By Isaac Chege, Rural Aid
The power of the rope pump is not limited to water lifting from wells and underground water reservoirs; it has also contributed to gender equity in certain communities in northern Ghana. The men in Katiu in the Kassena-Nankana District and Saka in Bawku West District of the Upper East Region now contribute fully in domestic water supply. This has come as a big relief to the women and children in these communities.
This attitudinal change has not come by chance. Traditionally the men would not fetch water with the pots and buckets for domestic use. But Rural Aid, from experience, had noticed that they delight in ‘turning the wheel’ of the rope pump to see water flow out so easily. Rural Aid and her rope pump partner, Janamise Enterprise therefore designed a well intended plan to ‘capture’ the men. They modified the design of the rope pump to make it possible to pump water into overhead tanks with a total capacity of 12,000 litres of water. From the tank a distribution pipe was connected to a stand pipe with dual taps from which water will be fetched. From the tank, water flows through gravitational force into the taps.
What happens in the community now? The men simply delight to pump water into the tanks at leisure time using the rope pump. Now the women and children have been spared the time and energy used to pump water even though the rope pump alone had earlier minimized their woes of drawing water with heavy buckets and ropes. A brisk step forward indeed in finding solutions to our local problems! To the women and children it’s like they have been introduced to a form of piped system for the first time!