1. What are the different technologies that WaterAid uses?
Water technologies include protected hand-dug wells, boreholes, tube wells, rainwater harvesting schemes, protected springs, gravity flow schemes, sand dams and infiltration galleries.
Where pumping is required, WaterAid usually supports the installation of handpumps. Electrical, diesel and solar pumps are sometimes used where communities are able to cover operation and maintenance costs and where spare parts can be found locally.
Examples of sanitation technologies include simple pit latrines, ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, dual pit latrines, composting latrines, pour flush latrines and communal latrines with a septic tank. Communities and families are trained in all aspects of the correct usage and maintenance of latrines, including emptying systems which is of particular importance in high density settlements.
With all technologies, we evaluate each approach with the first aim of long-term sustainability. Each is evaluated based on:
- Availability in local markets
- Availability of spare parts or materials in local markets
- Ability to deliver cost effective, long-term supplies without complex maintenance, expensive components or expensive chemicals
These lists are not exhaustive and WaterAid is supportive of innovation at the local level and efforts to develop new sustainable technologies.
2. Why do you use the technologies you do?
WaterAid focuses on long-term sustainable development and therefore uses technologies and approaches that can be supported by local communities and institutions beyond WaterAid's term of intervention.
The technologies we use to assist with water and sanitation provision need to be appropriate to local financial and geographical conditions and within the technical capacity of the benefitting community to operate and maintain.
We aim to use technologies that include locally sourced materials and spare parts which can be purchased and transported easily.
We also work closely with local and national governments who may have their own criteria for technology choice.
3. I have invented a new technology or product that I think would benefit WaterAid, what should I do?
WaterAid is always interested to hear about innovative technologies and approaches. We are particularly supportive of locally led innovation within the communities where we work. They can support our local partners to develop technical solutions to water, sanitation and hygiene related problems.
We do however, have limited financial resources and as such are not in a position to pilot new inventions developed outside of our programme work. If there is a sufficient body of data concerning the performance, cost, sustainability and appropriateness of a particular technology and it fills a clear gap in the provision of equipment or services, we may consider using it.
But, if it seems to us that a technology is not appropriate for work with the poorest people, we will not take it up. Reasons for this may include cost, availability of spare parts, skills to operate and maintain, and suitability for use in specific geographical conditions.
If you have developed a new water or sanitation technology or have a new product that's been reviewed against the above criteria and would like further advice please contact our Technical Advisors at email@example.com.