Pump for Life: Training mechanics for maintenance of water points

Last week, 6 out of our 7 new pump mechanics were trained at the MSABI office in Ifakara. Mechanics were chosen from existing mechanics and new candidates resident in our target areas. The mechanics are strategically distributed across the Kilombero Valley coordinated by a central office; with an operational radius of 20km that enables service to 95.9% of currently installed MSABI water points.

Six out of seven new Pump for Life (Pampu kwa Maisha) mechanics 
Geolocation of our maintenance hubs across the Kilombero Valley

Water point users pay a 6000TSH (USD 4) monthly premium that enables them to receive on call maintenance for breakages and a biweekly visit from a mechanic. Allowing water points to have access to clean water 365 days a year!
All 6 mechanics were trained on the procedures for pump maintenance. This included:
1.    Proactive maintenance- where the hub visits the water points every 2 weeks- clean, oil and service the rope pump
2.    Reactive maintenance- where the hub responds to emergency breakages and replaces the spare parts
3.    Marketing- to increase their own salaries, the hubs are encouraged to enroll more water points onto the scheme allowing them to earn more money and create a stable income for themselves
4.    Customer care- simple techniques to talk to the customers, to engage in discussion, and provide good customer service
The hubs were each provided with a a start up pack, this included: a smart phone for updating repair logs, a bicycle, uniforms, bags, boots and a full kit of tools for repairs. The hubs will also be provided with 2 sets of spare parts in order to be immediately prepared for work.
We will be individually visiting the hubs in two weeks time to check how they are doing, and to iron out any problems. We will also visit water point users to see if they are happy with the service, and what more we can do.

This will be an evolving programme over the next 12 months- learning and growing as we start to make water points across the Kilombero both operationally and financially sustainable through private sector businesses.

Sarah Msofe, Pump for Life Programme Manager

Pump for Life- fixing broken water points across the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania

By Sarah Msoffe and Lauren D'Mello-Guyett