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Access to clean and safe drinking water is a major issue facing both developed and
developing nations across the world. The island of Sri Lanka is not an exception to this
problem, and it is more acute in the war torn areas of Northern and Eastern provinces.
The Internally Displaced Communities (IDC) and original rural communities are
deprived of the basic right to safe drinking water. They are not only experiencing a
serious water shortage, but also facing contamination of groundwater resources resulting
from cesspits, septic tanks, and lack of sewerage facilities. Salinity intrusions of shallow
wells in the northern provinces are severe. With these communities facing population
growth and living in congestion, the potential for water-related epidemics is particularly
very high. While expectant mothers face difficulty in child rearing, the rate of infant
mortality is increasing. Unclean drinking water contributes significantly to such harsh

Rural water supply projects, using alternate energy, are popular and are in operation in
more than one dozen countries around the world. These projects use solar power coupled
with pedal driven borehole technology.

Advantages of solar pedal driven bore hole water supply system

The Solar pedal driven borehole water supply system has a number of advantages over a
conventional pumping system, including greater reductions in water related diseases,
significantly less time spent on water fetching, and greater economic benefits.

The advantages of solar pedal driven bore hole water supply systems are:

Renewable Energy Source: The solar pedal driven borehole water supply system relies on
solar or human power for water pumping. Utilizing a safe, non-polluting, renewable
energy source eliminates reliance on diesel or electric power, reducing operating costs,
and ensuring continuous operation.

Pressurized Water: Water is delivered at pressures up to 65 PSI under field conditions,
which enables storage in an overhead tank and distribution through pipelines, making it a
complete reticulation system. This feature allows for multiple distribution points for more
convenient water collection. Water provided closer to the users, reduces the time spent
collecting water. This has the greatest impact on women and children who are typically
the water drawers.

High Volume Discharge: The Solar pedal driven borehole water supply system delivers
water at flow rates of up to 20 litres/minute. This provides an adequate supply of water
for up to 500 people per day, based on using solar energy from sun alone. If the people
could be encouraged to pedal for an additional four hours per day, a total of 14,400 litres
of water could be stored each day, thereby serving over 740 people per day, based on the
World Health Organization’s recommendation of 20 litres per person per day. This
discharge rate is more than four times the discharge of ordinary hand pumps. An increase
in the availability of adequate water to individuals is the single most important
contributor to improving health status of people.

Water Quality: The quality of water from a solar pedal driven bore hole water supply
system is clean and of excellent quality as water is filtered, chlorinated, and stored in a
closed system to prevent contamination.

Short Installation Period: Installation of a well co-ordinated solar pedal driven borehole
water supply system could be completed within 10 to 20 days. Also, a pedal driven
system is easy to operate in the absence of solar energy on gloomy days.

Economic Return on Investment: The solar pedal driven borehole water supply system
can provide a great return on investment for its users. The capital investment on a solar
pedal driven borehole water supply system appears very high but a cost benefit analysis
will show that it costs only US$4.79 (US) per person per year or US$0.16 per person per
day. The results arrived at from the installation of 20 units with life expectancy of 15
years in Uganda. This cost was 72% less than the cost of one 20 litres container of water
in Uganda, at current cost of almost 50 Ugandan Shillings or about US$0.028.

Transnational & Diaspora Network for Development-Canada (TDND)

Diasporas living in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and other parts of Ontario have
established an organization, called “Transnational & Diaspora Network for Development-
Canada” (TDND). The TDND is registered, as a charitable organization, with the
Province of Ontario. It represents organizations and individuals, currently helping
respective past schools and localized communities, located in Northern and Eastern
provinces of Sri Lanka. One of the objectives of the TDND is to improve the quality of
drinking water in developing nations by constructing wells and water treatment facilities.
The executive committee of TDND is represented by the professionals and community
leaders from the Diaspora community in GTA, who have deep knowledge and extensive
experience both in Sri Lanka and outside in their chosen field. The TDND is looking into
possibilities of implementing solar power water supply facilities for the benefit internally
displaced communities in Sri Lanka.

For further information, please contact one of the following members.

Ranee Mahalingam M.Eng., P.Eng.                      Janaki Balakrishnan M.A.Sc., P.Eng
    President, TDND                                      Secretary, TDND

Phone: 416-                                          Phone: 416-
e-mail:                                              e-mail:

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