Which is the best water pump in Kenya?

Are you looking for the best irrigation water pumps for sale in Kenya? There are tens of options you can buy and install for use on your farm or home. This post is a guide to choose a cheap irrigation water pump. It looks into four key areas.

  • Why you need irrigation water pumps.
  • How to choose the best water pump.
  • Examples (types) of irrigation water pumps for sale
  • Where to buy the best irrigation water pumps in Kenya.

It explains further each of the above topics.

Types of water pumps for irrigation

  • Solar water pumps
  • electric water pumps
  • Generator water pumps (diesel/petrol)
  • Motorbike water pumps
  • Wind Mills (wind pumps)
  • Hydrams
  • Syphons

Most reviews for buying a cheap water pump classify them as displacement, submersible, centrifugal or surface water pumps.

This article looks at them based on the source of energy. It has solar, electric and fuel water pumps. The fuel-less water pumps like siphons, wind pumps and hydrams are the otther examples of water types.

Solar water pumps

irrigation water pump using solar
irrigation water pump

Solar water pumps use sunlight energy. It has a photovoltaic solar panel that converts it into an AC or DC electric current. You can buy the solar surface types for shallow wells, rivers and pools. You will use submersible solar pumps for deep wells and boreholes.

The Solar water pump prices in Kenya is KES 20,000. Though it is expensive to buy and install, it is cheaper in the long run. You will have to pay no bills and they require little maintenance. They are the only choice in off-grid rural areas. The eco-friendly farmers prefer solar pumps to conserve water and energy.

Electric water pumps

Electric water pumps use the electric current from the power grid.  You can buy submersible or displacement pumps for your farm. Install the  Large farms can install the 3-phase pumps that require substantial power and pump more water. Small-scale farmers can use single-phase pumps, which need less energy. Electric water pumps can be expensive from paying for high electricity bills. The pumps are quiet and produce no fumes.

Generator water pumps

Generator water pumps are the most widely used in the region. They are cheap, portable, and accessible in many towns across Kenya. Besides, they are easy and convenient to operate for any farmer. You can buy diesel or petrol generator surface pumps. Some popular brands are Honda and magnar, etc.

The key challenge with water generators is the use of fossil fuels. Their fumes pollute the air, and they are noisy. The high-pressure water generators price is as low as KES 14,000 from online shops. Secondhand water pumps can ever be cheaper.

Motorbike water pumps

Motorbike water pumps on an exhibit stand
Motorcycle water pumps can pump up to 40,000 liters per hour.

It is a small motorbike water pump you can attach to the engine shaft of your motorcycle engine. It uses a spindle to rotate blades that suck water in the inlet pipe and pump it out of the output tube. Connect it to the engines’ shaft. It’s quick to assemble, very portable and cheap both to buy and operate.

 The engine can have 1500-5000 rotations per minute (RPM) when the motorcycle is in an idle run. It can consume diesel or petrol of 0.2-0.4 litres only per hour. Its overhead is 22- 40 m3/hour. (22,000-40,000 liters/hour). The pump can attain a continuous operating time of 100 hours. The price motorbike water pump is Ksh 10,932 in Kenya for a 5 Hp motorcycle from Jumia online shop. Besides a motorbike, you can attach it to mini cultivators or tut-tuk engines.

Wind pumps

Windmills use the wind to pump water for many years in many ranches, farms and mines since the 9th century. Wind water pumps use multi-blades or fan-like rotor to move a piston that draws water by moving up and down.

The windpumps have many benefits. The energy is free, has zero air pollution and is low tech to install and run. They are very durable with little maintenance.

The video below explains how a wind pump works. You can use windmills to draw and water crops in summer or dry periods. They are ideal for you if electric power is not available in your area or the bills are too expensive for you.


How to use syphons to irrigate farms

Siphons are not water pumps per se. You will use a simple garden hose pipe to drain water from a high-level pool, pond or tank into lower-level storage or field. You need to suck water to start the flow. It will continue to drain until it’s gone, or you lift the drain opening above the source water source.

How does a siphon work? View the YouTube video above of a siphon watering system in a cotton farm.


Hydraulic ram pumps (hydram) are fuel-less water pumps used for over 200 years. It uses a hydropower or water hammer mechanism. Fast-moving water gets pushed in a small opening to create hydraulic pressure. It will force water to escape in a smaller pipe to a storage tank above the pump. It can pump water for over 200 meters.

Their benefit is that they are simple, durable and free to operate. Hydrams are ideal in a remote area with a slope. The high-volume water should flow to the pump.

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