Thursday, March 11, 2004

Kid power

It’s thought that nearly a billion and a half people around the world don’t have access to safe drinking water. People often walk for miles every day to find it, which can take hours. That’s why the task of getting water has been considered a difficult, tiresome job.

But that’s changing in South Africa. The World’s Amy Costello visited a place where getting water has actually become fun.

Kids run in a circle and push a merry-go-round faster and faster. Those who are seated on the ride, get dizzy from the speed...laughing and giddy from the force of gravity.

These kids are having so much fun, they don’t seem to realize they’re working. Then again, that’s the idea behind the Play-Pump…a merry-go-round with a mission.

....The World Bank recently recognized the Play Pump in a worldwide competition and provided 160,000 dollars to install forty more Play-Pumps around South Africa. The World Bank’s Michael Kubzanksky says that of the 450 projects funded by the competition, the Play-Pump’s one of the best.

...There are plans to put the Play-Pump into other African countries. It may come as no surprise to parents…but Field says the energy created by kids turning a merry-go-round generates enough power to supply a village of 3000 people with clean drinking water.

Each pump costs about seven thousand dollars to install.

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