Peter Savage, who has very generously donated numerous PlayPumps over the years, recently visited 20 of them. These are his comments on his trip.
In November my son, Stephen, and I visited twenty schools in the Northern Cape and Free State. Nearly all were in rural locations and therefore we had a lot of driving, much of it on unmade roads. The good news is all the playpumps visited were working and in good order and the thorough maintenance programme of the last year has paid dividends. This was really important because these two regions of South Africa have continued to experience very dry weather. Any supplies from public sources were at best infrequent and at worst non existent. So as in previous years, the school pumps not only provided water for the pupils but in many communities they supplemented or replaced other supplies. As such they provided a vital function especially in the very rural areas where many of our pumps are located.
The poor conditions due to low rainfall have spread to many areas previously unaffected by drought. With this difficult backcloth, it always amazes us how happy the children are. They ask for little and sadly expect little but they have a drive to learn…education remains the escape route from poverty. The water Playpumps provide in schools is a massive incentive to children to spend their days in school. In many schools vegetable netted areas and bigger gardens also help to provide food and nutrition to pupils which adds to their incentive and this of course needs the Playpumps water too.
All the schools are grateful for the funds donated to give them access to water.