In January 2015, the Salvation Army Corps in Liestal (Switzerland) started a new project, called the P.E.CH Pump Project, for the residents of its hostel "die Brücke” (the Bridge). P.E.CH stands for Pump Experts CH (Switzerland). The aim of the project is for the residents to produce 40 pedal pumps in 18 months under the guidance of supervisors. These will be shipped to Djibouti (East Africa) where they will be used by the rural population for irrigating their ’gardens’. In other words, the objective is to kill two birds with one stone.
Work is important for people – not only for their survival. Work also means dignity and being respected by other people. It gives purpose and perspective to life. Many who come to our Salvation Army hostel are people without work. We try to find them work, but this does not always materialise. Therefore, we are running a serviette printing project. But not all the residents can be occupied in this project. We had to look for other possibilities – and the result is the P.E.CH pump project. It enables us to offer 3 or 4 men a meaningful occupation for 18 months.
The international non-profit organisation "ReachAcross" has for many years operated a pedal pump project in Djibouti at the Horn of Africa in order to support people living out in the country in their struggle to survive and, if possible, make a living there. Irrigation by means of simple pedal pumps has proved to be the answer to their need. So far, pumps made of metal have been used. However, the difficult climatic conditions (salty water, sand and intensive sunshine) have led to excessive wear on the pumps. Meanwhile the Swiss Club SE3WE (Seniors for the third World) has developed a new pedal pump, called “Basilea” whose special feature is that the parts which come in contact with water are made of out of synthetic material. A prototype of this pump has been in use in Djibouti for some time and has proved successful.
The pedal pump called “Basilea”, which we produce, has been designed by the engineers of SE3WE. It is made of plastic parts supported by a metal frame. The plastic parts are readily available on the market since they are used for plumbing; they are easily fitted together and guarantee freedom from corrosion. The design is well thought through so that the replacement of damaged or worn parts is no problem. The production of the pumps can conveniently be divided into stages, carried out by our residents. We have decided to produce the pumps in a series of 5 pieces at a time so that the workers can see the progress they are making.
For further information about the P.E.CH Project please contact:
Salvation Army Liestal
Oristalstrasse 9, CH - 4410 Liestal, Switzerland
Phone: 0041 61 921 21 82