Get a PlayPump for your Village

By Emmanuel Narokobi

Update: 23 February, 2012 – In March 2010, PlayPumps International closed its doors and gifted its inventory to Water For People to be utilized when appropriate. As we know, successful drinking water delivery must be consistent with community preferences and must be easy and affordable to maintain; these are lessons Water For People has learned over years of monitoring and program evaluation.  When it comes to technology, we have a core policy of putting people first, encouraging communities to make their own choices about the systems they want and are prepared to support for the long term.  Additionally, our organizational goal of achieving sustainable water coverage for every person in every community means being realistic about the capacity of any single water point to deliver quantities of water over time.  We know that a school water point must always be complemented by other community water points to fully meet the needs of households. Read More


A couple of days ago I was watching a documentary called ‘Flow – (for the love of water)‘, a rather scary and honest look at the scarcity and privatisation of water resources around the world and particularly in the developing majority world. So just thought I’d jot down some thoughts in my head as I watched it.

PNG may be blessed with regular rainfalls and Port Moresby is looking greener than I have seen it in years, but it doesn’t mean we should let everything just wash down the drains.

NCDC could do allot in the way of rain water harvesting. Anyone in Port Moresby knows how high the water in the drains get when we get our rains, especially the one past Boroko Foodworld. Think about it, you’re talking about water levels that rise about 5-6 metres, so where does all the water end up? Back in the Ocean through the drains that’s all.

Justin and Powes are doing a great job of making NCD cleaner and greener lately, but we don’t have to wait for the rains to make the place look lush. The whole city could be greener than algae if we could store all that free water.

So anyway just one though that came across my mind when I was watching the doco.

Another thing that caught my attention was this PlayPump system that was being used in Africa. A simple and easy to use system for retrieving water which I thought would work quite well here in PNG.

It works by children having fun spinning on the PlayPump merry-go-round (1), clean water is pumped (2) from underground (3) into a 2,500-liter tank (4), standing seven meters above the ground.

A simple tap (5) makes it easy for adults and children to draw water. Excess water is diverted from the storage tank back down into the borehole (6).

The water storage tank (7) provides a rare opportunity to advertise in outlaying communities.  All four sides of the tank are leased as billboards, with two sides for consumer advertising and the other two sides for health and educational messages. The revenue generated by this unique model pays for pump maintenance.

The design of the PlayPump water system makes it highly effective, easy to operate and very economical, keeping costs and maintenance to an absolute minimum.

Capable of producing up to 1,400 liters of water per hour at 16 rpm from a depth of 40 meters, it is effective up to a depth of 100 meters.

Would make life allot easier for all those mothers and sisters that have to go down mountains and hills to rivers below to do the laundry etc. (Yeah I know, but unfortunately its still mostly women who do all that sort of work).