The ‘ROVAI’ pump (Cam­bo­dian Rope Pump)

Cambodian Rope PumpIdeas at Work, in con­junc­tion with project part­ner Resource Devel­op­ment Inter­na­tional (RDI), have devel­oped the Cam­bo­dian ver­sion of the pop­u­lar rope pump. Our first model taken in pro­duc­tion in 2006, the stan­dard ‘RP6’ is sim­ple to install, oper­ate and main­tain and has been designed to fit on hand dug wells and bore holes (or drilled wells) – one design fits both. Flow rates are typ­i­cally around 40ltr at 5m deep (with 28mm pistons).

ROVAI is Khmer for “turn­ing some­thing by hand”. The pump is made from stock steel which is pro­tected with a 3-​part paint sys­tem, and is also fit­ted with stain­less steel nuts and bolts which makes the ROVAI a very durable low-​cost pump around US$75130.

Over the years and with design improve­ments the RP8 model a gal­va­nized and comes now with 8 meter of pip­ing and a cement cover. This makes it ideal for improv­ing and pro­tect­ing open hand dug wells and will last for over 10 years. All pumps come with an oper­a­tion and main­te­nance man­ual (Khmer lan­guage) which con­tains numer­ous step by step line draw­ings mak­ing it easy to fol­low. This and other man­u­als in both Khmer and Eng­lish can be down­loaded from the links at this page.

All mate­ri­als used for the Rovai pumps can be found in Cam­bo­dian mar­kets so this makes spare parts prob­lems a thing of the past. Flow rates are typ­i­cally around 40ltr at 5m deep (with 28mm pistons).

Over 6500 Rovai instal­la­tions all over Cam­bo­dia are ben­e­fit­ing over 250,000 peo­ple daily with eas­ier and cleaner water. After 6 years all the sur­veyed pumps are still work­ing and the users keep report­ing their sat­is­fac­tion. Read more in the Client sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys on this page.

Other rope pumps mod­els include the ‘Pond pump’ which improves access to water at ponds, lakes and slow mov­ing rivers. Dou­ble han­dle pump for schools and a cheaper fam­ily pump. We have also devel­oped a ‘Pedal pump’ which is advan­ta­geous on deeper wells or where larger quan­ti­ties of water are needed e.g. irri­gat­ing small gar­dens. And we are cur­rently explor­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties for a solar rope pump.

For more details on design fea­tures and pro­duc­tion please click here.


More info: info@​ideas-​at-​work.​org

Riser pipe sizes for vary­ing depths are shown below:

Lift height Pis­ton or riser pipe size
0-​5m 42mm or 28mm (depend­ing on flow rate required)
5m-​10m 28mm
10-​18m 23mm
18-​30m 18mm
30-​40m 16mm

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Ideas at Work

A Cam­bo­dian social enter­prise that:

  • Brings water and san­i­ta­tion prod­ucts to the Cam­bo­dian rural market;
  • Through an inno­v­a­tive dis­tri­b­u­tion channel;
  • With pro­mo­tion of financ­ing through micro loans;
  • IaW uses a busi­ness approach to full­fill its social goals.

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