The History Of The Zimbabwe Bush Pump in Zimbabwe

The Bush Pump was described many times before as a remarkable handpump although it is almost unknown internationally.

Like no other handpump globally in use, the Bush Pump has a long history. It was originally designed by Tommy Murgatroyd in the year 1933, a Government Water Supply Officer in Matabeleland, the western part of Zimbabwe. Due to the fact that welding was not known at that time, the pump was made of standard pipes and plates, which were bolted together. According to, modern" handpump designs, the Murgatroyd pump was well overdesigned in respect of material strength. 
The History Of The Zimbabwe Bush Pump in Zimbabwe
The History Of The Zimbabwe Bush Pump in Zimbabwe
That is the reason why it seems to be a clumsy pump when one sees it for the first time. This clumsiness is a major factor why quite a number of early models of these handpumps have survived until today. 

The initial models remained almost unchanged for about 40 years. 

Cecil Andersen, an Engineer of the Ministry of Water, made the first major changes in the mid-60s. He replaced some of the bolted parts with components that were welded together. The remarkable idea to bolt the pump head directly to the borehole casing dates back to that time. The improved pump was given the name Bush Pump, it became the National Standard and was spread all over the country.

After its Independence in 1980, the government of Zimbabwe insisted on retaining its own national handpump, but many variations of the pump were built by NGOs and also some government departments. These were used alongside the standard Anderson model.

As a result, the government of Zimbabwe decided to modernise and standardise a new National Standard Handpump, the B-Type Bush Pump, which was designed by their staff and retained the most successful features of earlier models.

The B-Type pump head went through two years of heavy-duty endurance testing before it was accepted as a new national standard pump.

Since then the number of B-Type Bush Pumps installed in Zimbabwe has increased remarkably!

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