If you only read one thing this week…


Pumping water through play – too good to be true? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
November 3, 2010, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Development theory

Could accessing clean water in rural South Africa be as simple as child’s play? South African advertising entrepreneur Trevor Field thought he had found the solution to the clean water problem facing most developing nations by creating a water pump that was fun! The idea seemed so simple – a merry-go-round that pumped water while children played. The water then gets filtered and stored so that clean water is available on demand. Watch the optimistic PBS Frontline video from 2005 when the project was just beginning (text also available).  It was so easy and practical that Field had no problem finding investors to expand the project into other neighboring countries. Unfortunately, Field learned that development wasn’t as easy as he had hoped. Frontline recently returned to follow-up (video and text) on the project only to uncover many of the challenges the project had faced. The website also provides additional information about the project including interviews with UNICEF and USAID.

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