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Disseminating Windpumps in Rural Kenya - Meeting Rural Water Needs using Locally Manufactured Windpumps

Mike Harries MA

Chairman and Founder, Kijito Windpumps,

Bob Harries Engineering Limited,

P.O. Box 40, Thika, Kenya


Around half the population in rural sub-Saharan Africa does not have access to reliable and clean water sources (World Bank, 2000).  The use of wind energy for water pumping provides a valuable opportunity for meeting rural water needs.  Bobs Harries Engineering Ltd. (BHEL), a local company in Kenya, is involved in the manufacture of Kijito wind pumps.  With over 20 years experience in the manufacture and installation of over 300 wind pumps (both in Kenya and abroad), BHEL has developed a range of reliable and sturdy machines capable of withstanding storms and pumping water for years, with only minimal maintenance and attention. This article presents a historical review of the design, field-testing and manufacturing experiences of BHEL in the development of wind pumps for water pumping in remote rural areas.  Using case studies of wind pump installation projects, the article outlines the challenges facing the dissemination of wind pumps in Africa and the benefits of windpumps to rural and remote areas.  Policy options that may improve the dissemination and use of windpumps are proposed.

Keywords: windpumps, rural, Kenya



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