GAUFF Stiftung

Securing the water supply in Rwenzori, Uganda

In some parts of Africa, supplying rural regions with water often is a problem because the water is not available where it is needed and pumps require enormous amounts of energy, which is not available either. However, there is a solution that does not involve electricity: in 1797, a patent for a water-driven pump, also known as a "hydraulic ram" ,was granted in France.

A hydraulic ram uses dynamic pressure to pump part of the water that powers it. This technology was long forgotten, since electric water pumps became the norm from the mid 1900s on. Nevertheless, hydraulic rams are still being used in agriculture or in remote mountain cabins without electricity - and they have been working without interruption for more than 100 years. One of the most invaluable advantages of the hydraulic ram is that it can work reliably for decades and barely needs any maintenance.

Together with its cooperation partner Rwenzori e.V., the GAUFF foundation implements several projects in Western Uganda to develop the region and help with capacity building. For this purpose, we are helping the association plan a pilot project to install and operate two hydraulic rams in Rwenzori. If this pilot project is successful, more hydraulic rams will follow in the mid-term to sustainably improve the water supply for the people in the region. Modern rams can convey up to 15,000 litres of water per day over a distance of several hundred kilometres.

The GAUFF foundation supports this project with a donation of € 10,000.-- for the purchase, transportation and installation of two hydraulic rams. This way, not only is this old but reliable and nearly indestructible technology saved from oblivion, but the water supply to the people living in Rwenzori is also improved on the long term.