Aids Grannies Water Pumps

Aids Grannies Water Pumps

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Much of Malawi has been affected by HIV/AIDS. This has forced surviving grandmothers to return to farming to care for their families. The Full Belly Project has developed a water pump design that is less strenuous to use. Through our local partner we will manufacture the "Rocking Water Pump" for AIDS Grannie groups to grow dry season crops earning more money to support their families needs.

About You
The Full Belly Project
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



, NC

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


Organization Name

The Full Belly Project

Organization Phone


Organization Address

PO Box 7874

Organization Country

, NC

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Your idea
Country your work focuses on


What makes your idea unique?

The Rocking Water Pump has been designed with women in mind. Women can now simply shift their weight from side to side allowing them to pump 5 gallons of water per minute over 2 acres of land. They can draw from either a well up to 40 feet deep and push the water out 50 feet.

This non-strenuous rocking motion gives the Rocking Water Pump a cultural advantage as women do not have to readjust their skirts as they do with standard treadle-pumps.

One of the most innovative elements of the design is that it can be manufactured 100% locally. The Rocking Water Pump uses only locally available materials including cement, metal,and rubber. Spare parts, in case of any breakage or wear and tear over time, are therefore accessible. The pumps are sold for $60.00 each, creating a multiplier effect benefiting the economy by purchasing materials to build and sell them.

AIDS Grannies who use the Rocking Water Pump will be able to grow crops in the dry-season selling them for more than twice the value they are sold for in the rainy season. The income generated from this activity will go towards school fees, medicines, and other essentials for their families to help break the poverty cycle. The goal is to help them generate income to allow for food security and overall security for their families.

Do you have a patent for this idea?


Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

The Rocking Water Pump allows women to water their crops with dignity. The motion needed to power the Rocking Water Pump allows women to water crops without embarrassingly readjusting their skirts as is needed with other treadle pumps. Additionally the design is simple enough for children to operate. This is especially important as The Full Belly Project is targeting sales to AIDS Grannies who are taking care of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. Everyone has to do their part to for food security.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

The Rocking Water pump addresses extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, Food Security and income generation.

This simple device is being sold to Orphanages that are run by AIDS Grannies, women who survive their children and are left to care for their grandchildren. By providing this group with a tool that eases their ability to farm year-round, the locally manufactured Rocking Water Pump provides food security and economic possibility to these hard working women.

Now that they can water their crops year-round they have the ability to grow and sell "Off-Season" crops, crops that are typically only grown during the rainy season. By selling these sought after crops in the off-season, AIDS Grannies will be able to purchase foods, medicines and pay school fees for their families.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?

We are helping AIDS Grannies gain access to Rocking Water Pumps in the Lilongwe area. Each AIDS Granny receives a training on how maximize use of the pump to increase their income and create food security.

Lack of training and follow-up could potentially prevent this project from being successful. Linking Grannies to markets would certainly help make this project even more successful.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

We anticipate 300 families will double their annual incomes in the next 3 years by using the Rocking Water Pump. This will allow them to purchase food, medicines, clothing and other necessities. The Rocking water pump will help break the poverty cycle for these families.

In year one we anticipate 50 families will purchase the Rocking Water Pump and will receive training on how to best use it.
Year two, we would like to see 100 more AIDS Granny families with Rocking Water Pumps in the Lilongwe area.
By Year three it is expected that we will exceed 150 Rocking Water Pumps in sales specifically to AIDS Grannies.

We anticipate selling Rocking Water Pumps to more groups during this time.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?


If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

Approximately 150 words left (1200 characters).

What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your innovation

We could leverage partnerships with existing NGO's to help provide training's on how to maximize the use of the Rocking Water Pump. By combining the water pump with improved seed stock of "Dry-season" crops, users will have a higher success rate for selling quality crops.

Partnerships would also be beneficial to help link these crops to local, regional, national and international markets.

The Full Belly Project has formed a partnership with Total Land Care and Peace Corps Malawi to play this role for us with the Rocking Water Pump.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

The Rocking Water Pump was patented in order to sell the rights to a US based company to manufacture and sell a similar device. The Full Belly Project is currently approaching two different companies who are interested in this prospect. One, as an agricultural tool, another for a summer water toy.

The Full Belly Project would receive a percentage from the sale of these items and would re-invest those funds into outreach training's in Malawi.

The Full Belly Project is also in the process of expanding our membership as a revenue source, in addition to straight donations and grants.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

The Full Belly Project had seen women, children and even grown men struggle with standard treadle pump designs for years. We have always viewed them as strenuous devices to use. A large majority of them are manufactured in China or India and shipped to Africa, removing Africans ability to learn how to make their own.

With that in mind, The Full Belly Project went into designing the Rocking Water Pump with the goal of creating something that could be produced locally to meet a global need of food security. The defining moment was when we realized that this was absolutely possible by generating a device using a mold and locally available concrete, metal and rubber.

The real breakthrough came when we did field tests against the competition. We realized that high volume was not what farmers were looking for, as a high volume of water meant that they would have to dig irrigation ditches just to channel all the water to their fields.

So we designed a high pressure, low-volume, pump that also met the final request, "Make it easy to operate. This other one makes me too tired."

We feel have designed a better water-pump that will have a multiplier effect on all who use the Rocking Water Pump.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

Jock Brandis is primarily credited with the design of the Rocking Water Pump. Brandis is the Founder of The Full Belly Project. Formed in 2002 after Brandis developed the Universal Nut Sheller a device that unlocks the economic value of:Peanuts, Shea, Coffee, Neem and Jatropha by removing their shells. In doing so, farmers can sell their crops for a value added price. Coffee can be sold for up to 10 times more when it's hard shell is removed. This simple device is manufactured by local artisans in over 17 different countries.

Brandis has many accolades attributed to his design of a Universal Nut Sheller:
Albert Schweitzer Award
Purpose Prize

Brandis's drive is to always design simple devices that will ease the burdens of African women and Children. He believes that history has shown us that "You can't have prosperity without efficiency."

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Newsletter from Changemakers

If through another source, please provide the information
Does your project address any of the following barriers to women’s technology access and use?

Women’s time poverty, Social norms, Economic or institutional constraints, Women’s lack of involvement in the technology development process.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how.

First, we started by involving women in the design process by asking them what they liked and disliked about existing treadle pump technologies.

The input we received guided us in our design of a device that is: Less Strenuous to use, Doesn't require women to adjust their skirts, can be made inexpensively with local materials, and has spare parts available locally.

The design of the Rocking Water Pump meets these requests and thus opens up economic possibilities for women by allowing them to grow dry-season crops in the off-season. This boosts their income allowing them to reinvest in the family as needed.

Does your project involve women in one or more of the following stages of the technology lifecycle? Identification of the problem the technology will solve:

Technology design, Market research, Technology introduction, Technology training, Technology supply and distribution, Creation and maintenance of market linkages for women's economic outputs, Assessment and evaluation.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how you will ensure women’s involvement in each relevant phase of the technology lifecycle.

We are focusing the sale of the Rocking Water Pump to women's groups. The Full Belly Project will actively seek women's input on how we can improve upon the design field testing the designs with women as the testers.

When we introduce any technology we constantly seek to improve upon the design. Improved versions will include the input of women, at every step of the way.

If women are a focus of your project, how did this focus evolve?

The project focused on women from its conception..

Which type of women will your project reach directly?

Rural, Peri-urban, Low income.

In what ways does your project team/leadership involve women?

It is led by a woman/women..

Has your organization formed any new partnerships in response to this challenge? If so, with what type/s of organization/s?


Has your project leadership had prior experience with the following?

Working with women, Working with technologies, Working to increase women's economic empowerment through technology, Working on innovation.