Water is the most basic need at any school. You can provide all types of school equipment, but if there is no water, then the education is severely impacted upon and the children do not attend, trapping them in the poverty that holds their parents captive. In rural areas, where tanker deliveries are unreliable, municipal water taps are cut off for days on end and then schools have to collect water or go without. Trucks have to make regular trips to nearby villages, and school children are drafted to carry buckets and wheelbarrows of water around the village, even during school hours. Additionally, when schools have no water, children get dehydrated, have diarrhea, and oftentimes miss school. Women and girls have to walk anything up to 5 kms a day to collect water for their household, with no guarantee that the water collected is fit for human consumption.
Succeed PlayPumps are a sustainable pumping system powered by the play of children. The provision of a PlayPump provides children with a constructive and rewarding way to use their energy. It is oftentimes the only piece of playground equipment at a school, so children are excited to be able to play and at the same time have a simple, secure access to clean water. Over 1,200 PlayPumps have already been installed in South Africa. Children enjoy being able to play, and the access to reliable, clean water means they do not have to miss school due to water-borne diseases or dehydration. Many of these schools are also planting vegetable gardens and using the water to grow sustainable and healthy food for the children and community. Maintenance is performed by trained, locally sourced maintenance crews. The spare parts are provided free of charge to the community. All sites have a free pump repair SMS number whereby they can report a problem to our office.
A small farm school in the Free State Province was struggling with lack of water for many years. They currently have 56 kids, but another 50 kids have registered for 2015, making their lack of water problem even more concerning. They started a small vegetable patch to help feed the kids, but with no reliable water they could only grow a few vegetables. Now with a PlayPump, the kids have a reliable access to clean water, can learn how to grow vegetables, and have a healthy meal at lunchtime.
In July of 2014 the team installed a PlayPump in the the Manyeding Primary School. The school has 351 kids and 14 educators. Before the PlayPump, they had a windmill, but this had been broken for a long time causing the school to struggle with their water requirements in the dry and dusty Northern Cape. Just a few short months later the team visited the school and could hardly see the PlayPump head because of the number of kids playing on it.