Abstract

Water Mission's extensive experience in designing, constructing and supporting solar-powered pumping solutions demonstrates the technological viability and cost effectiveness for delivering safe water to people, particularly in rural areas. Water Mission follows a unique design approach which uses conventional but relatively unique engineering specifications in terms of hydraulics, power requirement, water treatment and distribution having tested them in different geographical environments. Water Mission incorporates a community managed sustainability model into the design to ensure a longer life span of the project by promoting a well-defined maintenance and sustainability plan. This approach was applied to ten projects in 2015 in Kasungu, Lilongwe and Blantyre districts where installation, monitoring and evaluation were done and subjected to Water Mission's standards for qualification to hand them over to the beneficiary communities at the end of one year post installation. The paper is a review and discussion of the steps that Water Mission follows in its design process to come up with a sustainable project with solar energy. The paper also illustrates the non-compromise stand by Water Mission when it comes to the hand-over criteria for its projects by following and respecting the results of the prescribed evaluation test. It highlights detailed advantages and disadvantages of the design approach and presents recommendations. It is concluded that the approach can be replicated elsewhere in Malawi as a solution to water supply.

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