It is possible to pump water efficiently from a 6 inch borehole using cattle, donkeys and camels as draught animals. This page is devoted to letting people know that such a pump exists. Search for "Pompe ARMA" and the "FED-ARDETEC" pump. These were made in Ndounga, Niger by the FED-ARDETEC project.

The pump is a piston type with a 4 metre stroke and a bore of between 50 and 100mm. The animal walks around a centrally placed turntable/fame which is connected to the piston. There is on the opposite side of the central turning frame, the other side from the borehole, a counterweight of one to two tons of concrete slabs.

The pump is operated with a 12mm up to 20mm steel wire cable. The cable is hooked over double pulleys and goes up and down the borehole. The animal lifts the counterweight on the downstroke and lifts the piston on the upstroke assisted by the counterweight. The animals (such as oxen) can work for about 5 hours a day.

The current design is able to achieve a maintenance interval of 10 to 15 years.

With some 30 litres per stroke and 2 strokes a minute, very large amounts of water can be pumped in a 5 hour shift. The operating cost is nearly zero.

New Dawn Engineering designed a large diameter (350mm) low lift (5 metres max) pump for installation in northeastern KwaZulu-Natal but the work was never commissioned. It would have lifted more than a barrel per minute to the garden.
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