A man using a wheelchair is handling a handpump placed at 90 degrees to the height of the wheelchair
@ Hazel Jones and Bob Reed. 2005

At the water point, any user should be able to operate the water drawing mechanism and to collect water. A handpump can easily be made accessible through some adaptations:

  • The handpump should be sited close to the edge of apron, in order to be reachable from outside apron;
  • Minimise difference in apron height to enable wheelchairs to wheel into the apron if necessary;
  • If the apron is built in concrete, it should be roughened to avoid being slippery when wet (slippery floor can be prevented via a good drainage slope).

Concerning the water point location, keep in mind to plan for a suitable safe accessible location for the pump, either for women and men with or without disabilities.

A water point with taps and an apron in front which is wide and low in height
© Hazel Jones and Bob Reed. 2005

Then, several handmade equipment for a handpump would facilitate its use.

Lengthening the pump handle up to 105 cm will provide more leverage and make the use easier (see different examples below).

A woman using a tricycle operates a lengthened pump handle
© WaterAid

Install the pump at a height from which the handle can be reached from a wheelchair, or nearer the ground level, as shown in the picture below.

A woman using a wheelchair is operating a handpump from a concrete apron
© WaterAid

Install the spout and pump handle at 90 degrees to each other. This allows the user to pump water and hold the container at the same time.