Play Pumps

““We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation and basic health care.” Kofi Annan

There are apparently over a billion people in the world with no access to clean drinking water. Various government and non governmental organisations exist to try and alleviate the problems by providing wells and pumps to (generally rural) communities: after all, how can healthcare, education etc improve without more fundamental infrastructure. In my internet meanderings, I came across a project that seems to work mostly in South Africa which is sheer genius.

Remember the roundabouts in playgrounds when you were a kid? Get it spinning, climb on and experience dizzy ecstasy for a little while. Someone had the awesome idea of attaching a roundabout to a water pump. Kids playing on the roundabout inadvertently raise groundwater to surface storage tanks as they spin the wheel around. Placing such pumps near local schools provides free and willing labour and enough water to supply the community and even excess for agriculture. What a good idea.

Related links: The Pay Pumps website –
Water Aid website –


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