The following story was submitted by Mohamad Chakaki and can be found at World The original piece was posted on World Changing and is written by Dawn Danby. ____________________________________________ 

South Africa‘s Roundabout has devised a way to harness the energy generated by kids playing (ingenious in itself), as they spin on an outdoor merry-go-round. Carrying water several kilometres per day results in hours of lost employment, and widespread use of poor-quality water; this is a win-win alternative.

NPR’s The World recently reported on the playpumps:

“The children push the merry-go-round again and again. As they run, a device in the ground beneath them begins to turn. With every rotation of the merry-go-round, water is pumped out of a well, up through a pipe, and into a tank high above the playground.

A few feet away from all the fun, students in uniform turn on a tap. Clean, cold drinking water pours out. This is Motshegofadiwa Primary School, 15 miles north of Pretoria. It’s in a town called Stinkwater; locals say there’s a good reason for that name.

The water around here used to smell. School Principal Peter Banyana says the water supply was also erratic before the Play-Pump arrived… Now Banyana says the children can pump enough water for everyone.

There are 500 Play-Pumps around South Africa, most of them installed at schools like this one, where students live in poverty and resources are few.

The roundabouts also serve to display social marketing on AIDS awareness, and are partly financed by billboard advertisements.

Posted by: Editor