The parental order to children to “go outside and play on the merry-go-round” has taken on a different meaning, with construction of a water pump built into the much-loved playground carousel.
The PlayPump, when laden with kids and in full roundabout swing, pumps water into a raised water tank and makes life in drought-stricken, poorly powered rural communities better, said sponsor Kelly Atherton, spokeswoman for Shoprite Checkers’s corporate social investment arm.
Two PlayPumps have been installed, one at Amaqwathi Primary School in Tsolwana and one for the Get Ahead Project in Queenstown.
Atherton said it pumped water into a reservoir as children played on it.
She said: “The pump provides a healthy water supply to rural communities and provides children with a constructive way to use their energy.”
Both places only recently gained access to water.
Marieta Killian, principal of Get Ahead Project, stated in her letter of motivation to get a PlayPump from the Shoprite group:
“We have 504 learners, most of the pupils come from the poor community close by and their parents are unemployed.
“The borehole is situated in the school grounds; the pump has not worked for more than two years.
“The local dam supplying the town with water is only 20% full, of which 10% has been silted up and cannot be used.
“We often have to send the children home early due to a lack of water.”
Killian said the chain store had put in 34 PlayPumps in SA, which were bringing clean water to up to 400000 people.
She said PlayPumps were bringing relief to people who travel long distances to fetch water.
The pumps helped curb water-borne diseases.