Most people can probably think of wells in their area that were built, worked well for several years and then were no longer used when the pump broke. Often, wells and water pumps are provided by outside agencies. There may be ceremonies to celebrate their arrival, but often no-one in the community takes responsibility for maintaining them. The pumps are well used until they develop problems. Eventually, they break and remain broken because no-one knows how to mend them.
Training people with the skills to maintain and repair water pumps is almost as important as installing them. Without these skills the work and investment will be wasted. Water committees should appoint and obtain training for people to maintain the water pumps. Unlike men who may travel and work elsewhere, women are more likely to remain in the community. They have a personal interest in maintaining water supplies so may be good people to train. Water committees may agree to charge users a small fee for regular supplies of water. This fund would provide money for regular maintenance, spare parts and eventually to replace the pump.