Some of the most frugal technology innovations make the greatest difference when it comes to water technology. This Affordable Water Pump by KickStart International is one of those cheap but effective technologies. KickStart’s mission is to lift millions of people in Africa out of poverty, quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably by enabling them to make more money.
To achieve this, they design and sell very low-cost, human-powered irrigation pumps to poor farmers. It uses the power of people’s legs or arms to pump up ground or river water to water crops
In Africa, only 4 percent of farmland is irrigated. In India, it is 35 percent where micro-irrigation schemes have helped lift many smallholders out of poverty. Small-scale farmers can boost their income by 400 percent if they water their fields.
To date, KickStart has sold about 310,000 devices across 16 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The non-profit social enterprise claims to have created 240,000 profitable businesses and lifted a million people out of poverty.
KickStart presently operates in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. While Kenya is the home to KickStart’s Innovation Hub.
As a leader in the appropriate design movement, KickStart develops and mass produces high-quality irrigation tools that meet the needs of the poorest farmers in Africa. Their affordable and durable tools are sold through a private sector supply chain to ensure sustainability and promote the broader economic development of the markets in which they work. They promote and mass-market the pumps to farmers, partner companies, and organizations working with farmers in Africa to incorporate the life-changing technologies into their programs.
Read more about how KickStart works to increase a farming family’s income and lift them out of poverty.