Hand Pump

Hand pumps are one of the best ways to access underground water sources. Boreholes are drilled into the ground in places with access to underwater reservoirs. After the piping is fitted as well as the hand pump, the motion of the pump creates suction in the pipe and the mechanism forces the water up to the surface. When water sources are really deep, electrical pumps are used. Ground water is often clean and the housing on the pump protects the water from contamination. The Aqua Initiative has funded hand pumps in Rwanda, Kenya and Afghanistan.


A LifeStraw is a unique invention by Vestergaard Frandsen that allows dirty water to be taken in through one side and pulled through micro-tubule filters which remove bacteria and dirt to produce clean, safe drinking water for the user. Larger versions such as the LifeStraw Family perform the same task, using gravity to pull the water through in larger amounts. The Aqua Initiative has provided LifeStraw’s to hundreds of individuals in Sudan.

Rope Pump

A rope pump is a simple and cost effective type of project where a rope with various disks is rotated in a ring down into an underground chamber of water. The discs catch water into the pipe and pull it up to the surface. The Aqua Initiative has funded rope pumps in India and Bangladesh.


Wells make use of underground water and are often rather shallow. An open shaft is dug down to the water and a bucket can be lowered down and pulled up to collect water. The Aqua Initiative has funded wells in India and Bangladesh.

Sanitation Resources

Aside from working to provide access to clean water, the Aqua Initiative also works to provide access to sanitation through construction of toilet blocks, latrines and other systems for hygiene. The Aqua Initiative has contributed to construction toilet blocks for a school in India.


Another project that is important to prevent the spread of disease is to educate individuals on how to maintain and use any water projects as well as to behave in a hygienic manner. Simply by washing hands, individuals can majorly prevent the spread of disease. The Aqua Initiative and our partners have help educate individuals in Ethiopia and Rwanda.