The main innovation within the WASH programme was the introduction and use of solar electric water pumping. This was done in Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Mali, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. During the past few years, there has been a global reduction of prices for solar electrical equipment for water pumping. This has made it possible for solar electrical equipment to become a technological alternative to other small and large-scale water pumping options like diesel driven generator sets or hand pumps. The capital investment of a ‘‘solar pump’’ is higher than the alternatives, but operational and maintenance costs are lower. After about 3 years of use, the solar system ‘‘breaks even’’ with diesel driven alternatives and is thereafter cheaper in view of live-cycle costing.
During the 2016-18 reporting period NCA and its partners constructed 156 solarized water pumping stations. The countries with the most solar pumps were Afghanistan (52), Sudan (41), Somalia (22) and Mali (21). NCA had begun constructed solar pumping stations before the reporting period started in Sudan. In the period 2006-2015, NCA constructed 70 solar pumping stations. In 2019, NCA implemented or will construct 93 solar pumping stations. This means that NCA constructed at least 319 solar powered pumping stations in the period 2006-2019. Assuming that each solar pumping station provides water to 2,000 people, then NCA would have reached about 638,000 people.