Saturday, December 15, 2007

Play Pump - Watch out for Child Labor

Last year the most noticeable innovation that I came across was the Play Pump. It is a water pump that fills up overhead tanks in villages with fresh drinking water, which is powered by a merry-go-round that children play on. There is no doubt in my mind that it is one of the most ingenious uses of technology. The real estate on the water tank is also being used for advertisements that generate some revenue or display messages to educate masses on issues like HIV Aids.

While talking to another innovator who is engaged with development activities in Africa, I casually brought Play Pump into the discussion. He shared with me a perspective that is very interesting. He fears that in villages as much as it is a boon, it also has a potential to put children at risk of being forced in pumping water, against their wish(es). Another form of child labor. I am curious to know if Play Pump International has come across any such instances and how they handled them.

Image Taken From: