With the fast population growth the goal "Water and food for all" requires new approaches. For communal rural water supply machine drilled boreholes and imported handpumps are now used and cost 5,000-10,000 USD for 250 people. In 50% of the cases manual drilling seems possible and if well done, has the same quality as machine drilled wells but costs much less. SHIPO Tube Well Drilling is a manual drilling technique combining percussion, sludging and jetting. With this method about 300 wells to 45 meters deep have been made and are often combined with locally produced Rope pumps. A water point with this combination costs 1,000 to 1,500 USD is for 150 people, which is 70% less expensive than similar water points made with other technologies. Drilling of tube wells is safer than hand digging and can go deeper so there is water all year round. This technology is fit for communal wells or for self-supply wells at the family level. A wide scale application of this technology and manual well drilling in general will have huge positive impact on access to water, reducing poverty and increasing food security.
The aim of manual drilling is self-supply so that families can increase income through water for animals, irrigation etc. Where water quality is a problem, water can be treated with new low cost water filters. The economic and social impact of manual drilling is
(a) Reduced costs of communal rural water supply by 50% or more
(b) Drastically scales up self-supply of wells at family level and hence economic development and poverty reduction.
Investigations in Nicaragua and other countries indicate that family wells increase income drastically, especially that of poor families. Another spin off is food security. If the 500 million small farmers, who now already provide 70% of all food production, would have water for irrigation all year round, they could double the world food production.
An indication of cost of wells is from Tanzania:
The shift from machine drilled boreholes and imported hand piston pumps to manually drilled tube wells and locally produced Rope pumps, resulted in a cost reduction of communal rural water points in the south of Tanzania from 4,000 USD to around 1,500 USD.
For self-supply, wells costs can be smaller and cost of a Hand drilled well and a pump can range from 500-1,500 USD
Many families in urban areas and some in rural areas could afford these cost if affordable micro loans are available.
Regarding the drill set
The cost of a complete SHIPO drill set to 40 meters deep is ca 500 USD
Stage of development: ready for serial production
Some technical figures
Depths to drill: 60 meters deep
Diameter casing: 2 to 6 inches
Cost of boreholes: 10-30 USD / meter depending soil, diameter etc