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Rope pump knots
Knots for the Rope Pump
The 'washers' on the Rope pump need to be made from a material that is cheap and easily available. They also need to be easily repairable or replaceable. This is necessary when washers crack off or wear over time. Another priority is to have the 'washers' made from a material and in such a way that their construction and repair can and will be done by women. This is because it is usually the women's task to collect water, and so the water pumps will be mainly used by women. The design of the 'washer' should therefore be a design that is 'appropriate for women'. The 'washer' should fit into the pump pipe loosely, it needs to be securely attached to the pump rope and it needs to have a system of construction that is simple and easy to explain and learn.
To make rope elements, one to two meters long and ending in a knot that loosely fits the pipe is an alternative for rubber or plastic washers slid over the pump rope or knots made at intervals in the pump rope . It would be women's work to make such rope elements in a handicraft way like Macramé. When hauling water, women can keep track of the wear of such rope elements and replace one element when necessary. This replacement can be done in a few minutes, there is no need to take the pump out of service. The picture shows a complex piece of macrame work. In a similar way the rope element should be made: thin rope, woven into a sting, a loop at one end and a thick knot at the other end. Each loop can be attached to the knot of the next rope element by inserting it into an opening in the knot. There the loop can be fastened.