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Michael Chuter at the ngo insight event 2017 pump aid

Pump Aid give presentation at NGO Insight 2017

Posted on: December 14, 2017
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Pump Aid’s CEO Michael Chuter joined a range of inspiring leaders in the field of international development at this year’s NGO Insight event in London, hosted by Civil Society Media.

Chuter delivered a presentation describing Pump Aid’s Award winning self-supply model, designed to bring water and sanitation to some of the poorest and hardest to reach communities in the world, working to empower individuals and communities in Malawi and break the cycle of poverty, putting an end to aid dependency.

Through adopting commercial principles and treating people as customers, not beneficiaries, Pump Aid have been able to generate sustainable change by developing a new, more effective approach which is the antithesis of dependency.

Brighton Kaninki self supply entrepreneur for Pump Aid working in Kasungu Malawi

Why is a new model so crucial?:
– Despite decades of foreign investment; almost seven million people in rural Malawi are still without access to reliable clean water, which both blights their lives and impairs their futures. Current approaches are simply not sustainable in the long-term.
– Water poverty in Malawi is made worse by three other unrelated issues: Poor functionality of water points, low levels of irrigation and a lack of convenient, safe water.

broken water pump malawi

Self-supply includes developing the product, the supply chain and the market. Pump Aid started with commissioning a variety of pump designs for different environments from the University of Mzuzu, Malawi.

The Pump Aid team went on to recruit 25 community based entrepreneurs, training them in pump building and maintenance, business skills and marketing and how to source materials that are needed to help grow their businesses.

Finally, they encouraged households to invest in their own access to water, step by step improving health an economic potential along the way. This zero-subsidy approach delivered a range of products and services, supplied by locally trained entrepreneurs, and simultaneously stimulate demand while developing supply.

In their first year of trading just 25 entrepreneurs sold water access products and services to households containing almost 2,500 people. 90% of these customers reported sharing their water with neighbours, equating to an additional 7,160 individuals and by bringing non-functioning community pumps back into operation, the entrepreneurs restored access for a further 11,954 people giving a total of 21,614 people access to safe water at an average cost of £12 per head (including all start-up costs), which is roughly half the cost per head of a traditional community water point.

Self-supply at a glance:

You can download Michael’s presentation from the event here: NGO Insight Presentation Pump Aid


Chuter joined an incredible panel of fellow leaders in his sector, Andrew Purkis – ActionAid, Kevin Watkins – Save the Children, Alison Hopkinson – Oxfam GB, Ben Joakim – Disberse and  Sarah Davidson – British Red Cross.