In Africa, children at play are helping to bring clean water to their communities. The PlayPump is a modified Merry-Go-Round that, when turned by playing children, powers a water pump which draws clean water from the ground to the surface. Kids that play on the PlayPump not only have fun, but also help their communities by pumping clean water into a tank where it is easily retrieved.
The PlayPump is beneficial to Africans for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it allows for more convenient access to clean water. The pump remains at a central location which is highly accessible to community members. Oftentimes without a centralized water source, girls are taken out of school to retrieve what could be potentially contaminated water from streams or dams. The PlayPump, however, is monitored to ensure that its water source is both sustainable and safe to drink. It also allows girls to stay in school and encourages children to exercise, which is necessary for healthy adolescent growth and development.
Roundabout Water Solutions, the manufacturer of the PlayPump, states that it has installed over 1,700 PlayPumps in Africa since 1998. The use of PlayPumps has increased school attendance and decreased instances of water borne illness. Each PlayPump is capable of storing 2,500 liters, or roughly 660 gallons of water.
The PlayPump is one of many sustainable technologies that are being used in developing regions to fulfill basic human needs. Other technologies include those that embrace solar power to bring renewable energy to Africa. The trend of using sustainable technologies allow for development to occur on a large scale without creating a negative impact on the environment.
– Jordan Kline
Photo: Play Pumps