In South Africa, as in many other countries around the world, children are responsible for collecting water for their families. Collecting water is a difficult, time-consuming and tiring task.
In some places, children cannot go to school because they have to spend so much time fetching water from a source that is sometimes tens of kilometres away. Even if the source is nearby, the job of pumping water from the community well is not a job these children look forward to.
A South African organization called Roundabout Outdoor is trying to change that. They have created a fun way for kids to play and pump water for their families at the same time. It comes in the form of a merry-go-round, but if you look closer you will see there is more to it than just a way to get dizzy.
The Playpump, as it is called, supplies water and eases the workload for the children and young women collecting water. The colourful spinning wheel is connected to a community water tank.
As the kids play by spinning the wheel, they power the pump, and clean water pours out of a nearby tap for collection.
Roundabout Outdoor created this system to make it easier and fun for kids to collect water. The organization supplies and installs the roundabout with the help of local government and the community. Each pump supplies water to about 2 500 people. Roundabout Outdoor already has 200 Playpumps up and running and 320 more set to open before the end of 2003.
PHOTO: ROUNDABOUT OUTDOOR
Our Planet 1996 Water Issue Our Planet 1998 Freshwater Issue
AAAS: Freshwater AAAS: Freshwater wetlands AAAS Mangroves and Estuaries
Water Aid Roundabout Outdoor PDF Version