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Creative Pumping

What do you get when you combine a merry-go-round and the boundless energy of kids?

Clean water.

At least in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia where over 2 million people are benefiting from the installation of PlayPumps.


In a creative effort between scientists, community leaders, advertisers, and many others, the pumps, driven by spinning a merry-go-round, are bringing new freedom.

People that once had to walk up to 5 miles to water can now turn on a tap at the village center. Girls have the time to go to school and women can spend their extra time growing vegetables, starting businesses, and caring for their children.

From the PlayPump website:

While children have fun spinning on the PlayPump merry-go-round (1), clean water is pumped (2) from underground (3) into a 2,500-liter tank (4), standing seven meters above the ground.


A simple tap (5) makes it easy for adults and children to draw water. Excess water is diverted from the storage tank back down into the borehole (6).

The water storage tank (7) provides a rare opportunity to advertise in outlaying communities. All four sides of the tank are leased as billboards, with two sides for consumer advertising and the other two sides for health and educational messages. The revenue generated by this unique model pays for pump maintenance.



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