Ram Pump Irrigation
in KwaZulu-Natal,
South Africa
Valley Trust Community Health Clinic
Zakhe Agricultural School
JHU Whiting School of Engineering
JHSPH
Maura Dwyer, MPH
DrPH student, EHS
Sharon Nappier, PhD
Environmental Health Engineering
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
KwaZuluNatal
Population: 10 M
Languages:
Zulu:
English:
Afrikaans:
71%
35%
2%
Unemployment: 31%
Education:
22%
of people >age 20
no formal education
(http://www.info.gov.za/aboutsa)
KZN Health Statistics
• HIV and Tb
– HIV Prevalence ~40%
– 1/3 AIDS deaths attributable to Tb
• Significant micronutrient
deficiencies
– Adequate dietary intake essential to
receiving full benefits of antiretroviral therapies
(www.ukzn.ac.za)
• Between 1995-2005, over 1.1
million children lost one or
both parents to AIDS (World Health
Organization 2005. South Africa: Summary Country
Profile for HIV/AIDS Treatment Scale-Up)
KZN Communal Gardens
• Rely heavily on subsistence
agriculture
• Available to all persons in
community
• Gogos manage the communal
gardens
• Water must be transported
uphill manually to gardens
The Ram Pump
• Improve irrigation and expand existing
communal gardens to increase food
security
• Renewable energy source (gravity)
• Cheap and local materials, local design
• Simple and reliable parts
• Little environmental impact
• Automatic, continuously operates
Communities
Inchanga (2006)
Maphaphateni (2006)
Phateni (2007)
Siwmenzomeni (2007)
Objectives and Methods
• Conduct a pilot study to evaluate the effects
of the ram pump on the gardening
communities
• Evaluate gardening households in terms of
garden water usage, food security, vegetable
variety and production, and health status
• Household Surveys and Key Informant
Interviews
– Survey Instrument
– Gardening households
• Maphaphateni:
– baseline (n=21) and follow-up (n=24)
• Inchanga: baseline (n=10)
• Phateni: baseline (n=22)
*Received IRB exception status
1
*Survey questions derived from validated assessments from WHO and JHSPH-International Health Department
Survey Findings in Maphaphateni
Demographic:
• Household size:
10 people, 5 ≤ age 18
• Orphans:
37.5% of households
Garden:
• Water Usage in Garden:
300 L/garden plot/day
• Time Spent Collecting Water:
– 10% ≤1 hour in 2006 vs. 55% ≤1 hour in 2007 (p=0.006)
• Injuries Associated with Collecting Water:
– 20% of respondents reported injuries prior to the pump
• Vegetable Production:
– significant increase in # rows per gardener
• (5.75 vs. 14.48, p=0.0006)
Gardener Perceptions
• All gardeners reported that pump has “helped life a lot”
• 89% of Maphaphateni gardeners report having “more time for other activities
since the pump”
• Greatest benefit is ability to plant more vegetables and access food all year
round
– Food now going to waste and gardeners desire the means to sell excess
vegetables at a market
• Three new gardeners in Map cited the pump and its benefits as one of the
reasons they joined
Limitations
•
•
•
•
•
Small sample size
Missing data
Reporting errors
Strained time and resources for data collection
Inadequate a priori understanding of target
communities
• No site selection criteria or methods
• Limited interpreter training
Public Health Implications
• Enhance the capacity of community to provide for
themselves
• Free gardeners from laborious weight bearing jobs,
allowing for more productive uses of their time
• Boost crop yields
• Potential to increase income
• Reduce injuries associated with water collection
• Decrease gardeners’ exposure to fecally
contaminated water
• Allow new members to join and benefit from the
garden, enabling the community to support the
growing number of orphans in the area
Future Research
1. Assessment of a community’s need,
capacity and readiness for ram
pump installation as part of site
selection
2. Assessment of factors influencing
project feasibility and sustainability
to enable scale-up
3. Community gardens as microenterprise
4. Irrigation system comparison studies
Thank you!
Funding:
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–
–
–
–
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Johns Hopkins University
Engineers without Borders
Center for a Livable Future
Rotary International
Global Health Experience Fund
Mondialogo Engineering Award
Garden Communities:
–
–
–
–
Inchanga
Maphaphateni
Phateni
Siwmenzomeni
Local Contacts and Translators:
–
–
–
–
–
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David Alcock
Nonhlanhla Majozi
Sebenzile Gumede
Lillies Nkolongwane
Nomkhosy Mabaso
Slie Ngcongo
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