Effectiveness, Safety, and Sustainability of a Hand Water Pump Among Women Vegetable Farmers in the Gambia

Londa Vanderwa, Risto Rautiainen, Rex Kuye, Corinne Peek-Asa, Thomas Cook, Marizen Ramirez, Kennith Culp, Kelley Donham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women vegetable farmers (n = 48) in West Africa engaged in timed trials with a hand water pump and traditional water lifting methods. Use of the water pump increased the mean time required to lift water by 14% (p < 0.01), compared to traditional lifting. Average and maximum heart rates increased by 7% and 6%, respectively (each p < 0.01), compared to traditional water lifting. Discomfort and injury indicators were consistently better for the pump. Two months later, most subjects reported that the water pump was safer (65%), faster (77%), and was preferred (77%). Manual water pumps should be comprehensively evaluated for efficiency and long-term sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-407
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sustainable Agriculture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the University of Iowa Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety (Grant number: T42OH008491-04) pilot grant and traineeship programs, the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center (Grant number: 1R49CE001167-03)), a Sigma Delta Epsilon/ Graduate Women in Science fellowship, a University of Iowa T. Anne Cleary International Dissertation Research Fellowship and a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, and a University of Iowa Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students Research Grant. Dr. Rautiainen’s contribution was funded by the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (Grant number: 1U50OH009001-01) and his research career award (Grant number: 1KO1OH008300). We wish to express our sincere gratitude to all these organizations for their financial support. We would also like to sincerely thank the staff of the Gambia College, the Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD, local NGO supervising the garden where the research was conducted), and the student research assistants from the Gambia College for all their support and assistance in this study.


  • Africa
  • Hand water pump
  • Vegetable farming
  • Women
  • Worker health


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