Handpumps in Tharparkar

Handpumps in Tharparkar

Tharparkar is one of the most water insecure regions of Pakistan, experiencing frequent droughts during 2012-2015. As a result, this climate has led to disastrous results for Tharparkar residents, whose main source of income is derived from farming and agriculture.

The Situation

Being among the most water insecure regions of Pakistan, Tharparkar has been continuously hit with frequent droughts. This has devastated residents who depend on agriculture as their main source of income.

  • Groundwater is the only major water source for 1.67 million people in this region.

  • There are presently no surface or pipe water facilities to source water from during drought periods.

  • Dug wells are usually 2-5 kilometers away from villages, leaving people (usually women) walking for hours just to fetch water.

  • Poor sanitation and hygiene conditions have been further aggravated by poverty and water scarcity.

  • An integrated WASH response is required to mitigate the vulnerabilities of marginalized communities

How you can help

Working with many households in various villages, IDRF is providing:

  • clean drinking water
  • improved sanitation facilities,
  • better hygiene conditions. 
  • saving time for fetching water, shortening queuing time on a water points
  • sparing human labor from fetching water, so they can perform other economic activities.
  • encouraging communities to adopt the practice of kitchen gardening. With readily available water, this will help residents become self-reliant. 


    Build 1 handpump without inscription

    providing approximately 50 people with clean water 


    Build 1 handpump with inscription

    providing approximately 50 people with clean water


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    What is the difference between a regular well and a handpump?

    A regular well is a water system that pumps water from the underground water table. The regular wells uses a motorized engine which runs off of gasoline. The motor pumps water through large water hoses that people use to fill up jerry cans with to water consumption.

    A handpump does not have an engine and uses the power of a pump (using your hand) to produce water. They are a means to extend the water from the water well into communities that are farther away from the well, to extend the reach.

    For both types of wells they all have pipelines that irrigate nearby farmland to ensure farmers in the area can grow crops to help families survive during the ongoing conflict. This way, IDRF for our Yemen food programs, we purchase food from these farmers and provide them to vulnerable families. Therefore, your water donation does not just support a people with clean water it helps provide food as well. Finally the water wells are managed and owned by the local community to ensure we take a localized approach to our zakat efforts.

    How big are they? How many families does it give access to water?

    They provide water to about 27 families, in remote areas of the Thar region.

    How long do the hand pumps take to build?

    It takes a few weeks to build. We ensure we do a site assessment first to ensure it is safe. Once we do so, we procure the supplies and equipment and begin building the construction.

    How long do the hand pumps last? Do they ever breakdown?

    We have been building the handpumps in Tharparkar for over a decade. As of today, they are all still operational. While we don’t have an estimate on the exact longevity, this is because we haven’t needed to replace any thus far and we anticipate that trend continuing. 

    Are there maintenance costs?

    No. When a handpump is created, it is handed over to the community and the local organization, our partner, who works with them. They take responsibility for upkeep and maintenance. While there is very little maintenance required, this is done by our partners in Pakistan, and local village initiatives.

    Is it easy for elders and youngsters to use?

    For elders and young people, there are community focal persons that help coordinate the distribution of water. So jerry cans and large water tanks are filled for those who cannot come to the wells to collect the water themselves.

    The Impact



    We will conduct WASH information sessions through 130 health and hygiene promotion sessions in selected villages.