Many schools in South Africa face a dire shortage of water, which impacts the health and attendance rates of students. In response to this situation, SC Africa has partnered with local NPO Roundabout Water Solutions to install PlayPumps at rural schools around South Africa.
A PlayPump is a piece of roundabout playground equipment that pumps groundwater to the surface as students play on it. In addition to providing water, a PlayPump may be the only play equipment a school has, so its dual function makes the technology important for students’ overall health and wellbeing.
The PlayPump was originally invented by a South African farmer who sought an innovative way to help schools access water and as of now there are over 900 PlayPumps around the country. The first ever PlayPump was installed in 1996 and is still in use over 20 years later.
So far, Sumitomo Corporation Africa has funded the installation of PlayPumps at two schools in South Africa who have been struggling without water for many years. The first PlayPump was installed in May 2020 at DL Jansen Primary School, which has around 1,180 students, and the second PlayPump was installed in December 2020 at Nkhabang Primary School, which has around 235 students. We have received heartfelt messages of thanks from both schools, who said they are very happy and relieved to now have sufficient water for drinking, basic hygiene and preventing the spread of COVID-19. A letter from one of the school principals said: “Your water solution came at the right time... THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH Sumitomo Corporation for your wonderful gift of water”.
Due to COVID-19 and local lockdown restrictions, SC Africa employees have not yet been able to able visit the schools. However, when the situation is safer for everyone, we plan to hold interactive contribution activities to assist the schools and students in the true spirit of 100SEED.