Tuesday, July 12, 2005

well rounded

How many times have you heard a parent say they wish they could tap their kids' energy for something useful? They've figured out a way to do just that in rural Africa, where they're using a device that turns a merry-go-round into a water pump.

Harnessing the power of children in an almost Tom Sawyer-ish manner, this device has significant quality-of-life impact. The design is low cost, low complexity, and low maintenance, making it ideal for rural areas where water is usually carried from a water source by women. The water tank is ideal for advertising space; two sides are reserved for health messages, and the revenues from selling ad space on the other sides pay for the upkeep of the system.

I wonder how this will change the society, now that there is no need for people to gather at the watering hole?