Water Hand Pumps Project in Thar by Ek Plate Biryani

Life depends on water.
Just look around and observe the water we use every day without thinking: brushing, washing our face, taking a shower, drinking, cooking, laundry – the list is practically endless.
It always gives us chills to think that there are people for whom clean water is a luxury. How difficult would it be to wake up and have no water to splash on your face or drink…?
One such region is Thar in Pakistan.
When we decided to start the hand pumps project in 2020 in the desert of Thar, we started with the intention of helping as many Tharis as possible.
We also wanted to ensure that each hand pump has a long, solid, functional life.
Allah Ta’ala supported the journey, and thousands of supporters joined us from all across the world. At the time of writing this article,
in July 2023, we successfully completed the installation of 419 hand pumps in Thar.
And each of them is working. Alhamdulillah.

I am writing this to answer some great questions we get from people.

How Do Hand Pumps Work?

Hand pumps are traditional manual pumps that bring up water from the depths of the earth.
The many layers of the earth act as natural filters for the water. However, it does not negate the importance of installing an additional filter in the hand pump mechanism to enhance the filtration.
It is a cost-effective solution that works best in remote areas across South East Asia and Africa.

Water Well vs. Hand Pumps

If you compare them to a water well, hand pumps require less effort and can bring up water more quickly. Water wells can be so strenuous that, in some cases, people need the help of donkeys to bring up water.
Moreover, since water wells are open and do not have covers, pollution, animals, and other contaminants may affect the water.

Why Do They Need So Many Hand Pumps?

Thar is a desert with a population of 1.6 Million people living in more than 2,000 small villages.

Most of these villages are so remote you cannot find them on Google Maps.

Many charity organizations are installing hand pumps across the area, and we appreciate every effort.

The problem is that many of these hand pumps stop functioning after a while. Various factors that are causing Thar to be a massive graveyard of dysfunctional hand pumps:

  • Underground water levels are very low in Thar. Many organizations do not install deep-well hand pumps – most go down to 50 – 70 feet. Such pumps work for a while, but as the water level drops in the drier seasons, such a hand pump becomes useless.
  • Hand pumps require regular maintenance. If you leave it after installation, it can break down like absolutely any other machine left to fend for itself under rain and sun.
  • Other than maintenance, breakdowns happen — again, weather, usage, etc. — and the villagers often do not have the resources or the expertise to repair them. As a result, the hand pump is left as nothing more than a landmark.

So, a lot of hand pumps are installed. But most cannot keep up with the climate and conditions of Thar.

What’s needed, we realized, is the constant upkeep. 

Choosing Hand Pumps That Last Long:

There is no guarantee for anything. But we try our best to bring lasting clean water solutions to the people in Thar.

To address these concerns, we came up with the following solutions:

  • We install deep-well hand pumps, which means each hand pump has a depth of 110 to 150ft (two to three times the usual hand pumps). It increases the chances of a lasting clean water supply.
  • Our team takes care of the annual maintenance of the hand pump. It costs us about $39/hand pump every year.
  • The local villagers are provided with the team’s contact details. They can contact us in case of a breakdown.
  • A QA team from another city visits the hand pumps multiple times every year to ensure that the hand pumps are in working order.

Are Water Hand Pumps Expensive?

Water is life.

Every cell in your body needs it to survive.

And every aspect of your life needs it to live a humanistic life.

From washing the face and body to cleaning utensils, clothes, and houses – water is the reason we can live as humans should.

With young children and seniors, can you imagine a household that does not have enough water to give these vulnerable people the hygiene crucial to them?

These charity water hand pumps from you give them a chance at a better life.

As for the costs involved, here is a breakdown of the cost:



Water Charity in Islam

The above hadith tells us two things:

  1. Giving sadaqah on behalf of a late loved one is appreciated and the rewards will reach them inshaAllah.
  2. Water is the best form of charity.

These two points are great motivators. But, what motivates us the most is that it is a form of sadaqah jariyah (ongoing charity) which keeps adding rewards even after one’s death. InshaAllah. Alhamdulillah!


Regardless Of Our Religious Beliefs,

It is always beautiful and satisfying to lend a hand to someone. To save a life and change it for good. These little acts of kindness are what make this world a better place.

Stay kind.

Stay blessed.

Team Ek Plate Biryani



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