Sub-Saharan Africa: Harnessing the Power of Play (April 2007)

Ten sub-Saharan African nations will benefit from the groundbreaking $60 million PlayPump Alliance announced on September 20, 2006. The alliance will bring the benefits of clean drinking water to up to 10 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2010.

The PlayPump Alliance is a public-private partnership with PlayPumps International, the Case Foundation, USAID, PEPFAR, and other private sector partners. The goal is for every USG tax dollar to be matched by five dollars from the private sector.

This partnership will improve access to clean drinking water by installing PlayPumpTM water systems throughout the region. Through an innovative water delivery system, a merry-go-round attached to a water pump and storage tank pumps water from underground. Children’s play, a limitless source of energy, powers the system, making it both a sustainable and child-friendly water delivery system.

The USG, through USAID and the Emergency Plan, will provide a combined $10 million to the alliance over three years. This will directly support the provision and installation of PlayPump water systems in approximately 650 schools, health centers and HIV-affected communities.

Limited access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities adversely impacts the quality of life of children and families in sub-Saharan Africa.

For people living with HIV/AIDS, clean water, proper hygiene, and sanitation facilities are of the utmost importance. Access to these resources helps HIV-infected people remain healthy as long as possible and avoid opportunistic infections.

Easy access to clean water will enhance PEPFAR’s ability to support quality care in rural and peri-urban areas where the Emergency Plan supports hospitals, health facilities, and clinics. In addition, HIV/AIDS messages on PlayPump billboards will spread the word about healthy behaviors.

Invented and manufactured in Africa and first installed in South Africa, PlayPump water systems also benefit the community by spurring economic growth. Long-term jobs are created by hiring and training workers to maintain the PlayPump water systems.

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