BRINQ is the home of entrepreneur and product designer Patrick Donohue, whose work focuses on high impact startups and products.
The Power of Play - Pumping Water in Africa
Remember how much fun spinning around on a playground merry-go-round was when we were kids?
In our recent article, Capturing the Unexpected Innovation, we included a picture from a story we knew we had to chase down (see image right). Thankfully, just as we were looking for more, BBC News ran the article, "Why pumping water is child's play".
"It's a positive displacement water pump, and as the children spin around it transfers their energy into vertical or reciprocal motion, and that pumps water from an underground borehole or well to the surface where it's stored in a tank for future use."
With the children pushing the roundabout around 16 times a minute, the play-pump can produce 1,400 litres of water per hour from a depth of 40 metres.
Developed by Roundabout Outdoors, the play pump has been installed in hundreds of locations in South Africa, with the majority of installations at primary schools (with a healthy number of "volunteers"). In addition to providing life-giving water and life-fufilling play, the roundabout's tank also includes space for four billboards, two for public health messages and two for commercial advertising space; proceeds from the advertising go towards paying for maintenance of the pump.
International organizations such as the Worldbank and the Kaiser Family Foundation (Washington DC) see the playpump as the ideal medium to inform rural populations on the dangers of HIV/AIDS infection. Consequently a large percentage of playpump installations automatically carry HIV/AIDS messaging.
What a great example of the power of play!
Past “Innovation from the Brinq” articles:
Why Not? A Guide for Ingenuity – Discordant Notes – Bambucicletas and Other “Cycles” of Innovation – Poor People’s Knowledge – India - Innovation Central – Building a Better ATM – Keeping it Cool