Communication, Drinking water, Events, Gestion, hand and foot pumps, hydro pump, Management, Pompes à motricité humaine, Quality, Services de l’eau
MPV100 : Innovation from VERGNET HYDRO with an ‘extra-deep’ hand-operated pump (up to 100 metres) for rural Africa
The manual pump market remains dynamic
Drawing on the hydraulic drive system invented by the founder of VERGNET HYDRO in 1975, now used daily at over 110,000 water distribution points in sub-Saharan Africa, our latest innovation is the addition of an ‘extra-deep’ hand-operated pump (up to 100 metres) to our manual pump range: the MPV100. “The manual pump market remains dynamic as new requirements are expressed. We identified this niche and our design department saw the project through successfully,” Thierry BARBOTTE, Managing Director of VERGNET HYDRO, is keen to tell us.
The MPV100 pump is ergonomically designed for use by two operators, allowing comfortable movement and postures. The VERGNET HYDRO design department drew the first model in 2016, ran trials on prototypes in 2017 and rolled out the MPV100 in the field, in standard community operating conditions, with five demonstrators in Côte d’Ivoire between 2018 and 2020. “This new product offers extraordinary performance. We thus took the time to really put it to the test. We are now able to bring an extremely robust product to market,” explains Stéphane DELAMARE, Chief Technical Officer of VERGNET HYDRO.
The MPV100 meets the criteria for Village Level Operation and Maintenance
The MPV100 comes with guaranteed after-sales service and is easy to install and maintain. This new product meets the criteria for Village Level Operation and Maintenance (VLOM) classification, which means its routine maintenance is simple enough to be done by non-specialists. “All the MPV100 wear-and-tear parts are fitted at ground level so they are easily accessible,” says Sébastien MARC, R&D Manager at VERGNET HYDRO.
To meet the requirements of drinking water service operators, the MPV100 can also come with an optional direct-read meter. Service operators are a key target for VERGNET HYDRO manual pumps, primarily because their maintenance costs are acknowledged as the lowest on the market (What’s Up In Wash, UNICEF, 10 January 2017).
To know more :
MPV100’s technical sheet
“I sent an application on spec because I heard that VERGNET Group was hiring people to erect wind turbines in Canada. “The next day they called me in for an interview to install water pumps in Africa,” recalls Etienne DECHERF, Chief Sales and Operations Officer at VERGNET HYDRO. That was in November 2000, 20 years ago. And Etienne certainly doesn’t regret accepting an offer that opened the way to a stimulating and evolving career. A career during which he has witnessed a small team transform into a dynamic SMB with major growth on the horizon.
Etienne is a hydro-engineer (Grenoble INP – ENSHMG, now ENSE3). In 2000 he had just returned from a two-and-a-half-year stint with SAUR INTERNATIONAL in Mali as part of an overseas national service cooperation programme (CSNE). So his profile was exactly what VERGNET’s department dealing with water supplies in Africa was looking for. Etienne began as an Area Sales Manager in Togo, Ghana, Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. “That list of countries would grow over time, but, for 15 years, a metronome set the pace for my life: each month I would spend at least a week in Africa.”
“I have ideas and aspirations. I find people willing to listen to me.”
At the time, a VERGNET Group Area Sales Manager ran hydraulics projects from canvassing clients to installing equipment, as well as submitting bids for international tenders. “Coming to this as an engineer, I was very curious to discover the sales aspect of my job and my interest in this has grown. The company was extremely busy from 2000-2010, diversifying into drinking water conveyancing.” In 2009, Etienne was appointed to the post of Deputy Sales Director at VERGNET HYDRO, a subsidiary of VERGNET Group since 2004.
“The company allowed me to grow. I have ideas and aspirations. I find people willing to listen to me. I was given the opportunity to develop my ideas and grow within the company.” In 2011, Etienne became Sales Director of the firm. In 2014 he was involved when VERGNET HYDRO left VERGNET Group to become part of the newly-created ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group. In particular, he orchestrated a major expansion of his department which almost doubled from a staff of eight in 2011 to 15 in 2020, through more industrial structuring.
“My interest is constantly stimulated by the company’s strong growth […]”
“The most exciting challenge is that of bringing about change in the traditional role of Area Sales Manager.” VERGNET HYDRO’s Area Sales Managers had always combined sales and technical skills to be able to run projects from start to finish. The more specialised “new generation” Area Sales Managers concentrate on the sales side to ensure they are really in tune with clients and the market. Once a deal is made, they then pass the project over to a Bids and Projects Officer. The Chief Sales and Operations Office (CSO) now oversees four Area Sales Managers and five Bids and Projects Officers.
In 20 years, Etienne hasn’t had time to get bored at VERGNET HYDRO. “My interest is constantly stimulated by the company’s strong growth – the workforce has tripled in 20 years. I am just as keen to support its development and structure as ever. Our African partners are also growing rapidly. We are positioning ourselves in new markets (energy, solar power and private contracts etc.) 2020 is a year in which our growth has speeded up. I am more motivated by our project than ever!”
ODIAL SOLUTIONS: the Group’s staff and 21 partners (14 nationalities) meet in Yamoussoukro to anticipate together evolutions in the water sector
The ODIAL SOLUTIONS group and its subsidiaries VERGNET HYDRO and UDUMA are bringing together their teams and 21 representatives of partner companies from 14 Sub-Saharan African countries in Yamoussoukro (Ivory Coast), from 20 to 23 November 2019. “This seminar, full of brainstorming sessions, information sessions and cultural outings, strengthens our powerful and dynamic network of local partners. It is an opportunity to present to them the group’s vision, the evolutions of our product and service ranges, good after-sales service practices… but also to anticipate together the evolutions of the sector”, explains Thierry BARBOTTE, Chairman of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS group.
Imagining new models to finance the historical market and… entering new markets
The equation is as follows: sub-Saharan Africa (1) remains the region in the world with the lowest drinking water access rates, 2) it will have large rural populations for decades to come, 3) is not expected to suffer from overall groundwater shortages by 2040, but… (4) can no longer rely on the historical support of Official Development Assistance, which has drastically reduced its funding for rural sub-Saharan water over the years. “The demand for safe drinking water exists. ODIAL SOLUTIONS and its partners have the technical expertise to meet these demands. We are therefore collectively imagining new models to finance such projects: the UDUMA service, export credits, collaboration with impact investors, etc.”
This event is also an opportunity to jointly consider new markets. “We accumulate experience beyond village hydraulics. So do our partners. By identifying these experiences, we strive at combining our respective assets to multiply, hand in hand, our business opportunities.”
Ivory Coast: historical country and country of the future for ODIAL SOLUTIONS
For more than 40 years, Ivory Coast has been one of the major customers of the solutions developed by ODIAL SOLUTIONS. Today, nearly one in four Ivorians (6.2 million Ivorians) have access to drinking water via solutions proposed by the Group. “The Group’s local subsidiary, SAHER (5 employees), is also experiencing strong growth in its activities and is actively involved in the group’s R&D. All these arguments motivated the organization of this seminar in Yamoussoukro.”
Drinking water, environnement, Events, Gestion, Pompes à motricité humaine, Services de l’eau, Uncategorized, Water supply systems
ODIAL SOLUTIONS reveals its strategy and strengthens its African partners network
Picture caption: photograph of the participants in the PARTNERSHIP DAYS 2017.
The ODIAL SOLUTIONS group receives 10 heads of partner companies from 10 subsaharian countries, from the 28th to the 30th of September in its headquarters (Ingré, France). “Although 17 of our African partners have not been able to join us because they did not receive their visas, for incomprehensible reasons, this event, full of brainstorming sessions, information sessions and cultural trips, is the opportunity to strengthen our powerful and active network and to introduce to our partners the strategy of the group, the activities of our new subsidiary UDUMA and our commitment to the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles of the UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL COMPACT”, specifies Thierry BARBOTTE, ODIAL SOLUTIONS CEO.
Today, the majority of the countries facing a low rate of access to drinking water are in Sub-Sahara Africa. To be precise, 400 million of rural people do not have any access to safe water in this region. However, the share of the overseas development assistance dedicated to water and sanitation in Africa is decreasing ever since 2013. It was even reduced by half between 2013 and 2015. “It is now 10 times lower than the necessary amount for achieving the Goal 6 (“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UNITED NATIONS, adopted by the world leaders in September 2015.”
A new funding model to ensure access to drinking water in Sub-Sahara Africa
“We are therefore obliged to invent a new funding model to ensure access to drinking water in Sub-Sahara Africa. Our new subsidiary UDUMA explores a revolutionary model”. On behalf of the local authorities and communities, UDUMA rehabilitates, operates and manages public manual pumps, which are often the only source of clean drinking water. UDUMA equips the pumps with water meters and data loggers. UDUMA guarantees a continuous water service with a 72-hour max downtime, at an affordable tariff.
“In practice, in a village which choses to delegate its drinking water supply service to UDUMA, each inhabitant has an e-card which enables them to buy, from certified pump operators, quantities of water they need. These cards are credited in dedicated kiosks or online.” An original model which is taking shape. Indeed, the young company UDUMA has launched its first Public Private Partnership, Wednesday the 20th of September 2017 in Bamako. UDUMA vies to provide 560.000 people in rural Mali (1,400 manual pumps, SIKASSO Region) with drinking water for the next 15 years.
Its will to extend its CSR policy
Yet it must be noted that this event is the opportunity for the ODIAL SOLUTIONS group to officially announce its will to extend its CSR policy and to involve all its subsidiaries in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). “VERGNET HYDRO has been a member of the UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL COMPACT for 7 years now. From now on, the ODIAL SOLUTIONS group and all its subsidiaries vie to respect the GLOBAL COMPACT’s 10 principles linked to the respect of human rights, international labor rights, environmental rights and anti-corruption.”
To know more:
The event in pictures
Drinking water, Events, International, Pompes à motricité humaine, Services de l’eau, Uncategorized, Water supply systems
ODIAL SOLUTIONS and VEOLIA launch a comprehensive drinking water and electricity supply offer for people in urban and rural Africa
Picture caption: Thierry BARBOTTE, CEO of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group, and Martine VULLIERME, VEOLIA Senior Vice President Africa/Middle East, interviewed at the SIWI SOFA « Supplying urban/rural areas with water and electricity simultaneously » (WORLD WATER WEEK 2017, Stockholm).
« Today, we are launching a comprehensive VEOLIA / ODIAL SOLUTIONS drinking water and electricity offer for urban and rural African populations » announced Thierry BARBOTTE, CEO of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group (holding of the companies VERGNET HYDRO and UDUMA), at WORLD WATER WEEK 2017 (27 August to 1 September in Stockholm). « Our joint participation in this event is a very clear call to the major international donors [the World Bank, the African Development Bank, etc.] and the water and energy policy makers to support this novel approach » continued Martine VULLIERME, VEOLIA Senior Vice President Africa / Middle East.
As things stand 60 million people in urban areas and 400 million in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to safe drinking water. And although one person in three in cities has electricity, only one person in six in rural areas does. This imbalance between urban and rural areas in particular results in an unchecked rural exodus, which causes economic, social and health problems. « We want to make donors and governments aware of the principle of equal access to essential services for everyone », said Martine VULLIERME.
To compensate for the urban/rural territorial divide
Prices per litre of water and per kilowatt-hour are naturally higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Unlike an urban project concentrated on one site, a water or electricity supply project covering a rural area is a combination of a number of individual small-scale projects located at a distance from each other. The isolation of rural water and electricity points also makes management and maintenance more costly. They therefore tend to deteriorate more rapidly.
« The new comprehensive VEOLIA / ODIAL SOLUTIONS project is designed to compensate for this territorial divide by promoting water and electricity projects covering both urban and rural areas », explained Thierry BARBOTTE enthusiastically. The combination makes it possible to equalize prices between areas. Although the model requires a small financial effort to be made by the urban areas, it makes the cost of a litre of water and a kilowatt-hour far more accessible for people in rural areas.
VEOLIA and ODIAL SOLUTIONS’ joint program marks the total commitment of the two groups to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the leaders of all the United Nations member states in September 2015. More specifically, it meets the clean water and sanitation goal (SDG 6), the affordable and clean energy goal (SDG 7) and the partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).
In 2016 VEOLIA and ODIAL SOLUTIONS completed a joint project in Niger for 128 small-scale drinking water networks equipped with solar pumps.
Vergnet Burkina was present at the la Fabrique-BF.com’ thematic day event
La Fabrique is the first business incubator in Burkina Faso to help young, innovative, social and responsible companies.
Vergnet Burkina whose activity has a strong social effect (water supply in rural areas, drinking water supply network building and human-operated pumps manufacturing) has been invited on 16th Feb. 2017 to the day: “let’s innovate to give access to water in Burkina Faso“.
This event, co-organized by La Fabrique, the foundation 2iE, the Foundation Antenna and the International Organization of La Francophonie gave the opportunity to show it is possible to propose major innovations for the good governance of water and for the sustainable supply of drinking water to the people living in cities as well as for those living in villages.
During this event, Vergnet Burkina introduced its E-Pump, a pump equipped with a meter and a data logger as well as new monitoring tools based on fintechs and communications tools.
These innovations aim at meeting the target 6.1 of ODD: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
Vergnet Hydro attended BPI’s Breakfast Event “La Courte Echelle: Keys to international success”
On February 9th, Vergnet Hydro was invited to share its international experiences during a Breakfast Event organized by BPI France near Orléans.
The idea was to spotlight businessmen on their way to conquer the world and to exchange with local companies on traps to avoid or best practices leading to these success stories.
Vergnet Hydro joins the scientific committee of Solidarité Eau programme
Recognized for its skills and its experience, Vergnet Hydro joins the scientific committee of Solidarité Eau programme. The main objective of the programme, known as pS-Eau, is to increase and improve actions in favor of access to drinking water and sanitation in developing countries.
To meet this challenge, pS-Eau is organized in three main areas:
- Innovation: ensuring scientific watch and improving understanding of water and sanitation sector issues
- Support: supporting French actors in decentralized and non-governmental cooperation (local authorities, non-profit organizations, etc.) in the design of projects regarding access to drinking water and sanitation and improving the coherence of implemented actions
- Mobilization: informing, exchanging and mobilizing around the cause of access to water and sanitation for all, increasing the commitment and funding allocated to this sector and leading debates on the problems linked with it.
Within the framework of its “innovation” activities, pS-Eau relies on a scientific committee, which is a place for debates and exchanges between experts in the sector and also an advice on the thematic orientations of pS-Eau, particularly in relation to themes of high stakes: climate change, energy costs control for small-scale drinking water networks in rural areas, innovative financing in the field of sanitation and maintenance of hydraulic structures of which hand and foot pumps are part.
Vergnet Hydro is very pleased to take part in the discussions of the pS-Eau Scientific Committee and to support pS-Eau in its monitoring and R&D activities.
Vergnet Hydro at Solidarités International’s gala evening
Vergnet Hydro had the honor of being invited to the annual Gala on Monday 28th November 2016 in Paris.
For over 35 years, the humanitarian aid organisation Solidarités International has been committed to providing aid in the event of conflict and natural disasters.
Its mission is to provide the fastest and most effective assistance to people whose lives are threatened by covering their vital needs: drinking, eating and sheltering.
Particularly committed to fighting diseases caused by unsafe water, the primary cause of mortality in the world, the organisation intervenes by developing its expertise in the field of access to drinking water and sanitation, but also in those, essential as well, of food security and reconstruction.
As a result of a long collaboration that began many years ago, Vergnet Hydro supports Solidarités International in the field of drinking water supply.
All the profits made upon the event will be dedicated to children’s drinking water programs in the Satkhira district of Bengladesh, where 70 % of the population does not have access to drinking water at present.
More information on this event: