Updated on October 27, 2023


Created on August 27, 2015

SHIPO Tube Well Drilling

Southern Highlands Participatory Organisation (SHIPO) Tube Well drilling is a manual drilling technique that combines percussion, sludging and jetting.

Tested By
  • Manufacturer/Designer
Content Partners
  1. Siemens | stiftung


Product Description

SHIPO Tube Well Drilling is a labor-intensive baptist drilling technique combining percussion, sludging and jetting techniques. It is supported and operated by a local Tanzanian NGO called Southern Highlands Participatory Organisation (SHIPO). To date, 300 wells up to the depth of 45 m have been dug by applying this method, which is further combined with locally produced rope pumps. SHIPO claims to be cheaper than traditional and machinery methods of borehole drilling because it can be operated by local people and the materials for the manual drilling and rope pumps can be acquired locally.

Target Countries

Angola, Burkina Faso, Congo (Brazzaville), Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

This product is being implemented by the Southern Highlands Participatory Organisation (SHIPO), a Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Njombe, Tanzania.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include The Village Drill.

Manufacturing/Building Method

This product is built on-site with locally sourced construction materials. The drills are assembled by SHIPO trained technicians. For building a pump or drilling a borehole, SHIPO employs coaches who are normally selected from the community.

Intellectural Property Type

Trade Secret

User Provision Model

Village communities and families can get SHIPO drill installed via trained and certified local SHIPO dealers.

Distributions to Date Status

As of 2020, 800 tube wells (depths 20-48 m) have been drilled in Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique.

Borehole size (cm)


Maximum well depth (m)


Drilling speed (m/day)


Materials included

Spade, hacksaw, wrenches, rope and pulley, plastic pipes, steel drill pipe, drill bits for different ground layers, reamer bits, fish tools, and a soil punch.

Expertise and additional materials required


Project time (hrs)


Design Specifications

The SHIPO drill is based on the Baptist Drilling method developed by Terry Waller of Water for All in Bolivia in 1993. The drilling process is continuous and the drill bit is normally not removed from the borehole until it is finished. Any broken material is pumped to the surface in the drilling liquid (mud). The borehole diameter is kept as small as possible in order to remove a minimum of material. Percussion action is performed by lifting the drill stem with a rope over a pulley, attached to a simple derrick, made with whatever available that is usually either wood or bamboo poles. The main drill tool consists of a length of metal pipe with an open drill bit combined with sludging. Extensions are standard PVC potable water pipes. No temporary casing is used. Drilling speed is variable with different soil conditions and crews, but over 15 m per day have been obtained in favorable conditions. Specifications: Casing diameter range is 2 to 6 inches Equipment length: 3 m Estimated weight of Rota sludge: < 200 kg SHIPO method (Baptist drill) is estimated to have max weight: 100 kg

Product Schematics

Technical Support

SHIPO trained technicians provide support.

Replacement Components

Drill components are locally sourced and thereby readily available.



Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Manufacturers specify a maximum drill depth of 60 meters deep.

Vetted Performance Status



Some of the safety measures users must consider while using such hand drilling methods include: Roping off the job site to notify bystanders from wandering around the drilling site. Avoiding rusty pipes and drill bits that can cause infection to preexisting cuts. Replacing the thread protector caps before storing pipe in a trailer.

Complementary Technical Systems

Rope pumps for extracting water.

Academic Research and References

Henk Holtslag & Walter Mgina, 2014, ST 1.2.1 SHIPO DRILLING, Foundation Connect International

Holtslag, H.,2016,7th Rural Water Supply Network Forum,Cote d’Ivoire ,Water for Everyone, Six simplified ideas to reach SDG6 in Rural areas. <sup>Peer reviewed</sup>

Holtslag, H. and McGill, J., 2018. The SMART approach: a solution for the hard to reach?.

Danert, K.,2015, Manual Drilling Compendium, Rural Water Supply Network Publication, 2. <sup>not peer-reviewed</sup>

“Home Page,” SHIPO | Southern Highlands Participatory Organization, 11-Apr-2020. Available: https://shipo.or.tz/

“SHIPO Well Drilling,” empowering people. Network, 27-Jan-2021. Available: https://empowering-people-network.siemens-stiftung.org/solutions/shipo-well-drilling/

“Competitive landscape,” Made-in-China.com. Available: https://hengwang.en.made-in-china.com/product/OvInCPsHnDRa/China-Diesel-Engine-Portable-Water-Well-Drilling-Rig-Machine-Price.html

“Goal 6,” Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

W. M. Advisor, S. Smart, and C. Tanzania, “Distribution to date,” WordPress.com. Available: https://rwsnforum7.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/full_paper_0098_submitter_0145_holtslag_henk.pdf

“Implementation • Handpump Technology,” Rural-water-supply.net. Available: https://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/implementation/manual-drilling/baptist-drilling

“Baptist well drilling,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21-Jun-2018. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Baptist_well_drilling&oldid=846840683

Henk Holtslag and W. Mgina, “ST 1. .1 SHIPO DRILLING,” WordPress.com. [Online]. Available: https://sistemasdeaguaysaneamientoparaeldesarrollo.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/st-1-2-1-shipo-drilling-vrs-2-03-2014.pdf

L. S. Drills, “Safety Steps For Drilling Water Wells,” Lone Star Drills, 13-Nov-2015. Available: https://www.lonestardrills.com/8-safety-steps-for-volunteers-drilling-water-wells/

L. S. Drills, “Lone Star Drills | operation of the LST1+ part 2: Prepare to drill a water well,” 05-Aug-2013. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSR7sP2_g7g

“Akvo RSR,” Akvo RSR. Available: http://rsr.akvo.org/en/organisation/57/

Jacana Business Empowerment, “Tutorial manual borehole drilling, SHIPO method,” 26-Nov-2018. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKsmuwSi9o

Compliance with regulations

SHIPO does not reference any regulations related to manual drilling.

Evaluation methods


Other Information

SHIPO ensures the long-term sustainability of its projects by combining infrastructure with thorough training and education, and also by working in close cooperation with local authorities and leaders.

Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


October 15, 2023

Baptist Drilling Method

Read Solution

Implemented by



October 26, 2023

The Village Drill

Read Solution

Implemented by

WHO Lives, Brigham Young University


September 20, 2023


Read Solution

Implemented by

Mono Pumps


October 26, 2023

Sarvajal Water ATM

Read Solution

Implemented by

Piramal Sarvajal


October 28, 2023

Evenflow Water Saver Valves

Read Solution

Implemented by



September 23, 2023

Bici Bomba Rosario de Agua

Read Solution

Implemented by

Bici tech


October 19, 2023

Practica Motorized Rope Pump

Read Solution

Implemented by

Practica Foundation


October 19, 2023


Read Solution

Implemented by

Design Outreach


November 2, 2023

RainMaker 2

Read Solution

Implemented by


All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member