Peace Corps Volunteer Installs Water Pump 'Merry-Go-Round' in South Africa

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 9, 2012 - Peace Corps volunteer Andrew Hubble of San Mateo, Calif., recently installed a ‘Play Pump’ water filtration system, which will serve as a reliable source of fresh drinking water for his South African community.

 “Almost four months after its arrival, the Play Pump remains the most popular place to be,” said Hubble, 23, who has been living and working in South Africa as a math resource volunteer since July 2011. “Not only children from the primary school, but parents and grandparents are often seen chatting at the spigot’s end exchanging gossip while collecting water. After school there is – quite literally – standing room only. Lines form for a chance to hop on and a take a spin. Any able-bodied person cannot walk past without a throng of learners demanding a push.”

Children in South Africa pump water out of the merry-go-round style pump.

Last December, Hubble returned to his village after a Peace Corps training session to find a the municipal water pump broken, dead livestock and community members making regular trips to nearby villages for water.  The community’s 20-year-old water pump was frequently broken and many children were being pulled out of school to help collect water for their families.

Hubble worked with a nongovernmental organization in South Africa to install the water system on the grounds of the local school. The pump, which resembles a childrens’ merry-go-round, pumps water from underground as the kids take turns spinning the wheel.  It is then passed through a filtration system and stored in a water tank, where the community can access it through a tap.

Children in Peace Corps volunteer Andrew Hubble\'s South African community pump water on the merry-go-round pump.

About Peace Corps/South Africa: More than 1,080 Peace Corps volunteers have served in South Africa since the program was established in 1997. Currently, 165 volunteers serve in South Africa. Volunteers work in the areas of education and health. Volunteers are trained and work in the following languages: isiNdebele, isiZulu, Sepedi, Setswana, siSwati, Northern Sotho, Venda, XiTsongo, Xhosa and Afrikaans.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit for more information.

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