks, a world renowned manufacturer of water tanks, encourages rain-water harvesting for both domestic and farm use. Rod Cairns, managing director of JoJo Tanks, believes that a water-secure world is a joint responsibility and that every South African should invest in some sort of system to save water, “We live in a relatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm (compared to a world average of about 860mm). Furthermore, rain tends to be concentrated in certain areas and does not fall consistently throughout the year. These facts, combined with increasing pressures on water resources and infrastructures in South Africa and worldwide, indicate that there may simply not be enough water to meet our future needs and the need to save water will be forced upon us. We need to think of rainwater harvesting as part of a sustainable water strategy.” Cairns explains that Jojo tanks are UV resistant enabling the product to ‘outlive’ some of the harshest South African weather conditions. The company also offers custom moulding solutions, colours and sizes to meet every customer specific requirement. “All JoJo water tanks are lined with a black food safety accredited lining material that inhibits the growth of algae,” concludes Cairns
Jojo Tanks Tel: +27 13 – 262 7900;
Roto Tank Tel: +27 12 376-1070/2;;

Drip irrigation advances

Irrigation is the controlled application of water for agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall.

A solution to collecting and storing water in countries that have a lack of adequate access to clean water retailers

The 2014 Global Risk Report conducted by the World Economic Forum rated “water crises” as the third most significant global risk.
It is estimated that water usage will have grown to 2.7 billion cubic metres globally by 2030. This will leave a 17% gap between supply and demand for the resource.
According to, there are 750 million people around the world who lack access to safe water. This is approximately every one in nine people.
“Diarrhoea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day,” states.
82% of those who lack access to improved water live in rural areas, while just 18% live in urban areas.
Grant Gibbs, executive director at the Hippo Water Roller project asks: “Why should millions of women and children struggle just to get water to their homes every single day?”
Despite many interventions, the scale of the problem of lack of access to safe water is likely to increase in the coming years.
When asked about what the daily struggles in Africa are related to the lack of adequate access to clean water, Gibbs says: “It is mostly women and children who are forced to fetch and carry water to their homes. Water points are often far away and it is time consuming to collect water, and requires multiple trips per day.”
He describes one solution: a barrelshaped rolling container that is designed to transport 90 litres (24 gallons) of water at one time.
This way of gathering and storing water is used in various parts of Africa – namely, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho,
Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Hippo Water Roller was designed to alleviate the suffering caused by a lack of access to water. Its design allows water to be placed inside the “wheel”, resulting in an effective weight of just 10kg (22
pounds) on level ground. More water can be collected in much less time and with far less effort, transforming water collection from a daily chore to a task performed only a few times a week.
The Hippo Water Roller consists of a round plastic drum made from polyethylene which has a long molecular
structure for flexibility while rolling along uneven and rough surfaces.
The wall thickness is sufficient to prevent puncturing and cracking. There is a large opening and screw-cap to facilitate easy cleaning of the interior, yet small enough to prevent small children and babies from drowning. The U-shaped steel handle has simple “bearings” to protect the drum recesses from wear and tear where the handle clips on and off the drum. This design allows the operator to simply push or pull the drum while the weight of water goes into the ground, requiring less effort than carrying a
bucket on the head.
The design was invented in 1991. It received a design award from the SABS Design Institute in 1992 and was initially called the “Aqua Roller”. The name was changed to the Hippo Water Roller to give it a more African resonance.
The name stems from its thick skin, round body and because it lives in water. It was designed by South Africans Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker, both engineers who had grown up on farms.
Searching for a design to allow rural communities to carry water more easily, they initially tried to design a wheelbarrow incorporating a moulded tank with a low centre of gravity. When they did the costing, they found the wheel to be the most expensive component. But that was when they got the idea to put the water in the wheel.
Gibbs describes the social impact: “It reduces suffering, improves hygiene and health, enables for more time to be spent being educated and empowers women and children.”
Gibbs says the design is unique and the containers are built to last in rural conditions.
The Hippo storage container is designed to last up to seven years. Gibbs explains that once the container has been damaged beyond its usefulness for collecting water, it can be used as a storage bin. By cutting it vertically in half, “It can also be used as a feeding or watering trough for animals and a bath for washing clothes and children.”
The purposes of the Hippo water roller utility cap as a farmer’s irrigation tool • The utility cap was specifically designed for irrigating crops.
• It allows smallholder farmers to transport 90 litres of water at a time and irrigate crops efficiently.
• Convenient dispensing of water through the mini-cap.
• Mini-cap is a standard soda bottle top for easy replacement if damaged.
• No need to unclip the handle.
• No need to stand the drum upright to access the water.
How to use this system:
• Fill the Hippo Water Roller with water and roll up to the trees or vegetables.
• Simply line up the cap with the trees or vegetable rows.
• Unscrew the mini-cap and allow water to flow out.
• Close the mini cap when sufficient water has been dispensed.
– Aarifah Nosarka
Hippo Water Roller Project:
Tel +27.82.447.1848;;

Water reservoirs built to meet challenging conditions

Rainbow Reservoirs has the sole manufacturing and sales rights in Africa to the Heritage Tanks range of reservoirs, designed and developed inPerth, Western Australia.

Pumping Water can be chilren’s play

The PlayPump® Water System harnesses the energy of children playing on a roundabout placed on top of a borehole to draw water up from the ground into a sealed 2,500 litre polyethylene storage tank, which stands seven metres above the ground.

Pure water at low cost

New simple and cheap processes to disinfect drinking water offer business opportunities in areas where potable water is not available.
Many of the poorest people of the world lack piped water and connected energy, and there is frequently an unfulfilled demand for safe drinking water.

Cheap filter membrane system for safe water treatment

A large Swiss chemical company manufactures an easy-to-use membrane water purification system made of high performance plastic.
The portable Lifestraw® Family system simplifies on-site conversion of large quantities of dirty water into potable water in villages and by families.

Franchising water services

Some parts of Africa suffer from poor/unacceptable quality of public water delivery. The reason for this is usually inadequate arrangements and incentives for operation and maintenance – including sometimes inadequate design and/or construction, skills shortfalls, budget shortfalls, weak institutional arrangements, and unwillingness or inability to change.

Pumping water can be child’s play

Playground-type roundabout water pumps are available to rural communities in southern Africa which have no access to running water.

Affordable water filtration

Cheap, efficient water filters can be produced by simple ceramic pottery techniques.
Researchers at Newcastle University in Britain have created a water filter, using production skills and materials readily available in developing countries.

Well hand pumps

India’s largest exporters of deep well and shallow well hand- pumps says its products are extensively used in rural and urban areas to pump potable water.

`A radical water hygiene solution

Radical Waters, a South African company, has launched ActSol water pouches which are being sold for broad-spectrum anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral treatment.

Pumping water can be child’s play

Pumping water manually does not have to be hard work. In fact, with a playground roundabout pump it can be child’s play. In addition, commercial advertising on the stand of the accompanying water tank can offset the price of the pump.
Three hundred of these pumps are currently in use in South Africa. Some of them have been operational for t

Solar pump for floods and droughts

A solar powered, submersible pump has been developed for regions where both droughts and floods are commonplace and where electricity is not available, like farms, game parks, rural schools or clinics.
Called the Watermax, the pump can be run on a “float” switch, which automatically controls the water level in a dam or storge tank. Unlike m

Opportunities in hand pumps

One of India’s largest manufacturers of deep and shallow well hand pumps extensively used in rural areas of Africa, Asia and South America intends producing the pumps in Africa and is seeking representatives and/or joint venture partners.
Spas International has been manufacturing hand pumps in its New Delhi factories since 1982. It is

New remote water supply system

A competitively priced and cost-effective pumping system for use in remote locations or rural villages without access to electricity is now available from a leading international pump manufacturer.
The SQFlex system can operate on solar power, wind power, petrol or diesel generator, which means that a user can make the most of local weather c

Manufacture a water roller

Complete manufacturing plants and training are available for the production of water rollers, that is 90 litre plastic drums with long handles for transporting water in areas where resource access is problematic.

Portable water purifier

A company focussing on commerce and industry needs in Africa has designed a portable water purification system specifically for use in remote areas.. The range consists of two lightweight units providing safe drinking water from wells, dams, lakes, rivers, natural springs and swamps.
The Rapid system, by Africa Solutions, has been on the mark

Hand-operated water filtration plant

A new, robust, easy to maintain water filtration system that delivers potable water from virus and bacteria contaminated sources has been developed to meet the needs of rural communities.
The Wellcure multi-stage auto-chlorinator is hand-operated and can be placed in running water, dams, lakes and other water reservoirs. Water is firstly pu

Hand-operated water pumps

A Swaziland based engineering company offers a variety of hand-operated water pumps.
Although their factory in Matsapa is relatively new, New Dawn Engineering (NDE) has been developing appropriate technology since 1984.
The company is known for its comprehensive approach to development, design and manufacture of labour-intensive produc

Low energy plant for healthy water

A low-energy plant that turns impure water from various sources into clean, healthy drinking water without the use of chemicals has been introduced in Africa, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Called Aqua Plus, the plant was developed by German company GETEC Trade and its efficiency has been tested by the University of Darmstadt. The standard

Low technology for clean water

A British company offers hand pumps and simple techniques for extracting water conveniently and hygienically from shallow sources like sandy riverbeds.
In addition to improving the quality of, and access to fresh water sources in rural areas, the technology of SWS Filtration can also be applied to supply clean seawater from sandy beaches f

Low-tech ram pumps still effective

The hydraulic water ram pump has proven itself for over two centuries as an ideal device for pumping water solely by means of waterpower. Since no electricity is required, there are no operating costs.
A number of models of these low-tech, easy to maintain and long lasting pumps are available and are sold internationally to supply water in

Transport water on a wheelbarrow

A manufacturer of wheelbarrows has come up with an innovative, cheap product for the transport of water on wheelbarrows. The Barrow Bag costs only around $3 but can be used to transport up to 90 litres of water with ease to building sites, informal settlements, gardens or live stock drinking troughs.
The Barrow Bag is made of durable, UV re