A feasibility study on privatisation of the U.S.T hand pump

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The Department of Mechanical Engineering of the U.S.T started to manufacture the Hand pump in 1982. They have since distributed 101 pumps to various regions of the country. In this study, the feasibility of privatising the manufacture and distribution of the pump was studied. In many developing countries local and private manufacture of pumps is being carried out successfully. Ghana is yet to see an involvement of the private sector in the manufacture of hand pumps. The current low demand of 15 - 20 pumps per month is a major deterrent for private interest in the U.S.T hand pump. It is suggested that a profitable involvement of the private sector in the manufacture and supply of the U.S.T hand pump will require government support. This should be in the form of a firm commitment from the major hand pump purchasers, like the GWSC and NGOs, to include the pump in their list of recommended pumps. Official support is necessary because the study revealed that hand pump choice was predominantly determined by financiers of projects. These invariably were external sources which favoured pumps from their countries of origin. The GWSC indicated its willingness to patronise the U.S.T pump if some modifications are included in the design. Hand pump users were apprehensive about a possible increase’ in the price of the pump if a private interest is involved. However, it is felt that private involvement will increase demand when appropriate marketing strategies are implemented. The resultant increased sales should permit the price to be kept at a reasonable level. Water supply agencies covered in the study favoured privatisation of the pump. They believed it will improve the quality of the pump. The study showed that there is a high demand for hand pumps in the country but potential successful private involvement in the local manufacture and sale of the pump depends on many factors.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Management, 1996