Javan Nkhosi & Kerstin Danert

Year of Publishing


RWSN, Ask for Water, Skat Foundation

STOP THE ROT: History of the Rapid Handpump Corrosion Problem in Zambia and Potential Next Steps


This report presents the history and geographic extent of the rapid handpump corrosion phenomenon in Zambia, including fragmented and seemingly forgotten solutions. The report charts when and where the phenomenon became evident in the country, the measures taken (or not), and what was learned (or not), and proposes next steps for the Zambian government and its cooperating partners to tackle this pervasive problem.
Rapid handpump corrosion occurs when aggressive groundwater reacts with galvanised iron (GI) riser pipes and rods of a handpump, and the India Mark II in particular. The materials corrode, with the pumped water becoming bitter in taste, with an unpleasant smell and a rusty colour. This not only renders the water unfit for drinking from a user perspective but also considerably reduces the pump lifespan. In Zambia, the main cause of rapid handpump corrosion is contact between groundwater with a pH of less than 6.5 and GI pipes and rods. However, salinity is also a problem in some parts of the country and can result in rapid corrosion too.

Bibliographical Information:

Javan Nkhosi & Kerstin Danert (2023) STOP THE ROT: History of the Rapid Handpump Corrosion Problem in Zambia and Potential Next Steps. , RWSN, Ask for Water, Skat Foundation , RWSN

More Information

» Stop the Rot at ZAWAFE, Zambia 2023

» Stop the Rot flyer 2023: Ensuring borehole and pump quality

» Stop the rot: handpump functionality, corrosion, component quality and supply chains

The 'Stop the Rot' initiative documents the scale and extent of rapid handpump corrosion and the use of poor-quality handpump components in sub-Saharan Africa and tries to bring about actions to address these problems

» Halte aux dégradations : Recherche-action sur la corrosion et la qualité des composants des pompes à motricité humaine en Afrique subsaharienne

» Stop the Rot: Learning from handpump rehabilitation – A short case study from Zambia

» Stop the Rot: Overview of handpump corrosion and maintenance challenges for a sustainable drinking water supply for rural populations in Cameroon - Case study of twenty pumps

» Halte aux Degradations: Aperçu de la corrosion des pompes à motricité humaine et les défis de maintenance pour un approvisionnement durable en eau potable des populations des zones rurales au Cameroun– Étude de cas de vingt pompes


Stop the Rot @ ZAWAFE 2023, Lusaka, Zambia: Report of Focussed Session
pdf • Size: 1.52 MB

History of the Rapid Handpump Corrosion Problem in Zambia and Potential Next Steps
pdf • Size: 1.76 MB

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