this ingenious invention is changing the lives of thousands of men women and children in sub saharant africa.
j and i saw this special on the mindless box known as the television recently. turns out that show wasnt mindless afterall. thought i would share with you.this is a playpump.
the idea is simple: install a merry-go-round like device outside of schools and in community centers around africa. the device actually serves as a pump which is connected to an an underground well. the idea being of course, if you build it- they will come. let the kids out to play, and viola you have fresh, uncontaminated drinking water coming from underground rather than a surface source. this then serves as a sanitary, safe and accessible water source for communities.
africa is a country in which traditionally, women and young girls spend considerable amounts of time carrying water to their families. this simple system is designed to produce up to 1400 liters of water per hour at 16 rpm from a depth of 40 meters. (why didnt i think of this??)
some facts to ponder:
- water related diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide
- unsafe water and lack of sanitation is now the single largest cause of illness in the world
- the average distance a person living in rural africa must walk to a water source is five miles
- the average 5 gallon container of water weighs approximately 40 pounds
- just one flush of a toilet in the west uses more water than most africans have to perform an entire days washing, cleaning, cooking and drinking