Last month we carried out maintenance work on our PlayPumps at 21 schools and communities in Limpopo. This was possible thanks to generous support from our donors.
Often it is only a leaking tap or a leak in the pipe that needs attention, but sometimes cylinders, forcehead seals and other important pieces of equipment need to be replaced. All PlayPumps need regular maintenance to ensure that they continue to be reliable and supply much needed water
At Makgameng Omo Village, in Limpopo, a PlayPump was installed in February 2003, over eleven years ago.
No sooner had the cyinder been replaced and the PlayPump was working than a villager was filling up her bucket of water.
This she took home to cook with, clean with and provide her children with clean drinking water. Soon other members of the community were also filling up their buckets.
The children at Mandela Village in Limpopo were terribly excited when our maintenance team arrived.
The PlayPump is just outside the school grounds and they all came running to see what was happening and to leap onto the merry-go-round for a spin.
The old cylinder was replaced and the tank fittings repaired.
Both the school and the community make good use of the free water drawn up by the PlayPump from the borehole.
Mathabe Primary School’s PlayPump only needed minor maintenance, but it was important that it happened to ensure the PlayPump continued to work reliably.
The children are happily drinking the PlayPump water which means there are less cases of water born diseases, like diarrhoea at this school.
The PlayPump is always a place to meet, to have fun with friends while playing and pumping up water into the storage tank.
Though we normally put our PlayPumps at schools where there are younger children, the older children, like the ones at Ramatshagalala Secondary also enjoy playing on it.
This helps the schools and communities have reliable water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and growing vegetables. Where there is a PlayPump schools often start a vegetable garden, which helps suppliment the school feeling scheme.
Our three maintenance teams are based in Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and the Free State and they cover 8 of the 9 provinces.
Sometimes there is an opportunity for local people to help, though the more detailed work does need to be carried out by the trained teams as specialized equipment is needed.
We need assistance from local and overseas donors to continue maintaining our PlayPumps.
South African donors, who help us, can claim SED maintenance expenditure points and we are also able to give a Section 18a Tax Certificate for donations.