One of the major challenges to sustainably installing a hand pump to deliver clean water is the question of who’s to pay for the pump? Who’s to care for the pump? Where to put the pump? Who will maintain the pump?
In this idea we suggest teaming with organizations with a proven record of successfully extending a product or service related to health to developing countries. Examples include the World Health Organization and their ability to provide free vaccination programs to developing communities. Once an organization with a proven record has been chosen, the local government in India should work with this organization to use the organization’s algorithm or decision making process to decide where best to install a hand pump. The organization the government has teamed with would also provide their health service to the target community near the hand pump.
In the case of the World Health Organization, the local government would work with the WHO to determine the best location to provide a bundled service with a hand pump (provided by the government) and whatever service WHO is providing. By working together to bundle water with another public health service will have several benefits, including:
- Creating community awareness of the services being provided
- An appreciation for clean water by associating it with the other public service being provided by the company with the proven record
- A common area dedicated to public health and wellness
By partnering with a company with a proven and successful commitment to public health, the local government of India can successfully use their partner’s experience and algorithms to determine where to put in a hand pump and create public awareness and hype about the public health services. However, the issue still remains of who is to maintain the pump and who is to pay for it.
After creating public awareness and hype, the local government should encourage Local Champions to come forward and bid to “Adopt The Pump”. In so doing, the Local Champion would pledge to provide money to maintain the operations of the pump. This money would be given to the government to maintain and upkeep the pump. If the government has a public works department, maintain the pump can be added to their duties.
The Local Champion to adopt the pump can be an individual, organization, company, or otherwise. Once “Adopting the Pump” the Local Champion will be granted space to advertise on and near the pump as a return for the money they have given the government; it provides them the opportunity to brand the water pump with their logo and name while providing the community clean and reliable water. This plan is inspired by the successful “Adopt-a-Highway” in the United States.
The Local Champion to adopt the pump should be close to the where the pump is located so that they feel the effects of the conditions of the pump. For instance, if the pump is operating well, the Local Champion’s advertising will have a positive connotation. If the pump is in disoperation, the Local Champion will soon notice that their advertising is having a negative connotation, and it will be able to alert and work with the Government to remedy any issues. By making the Local Champion close to the pump, it encourages accountability and sustainability of the operations and upkeep of the water service.
This is beneficial to community members because they will not bear the burden of financially providing for the water and will still reap the benefits of clean water.