W153: Water Pump Playing

I have written about Project H from Inhabitat before, with the Hippo water roller. Here is yet another wonderful design concept I found on the Inhabitat site.

Combine a potable water system with the unlimited energy of children at play, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success. Playpumps International is a non-profit that has designed and successfully implemented more than 900 Playpump systems in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia benefiting approximately two million people. The system is simple, using the movement of children at play to pump water from underground, up to a tower (which doubles as a billboard for public health announcements), and down to a publicly-available faucet.

I have problems with the annoying music, the billboards and more . . . but perfect solutions are not what thrill me right now. I am just happy solutions are being offered for the problems around the globe. This one is fun.


Melanie Lytle said...

"Harnessing the power of play" - what a wonderful concept and so liberating for all those women and young girls whose responsibility it is to carry water long distances!

It also demonstrates just how wasteful our means of producing energy can be in the western world. There are so many small ways to meet our needs that don't have the same negative results as our current system.

katecontinued said...

You are so right. I also thought of all of the gyms where people pay money to work out. Can you imagine harnassing this?

In my own mind I daydreamed about capturing the greywater from my home, filtering it, diverting it to a leaching tank with plants and then some sort of exercise bike or stepper that would pump it up to a roof - a green roof. Would that be cool or what?

Stop back, I have several more of these designs to put up.

Melinda said...

I spent 9 months editing a documentary about a South African orphanage and surrounding village. They are attempting to become self-sufficient there, and are the recipients of one of these Skoll play pumps. The kids truly love it. Instead of walking for miles to fetch water (carrying many pounds on their heads), they can play on the merry-go-round. It's an amazing thing.

The movie is "Angels in the Dust." You can rent it at most video stores, including Netflix.

katecontinued said...

That is so cool, Melinda. Yours is a rich and varied life.

etbnc said...

Have you read Alan Weisman's book about Gaviotas, the village in Colombia?

(http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/gaviotas )

The folks at Gaviotas made a see-saw water pump, as well as some other clever, low-tech inventions.

I think you'd enjoy reading about the people who created Gaviotas from scratch. I had the remarkable opportunity to meet the founder, Paolo Lugari, a few years ago. He's a fascinating person, and that's captured in the book also.



katecontinued said...

Thanks, this sounds like a great book. And what a spectacular experience for you.