Farmers pump water free with bicycle

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Farmer cycling a bicycle to shell maize. Photo courtesy. Another innovator has come up with a bicycle to pump water within farms.

Small-scale farmers may no longer incur water pumping costs with the modification of a bicycle to push water from one point to the other without electricity or fuel.

Cycling at between 50 and 70 cascades per minute pushes 20litres to 30 litres from a well, depending on the depth.

The only requirement for the machine, which has been innovated by Anthony Kibui, is one to be physically fit to cascade the pedals to power the motorised pump to puch water.

Water from wells, tanks and other reservours required expesnive labour to move it to the farm for irrigation. As farmers strive to bring don the costs of production to maximise ptofits, the innovator said alternative sourcs of energy are required.

Instead of spending money in purchasing fuel to power a pump or paying electricity bills, cycling delivers the water tot h required points for use at no costs.

“Pumps are extensive to maintain. Making profits starts with minimising production costs. That is why I thought of coming up with a one-time cost device that eliminates the unnecessary bills after the initial purchase,” Kabui said.

Kabui uses a centrifugal water pump, which is run by rotating the pedal of a bicycle. The power generated through the pedaling is used to lift the water and push it through a pipe to where it is needed.

The pump's shaft is connected to the auxiliary rim of the back wheel, which has a V-shaped belt. During cycling, power is transmitted between the front gear wheel and the back sprocket. The power generated is also exchanged through the bicycle chain, the auxiliary rim and the pump shaft with the V-belt.

 “The rate of lifting depends on the gradient from the source of water. drawing water from a well, or reservoir will not be the same as doing it from a river or pond. Similarly, the diameter and length size of the connecting pipe influences the speed of getting the water from one point to the other,” he said.

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Pipes with smaller diameters would allow for more water to pass per minute.

Apart from the technical knowledge required in fixing the belts and pulleys, the Biomedical and Processing Engineering graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology says, the equipment needs no expertise.

Having tested, identified and corrected most of the shortcomings, the Kiambu County's Kahawa-sukari-based innovator looks forward to commercialising the equipment, which he will be making upon order from any client.

Kibui can be reached on +254700325000