Demotech, design for self reliance

Search for

All Designs

Print this manual.

On this page you can find an explanation on the construction of some of our designs. We're currently in the process of constructing and digitalizing more of our manuals. If you do not encounter the information you are searching for please contact us.

Copyright & Open Source

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Please refer to our work and provide us with usefull feedback and comments on our design initiatives.

Liability clause

We cannot be held accountable for injuries incurred during construction or usage of our designs and construction manuals.

Back to See it!

Rope pump development in Senegal

Hanna Henning, a Dutch woman lives in Senegal and is involved in a project to improve life in the rural settng. She intends to continue her work in a new t o be registrated foundation. In this project the focus is on water, more water, more easely accessable water and most of all more reliable available water.
The pictures shown below are scans from photo's she took.

Lifting water for household use
Around the village Medina Thioub, close to Senegal's capital Dakar, a pulley is used to guide the rope when the women fetch water. These small pulleys make the hoisting of water much lighter work, but such pulleys are prone to wear out rapidly. One of the pulleys in use in this photograph runs askew on its axle, a sure sign it is about to fail.
The rubber bag used for lifting water
The rubber bag, that is attached to the end of the rope is made out of the inner tire of a car. Such bags can be bought at the local market in different sizes, about four or eight liters.
With this rubber bag a (head) pad is filled with 30 to 40 liters of water, later to be carried home on the head.
Lifting water for irrigating a garden
In the very deep wells as found in Sahel countries like Niger, Alger, Mali and Senegal, the traditional method used is pulling up a bag filled with water from the bottom of the well. This bag is often made of the skin of an animal and may contain 40 to 80 liters. A refined method increases the donkey's pulling force to the rope by letting it walk down a slope, away from the well.
Another refinement is the double pulling rope. When the bag is almost at the top, the second rope makes the bag turn over and pour out its content.
Inserting the bottom block

Guiding the pump pipe

Lowering the pump pipe

Water pumped by the sun