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Children spinning on play pump wheel. Girl drinking from gushing pump. Men constructing a play pump. Young girl.

Rough Cut
South Africa: The Play Pump
Turning water into child's play
 

 

Amny Costello

FRONTLINE/World reporter Amy Costello has covered Africa for years as a radio correspondent on PRI's The World. In Costello's last story for FRONTLINE/World, she reported from the Darfur region of Sudan in "Witness to a Crisis." Costello lives in Cape Town.

Watch Video

Length: 8:35

Editor's Note: In June 2010, FRONTLINE/Word broadcast a follow-up to this original report to investigate what happened to the PlayPump and its promise to bring clean drinking water to thousands of African communities. Watch the broadcast online and visit the website for more coverage.

In rural villages across South Africa, some 5 million people don't have access to clean drinking water. To get a sense of the severity of the water scarcity there, you have to go back to the early 1800s when Europeans and others started colonizing the country.

When these settlers arrived, they brought with them nonnative seeds and plants with the idea that they would be able to re-create the thick forests and vegetation of their homeland.

Two hundred years on, the pines and eucalyptus trees, along with 161 other invasive plants introduced to the country, are soaking up billions of gallons of water that used to flow into mountain streams and support wetlands and other precious arteries in this largely arid country. Add to that the needs of South Africa's growing population and you have a situation in which the competition for water has become fierce.

Which brings us in a roundabout way (no pun intended) to this week's Rough Cut -- reporter Amy Costello's surprisingly upbeat tale about a canny entrepreneur who decided to tackle South Africa's water woes in his own novel and enterprising way.

Trevor Field, a retired advertising executive, had done well in life and wanted to give back to his community. He noticed that in many rural villages around the eastern Cape, the burden of collecting water fell mainly to the women and girls of the household. Each morning, he'd see them set off to the nearest borehole to collect water. They used leaky and often contaminated hand-pumps to collect the water, then they carried it back through the bush in buckets weighing 40 pounds. It was exhausting and time-consuming work.

"The amount of time these women are burning up collecting water, they could be at home looking after their kids, teaching their kids, being loving mothers," Field tells Costello. He knew there had to be a better solution.

Field then teamed up with an inventor and came up with the "play pump" -- a children's merry-go-round that pumps clean, safe drinking water from a deep borehole every time the children start to spin. Soup to nuts, the whole operation takes a few hours to install and costs around $7,000. Field's idea proved so inventive, so cost-efficient and so much fun for the kids that World Bank recognized it as one of the best new grassroots ideas.

In true ad-man style, Field's next idea was to use the play pump's water towers as makeshift billboards, selling ad space to help pay for the upkeep. He reserves a spot for the national loveLife campaign, which helps educate children about HIV and AIDS. "We've got to get the message through to them before they become sexually active," he says. "It seems to be working."

In the film, Costello and producer/photographer Cassandra Herrman drive out to a small village where the taps have been dry for a week. There, a crew sets to work installing a play pump near a children's play area, boring 40 meters down until they hit the fresh water table below. As soon as the last colorful piece of the puzzle is in place, dozens of children show up to play -- much to Field's delight -- pumping cool, clean water to the surface as they spin.

The indefatigable entrepreneur wants to build thousands of these pumps to help water-stressed communities across South Africa, then expand to other African countries. He says, "It would make a major difference to the children, and that's where our passion lies."

Jackie Bennion
Senior Interactive Producer

REACTIONS

charity Ntansah - Syracuse, Ny
I am 15yrs old and I go to school in New York. I came to America 6yrs ago and I've learned so much more about Africa from here than I think I would have ever learned in Ghana, Africa, my nation. The trials down there are hard. I love the fact that other countries care enough to start non-profit organizatinos to provide the poor with basic needs of every day life. I am doing a debate project about Aid to Africa and I give so much credit for Play-Pump international for their incredible, intelligent solution to reach the poor with clean water. Thank you citizens of America for donating to the kids next door (Africa). Peace.

Piney Grove Middle School - Cumming, GA
We are a seventh grade social studies class and are studying Africa and their lack of water. This video really brought home the idea of not having fresh water. Trevor and the play pump are inspiring us to conserve water. Our lives have been forever touched from seeing his work. We thank you and hope to see many more people with fresh water in 2010!

Sheya Mandebvu - Columbus, ohio
Hats off to Field for responding to such a noble calling, and I salute all individuals/organizations that continue to add value to human life all over the world. To Frontline and all its associates, thank you for your real-ity shows. The larger world needs this kind of education/awareness. Keep up the good work.

(anonymous)
I watched the South African video on Christmas and I am so happy. I'm from South Africa but i moved to Atlanta . I'm saying to you guys keep up the good work may god bless you. It's so good to see that some people care about our lives, especially our health. I love you guys.

Kathmandu, Nepal
This is a great design for those who have no access to both water and electricity, and both are equally necessary to human beings. Really a great work, and fun too.

Tonya Ringle - Wichita, KS
Well done, Trevor! I hope that when all of Africa is supplied by clean, abundant drinking water that you can move on to India!
God Bless you and your endeavor.

Bill Cocke - Newark, DE
I am so encouraged by all the goodwill this story has generated. But, I have to say that the people of Central and West Africa must be feeling really left out. Play Pump Int'l plans to expand from South Africa and Mozambique to as far as Ethiopia in the next few years, but it will be many years at least before the people of the Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Senegal, among many others, can benefit from all this goodwill and generosity. There are very good hand pumps, like the India Mark III and Afridev, that sell for about one-tenth the cost of the Play Pump, and are available in all these countries. Please consider giving to other organizations who are working all over Africa. CARE, Oxfam, Water for People, Wells for Life - they are also bringing the everyday miracle to villages all over Africa. The pumps have never been the problem - it's the participation of large numbers of people that has been lacking. Don't forget the poor people of Ghana and Togo, too.

Trevor Field - Johannesburg, South Africa
Hi Frontline and all your viewers; this is Trevor Field from Playpumps International, Johannesburg. I would just like to say we are absolutely overwhelmed by the positive reaction from all of your viewers and everybody on this thread. A lot of people have e-mailed us and called us. I hope we have responded to everyone; if we have not, then please feel free to e-mail us at info@playpumps.org. One of your respondents who I would particularly like to communicate with is Africa Brown from Chicago.The reaction of your viewers and their words of encouragement have galvanised us into aiming higher and making a real difference to the lives of rural children. Thank you very much. You all take lots of care!

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Thanks so much for the update Trevor. This story continues to find new viewers on the Web site and bring in warm responses from around the world. All of us at FRONTLINE/World wish you continued success. For those wishing to contact Trevor, the email address is info@playpumps.org

(anonymous)
Thank you for sharing such a positive solution to a serious world problem. I don't know why you didn't broadcast this story. I encourage you to cover more solutions like this, to demonstrate that many of the world's problems only lack political will and a "we are all one" viewpoint.

Monique Gallegos - Littleton, Colorado
In Southern African countries, two-thirds of the population does not have access to clean water. Trevor Field invented the play pump, which is a playground merry-go-round that can produce enough water for up to 200,000 people. There are currently 1,000 play pumps in various countries throughout Africa, but Fields goal is to build 1,000 play pumps in each African country, providing clean water for 10,000,000 people. Generous donors have helped to make the play pump a success. Laura Bush gave 16.4 million dollars, and Jay-Z raised $14,000 through a charity tour.
I thought the play pump was an excellent solution to providing clean water. Many people in Africa are not aware that the underground water they drink is contaminated, and the play pump provides clean water for so many people in Africa. The idea of placing the water pumps in schoolyards is brilliant; it's the only playground equipment many children have to play with. Women in African that do have access to clean water will carry it in buckets on their heads for up to 3 miles, and the play pump provides a closer source for people to access clean water.

Mercedes Hoffman - Lebanon, Missouri
I was glad to find this article on the web. I'd heard of the water pumps run by children before but didn't know where to find information about them.Knowing that hundreds of thousands of people are without safe drinking water, I feel guilty whenever I stand in a shower and hear water, cleaner then they drink, running into the drain. Also I feel bad knowing that my horses have cleaner water to drink then these African people do.After reading so many positive comments, I think everyone should do a litte bit. Many little bits mount up to a very lot. Just as one man, Mr. Trevor Fields, has done with his play pump idea, so can we do the same with our gifts, no matter how small.I myself am going to send a check in the amount of my monthly water bill to his organization as often as I can. If I could send a matching check every month, then maybe I'll be able to use clean water again and know that I'm helping too and not feel so guilty anymore.

Puru Shah - Janakpur, Nepal
This is really very encouraging. I am studying Engineering and International Studies in the US and this is precisely the kind of thing that I plan to work on in Nepal and other parts of the world.

NY, NY
I think this is such an amazing idea!! I think we should all get more involved with this so that more clean drinking water can be available to every one around the world! This video let me know that they are doing something about social issues like this one and that we can all come up with great ideas if we put our heads together to help others!

boldrcok, MO
i love this, it is a great idea. keep going.

(anonymous)
I am doing a project, and this is so amazing to me! it gets me so excited that those children can be healthy just like we have the privilege of being here in the U.S. we take advantage of being able to just go to the sink and get water. Most people have at least two sinks in their home. These women had to travel a long distance for unsafe water.

(anonymous)
this is a happy story ending

(anonymous)
Wow, greatjob on acheiving this. Great way for kids in ne=edto get water in a spectacular way. Keep up the good work.

Mazabuka, Southern
The idea is fine but if not carefully looked at might amount to child abuse. In my town in Zambia these play pumps have been introduced and they have to a certain extent discouraged children from going to school coz we have given them a job of pumping water for us anyway. I would rather these pumps are installed at schools and kids parks where the direct beneficiaries are the kids themselves.

owen 'mshengu' greenland - Washington, Dc, USA
Since the mid 70s, I have envisioned hundreds of wind turbine water pumps in my home area of Transkei, KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of Southern Africa.
I have personally witnessed women and children trekking for hours on end merely to collect 20 liters of water in plastic or galvanized steel buckets -most of it unsafe for human and animal consumption or crop use.Being aware of the innumerable health risks (bacteria, waterborne illnesses, cholera, dysentery, etc), I have always felt the need to provide safe water to these outlying areas of the undeveloped parts of our respective countries.So, when the concept of the Play Pump was revealed, I became ecstatic to see one of my dreams become realized (albeit through the ingenious efforts of someone else).I think saving close to 1 million lives does deserve some meager compensation/recognition in this selfish world of ours.The inventors/developers PlayPump and PlumpyNut should be awarded the Noble Prize and their programs granted UNDP/UNESCO funding indefinitely.Proudly South African,
Owen Mshengu Sharif

Betsy Kates - Ossining, NY
I've been sharing the excitement of the Play Pump in my third grade classroom for several years now. We study both world communities for Social Studies, and the water cycle for Science. The global message of caring and providing a basic need for those who have so little is so valuable for my students to absorb. And the universal appeal of playground equipment is something they can easily relate to. The project makes such perfect sense on so many levels. Next step (long overdue) is to launch a fundraising program in our school.

karen smith - cameroon, bamenda
Dear people of God,
Sorry that I just barged into your site and started acting funny. It's due to something far bigger than me. It's true the world today has become something else and thousands of people around the globe are dying of some basic necessities which keeps the minds of some donors wondering. Help the poop help yourself. Just give wht you can and the Almighty will know what to give to you in return. If interested, then keep in contact for more information. May the good Lord remain with you people forever and ever. KAREN.email (fatherkaren@ymail.com)

(anonymous)
Hi all,I think that the design and concept of the playpump is fabulous, the only problem is, I am trying to find and purchase them for an anti cholera project in Zimbabwe, and after 4 days of constant surfing, I cannot find where they can be purchased from or how much they cost. Please help if you can. Many thanks

Mount Shasta, CA
We are a concerned group of community members in Mt. Shasta, CA. We would like to do a fundraiser where the money would go directly towards a play pump for a village in Africa. Do you have a DVD that you can send about your projects to show our community? And do have handouts we can give during the event?
Thank you so much.Love & blessings,Jennifer Jerabek
jerabekjennifer@gmail.com

Hunter Moss - Miamisburg, Ohio
I never knew that so many people do not have any clean drinking water. Or that someone who had never experienced something like having polluted drinking water would go through so much just so that someone who he didn't even know could have fresh clean drinking water. That man is an inspiration to us all. He has dedicated his life to helping people in Africa have clean water. That is truly generous.

breanna mitchell - holly springs, nc
i love the idea of the water pump. it is a great way to get fresh water. i'm glad she went down and shared this information with us.

James Walczak - Lorain, Ohio
I don't know if this has been mentioned or not, but it seems to me that if they can do this to pump water, it should be possible to generate electricity in this same way. For that matter, you might even be able to take this one step further...imagine hooking up some kind of ratcheting gear to a swing set that as the kids swing, the ratchet drives a shaft that in turn drives a generator. Talk about a "renewable source of energy"!!! If every school yard and every playground in the US was equipped with these devices, it would have to make a rather significant difference in regards to generating electricity - and it's a lot safer than nuke plants!They say the "future lies with our children"...maybe we should start taking advantage of that.

Mike Ligon - Sierra Vista, Arizona
How many wars could be avoided if the world's economies could feed their people? If they lived long enough to farm? PlayPump is the first chapter. Read "The End of Poverty" by Jeffrey Sachs for the rest of the solution.

nate wilde - new york, NY
this is really touching! I would use the play pump just for fun instead of video games! keep up the good work, and don't lose heart! god bless.

Mano - Sydney, NSW
This is an amazing invention. I am doing a project on the avalibility of water in South Africa and this article has given me some good facts to put in it. Thank you all very much.

(anonymous)
Wonderful article. It's really amazing what Mr. Fields is doing. I was looking for some more info on him after I read this article and found this interview with him. Pretty interesting.http://blackandwhiteprogram.com/interview/trevor-field-playpumps-international

Andy Weigel - Pittsburgh, PA
Very interesting story! Here's an interview I found with Trevor Field http://blackandwhiteprogram.com/interview/trevor-field-of-playpumps-international-2">Trevor Field of PlayPumps International.
Hope you enjoy!

Toronto, Ontario
Really inspiring documentry.You have the biggest heart.

(anonymous)
I m so impressed and overwhelmed by this idea. I really wish we use use this technology in my home country, Nepal.

da monsta - NYC, NY
Wow. This is one heck of a great idea. It is fun and it works.

Jen Guzmen - Alice Springs, NT. Australia
Beautiful. Thanks Trevor!

Claudia B - Stillwater, MN
My third and fourth grade students have been doing research on water purification, and would like to share their information through video conference with students from Latin American countries. Play pumps for many communities in Latin America (Haiti, Bolivia) are needed. It would be great if every classroom in this country adopts a community and does the fund raiser to provide a play pump. From A Spanish Immersion School in St. Paul, MN.

Nevada City, California
Send more info. Keep up the good work. I like this idea because it creates community, and is fun.

Andrea Lackey - McKinney, Texas
I showed my Brownie Troop the video to prepare for World Thinking Day for Girl Scouts. They finally understood how fortunate we are and how being aware of other countries and situations is important -- and that one person can make a difference. Thank you!!!

John Randolph - Cupertino, CA
Trevor,
You're an inspiration. Hats off to you, your staff, and your contributors. -jcr

daniel boone - macks creek, missouri
I think that the play pump is a very smart idea!

Allen, TX
I loved how Trevor Field was creative enough to kill two birds with one stone. Not only did he find a way to bring water to the community but also to bring happiness to the children of the region that don't have much joy around them. It is amazing to me that other people haven't been able to find solutions similar to this one for the problems in Africa. It is such a simple concept but is obviously having a major impact on the area. I'm interested to know how much progress Field has made towards his goal and how he plans to expand off of this idea.

Tyler Keating - Allen, Tx
There are in this world, few wonders that i've seen as impressive and paradigm altering as this. So rarely, amidst the peril of poverty, HIV running rampant, the genocide in Sudan and the constant state of total social and political instability, that there comes news of hope and new beginning from the continent of Africa. Field has really, truly introduced an idea that will shape a continent. It was amazing in the least to see that for once, one person can do so much for so many causes. Foremost is the water, but secondly is that at the cheap cost of installation and given the lack of playground equipment, Field has simultaneously given to two huge groups. Also, his selling of the water-tank ad space to the HIV awareness charity is truly an idea of genius, as it allows him reach children by simple proximity. If his idea can take flight, i can definitely see Mr. Field's three-pronged system of help for Africa spearhead the beginning of a new dawn for the African continent. Ideas like his can change an entire social structure.

Bill Kissam - Decatur, Alabama
Just watched the video. Our Rotary Club is considering doing a water project and a friend shared this email with me. I am very impressed. Clean water and satisfying children creative energies. Superb.

Shaher A. Geyash - Abu Dhabi, UAE
Kindly email me the Technical Diagram for the manufacture of the Play Pump. I volunteer to manufacture these at my own cost and supply free to some rural areas in Africa, where your foundation has not yet covered. Please. Thank you.

(anonymous)
Fantastic achievement! God bless the hands that work to help others.

eric polaski - Cluj, Romania
Pumps lead to healthier children who can learn better in school. Better educated children can help their nations. Although some parts of Africa are not included, the grant shows that others join in when a good idea is demonstrated to work in countries. Hope this goes to Asia and South America.

bernadette slosmanis - prince george BC, Canada
I want to contribute to Trevor Field's efforts in Africa. I was thrilled when I saw what he's done. I want to share the technology with World Vision. I have adopted a little girl in a community in Chenai, near Calcutta, India. They have to wash in the river. There is a need in India for Trevor Field's PlayPumps.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
You can contact Trevor Field directly at...
info@playpumps.org

Sue Jones - Ann Arbor, MI
Related program at Kickstart.org is even better! Cheap pumps families can purchase and own are more likely to be maintained and useful.

annonymous - Vancouver, BC Canada
I just watched your amazing story of providing clean water in Africa. What really caught my attention beside the clean water being provided was also the enjoyment being provided to the children.The idea of using the water tower as a billboard to educate children against the spead of hiv and aids is brilliant. Keep up the great work. God bless.

New Orleans, la
I am glad there is help comming. The people of Somaliland can not wait to benefit from this program and are ready to help in anyway. There are many organizations that will also benefit from this design. I was wondering if you are willing to share the work with them. Please contact me and I will get you in touch with some one inside Somaliland.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
You should contact Trevor Field directly at...
info@playpumps.org

Claude Denver - Chugiak, Alaska
As a hydrogeologist for several years, I've seen all types of water wells drilled in remote areas, but this play pump idea is brilliant. Does my heart good to know that basic human problems can still be solved with innovative and creative solutions. Cudos to PBS as well.

Arye Michael Bender - San Francisco, CA
Saw the piece on the play pump broadcast last night and was delighted that attention is being focused on a process that will help so many. More stories with hope at the core, please.

sardar iftikhar-khan - harrisburg, pa
It is a great idea and good news for those people who need clean water.I came from Pakistan and we don't have water at all in our village.

Brenda-Claire Hall - Calgary, Alberta, Alberta, Canada
I saw this program on Trevor Field's invention and I now have access to a powerful foundation that actually looks for great ideas to invest their money into to empower people to help themselves, it is called XL Extraordinary Lives. I am going to a business meeting with two very highly placed people in XL and I will pitch Trevor's idea. John Gray and Abdul Raihim are here to ask our advice and to gain new members that pay into this global pool of money just waiting for great inspirational ideas to launch mankind forward. There is a fast growing movement in Asia Pacific of entrepreneurs who are taking control of their power to create and contribute wealth. This emerging community of enterprising pioneers is crossing borders, building networks and sharing knowledge-they are daring to make a difference in extraordinary ways. I will seek to help you in this endeavor by asking them to fund this powerful idea whose time is now!!
Sincerely:
Brenda-Claire Hall
entrepreuneur with Isagenix International, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Shiraz, Iran
It solves the lack of drinking water. Thanks for this great invention and thank you for reporting of this event.

Ellen Sager - Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia
I saw the program and was overwhelmed with how great this initiative is. The idea of not only having clean water but having something that children can enjoy is amazing. The support it is given is super and I hope that millions are helped by this "simple" idea.

Frank Perroni - Bayside, NY
Simple solutions are elegant. Our company expects to provide portable power units to help dig the future wells in Africa, Asia and beyond to help continue this good work. Centorque, FL.

Andrew Gladding - Copenhagen, Denmark
What a great idea! I just want to help out somehow. HOW ?

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Contact Trevor Field directly. His e-mail is listed many times on the thread of messages below.

Stephen Hill - Mesa, AZ
The Arizona Region of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two Year College, has taken on as it's 2007-2008 service project, raising the $14,000 necessary to donate a pumping system.
--
Stephen Hill
President 2007-2008
Arizona Region
Phi Theta Kappa

Ellie Sturgis - Newport, VA
Phenomenal story of the power of people to help people directly.

raju lama - kathmandu, bagmati
I would like more information. Thank you.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Contact the Play Pump people directly. Their web site is:
www.roundabout.co.za

Sandra Smith - 21 East 95th Street, Brooklyn N. Y. 11212
I am so pleased to hear of this good work, this shows human kindness, and love.
Sandra Smith

Abbas Muluubya - Montgomery Village, MD
The multi effect is a quite splendid idea. The kids make good use of their free time. Thank you.

Jeffrey Lanpher - Coweta, OK
God bless!

James Mugisha - Kampala, Uganda
I accessed your works as I treked through the websites. Am greatly moved by the innovations. They need to be scaled up to reach more under privileged communities. I could be your ambassador here in Uganda, given more information. Thank you for the noble job done so far. James Mugisha

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
For more information, visit the Play Pump web site:
www.roundabout.co.za

Shonda Mahoney - Fairview, Oregon
I loved this story. But who invented such a clever idea? Maybe I missed that part, but I'd like to know how someone came up with the idea, etc. What a great and yet simple idea!

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
For further information, visit the Play Pump web site.
www.roundabout.co.za

Badrul Alam - Dhaka, Bangladesh
It is a very useful and enjoyable documentery.

Kitty Brook - Wye,Ashford, United Kingdom
At our Ashford Rotary Club we have actually raised money to install a Water Roudabout near Helpmekaar in Kwazulu Natal. This was installed a year ago and 4 of us went to visit the site (primary school) in April this year. We now are getting the funds for a second Roundabout.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
That's great.

Andover, kansas
I have heard of this before, but this video gave me the chills. I am so happy that people are out there making difference and that even our government is getting involved.

Kate Shea - Minneapolis, Mn
Thank you so much for actually caring! I am leaving to live in South Africa for 5 months, so I will be sure to keep an eye out for any play pumps.
I hope that we would all look at what gifts we have been given and ask ourselves, how can I use this to change my community?
Way to go, I seriously get goosebumps when I hear this kind of stuff. God bless you, for real!!

(anonymous)
Unbelievable. This was a very heartbreaking and uplifting piece all in one. I am so happy that someone has come up with such a wonderful invention to help save these peoples lives one village at a time.

Stone Mountain, GA
This is sooo ...wonderful! !God Bles you. I have added your program to my mission. We must not take our greatest gifts for granted before it is too late for all.

Pam Minnix - Centerville, IN
My husband is a well driller in Indiana, he is currently in Haiti drilling water wells, I'd hope this would work there as well. What a great idea, but I'm not sure Haiti has enough flat area for this, would have to be looked into.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
You may want to view and read a story one of our FRONTLINE/World Fellows did about water in Haiti.
Click the url below...

http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/fellows/haiti/indexa.html

Portola's Fourth Grade Class - San Bruno, CA
We were so inspired by your video on PlayPumps that we decided to write a book about the water problems in the world. We have been in contact with Trevor Field who put us in contact with Talia Leman of RandomKid. We are now in the process of working with RandomKid on a project we hope will raise lots of money and awareness to this very important issue.Thank you for supporting this cause by producing this video.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
You are very welcome. Good luck with your book!

Talia Leman - Waukee, Iowa
I am a playpump fan and a half, and I have a nonprofit that unifies kids and schools toward their causes. I am starting a super exciting fundraiser for playpumps for kids and schools across America, and I am inviting you to email me so that you can learn about our plan, OR so they we can help you with your plan! Let's increase our power and unify our efforts! Just so you know, we are about truly empowering kids to make a difference for the things they care about. You can visit our website at www.randomkid.org or reach me at Talia@randomkid.org.
Can't wait to see what this posting leads to!

Johanne Lefebvre - Montreal, Canada
What a great educational idea! I showed the video to my 8th grade english class students and then did an awareness workshop with the article included. Just fantastic! They really appreciated it.

Patrick McCluskey - Wheaton, Illinois
Thank you for bringing this great story to your viewers, and Mr. Field for his vision and hard work. He is changing the world and making it a better place to live for many.

Fred Kofi Amponsah - Bronx, NY
I had always thought the world we live in was ending, with ever increasing population and a vanishing limited natural resource. Such a complicated phenomena in a complex world until I saw your piece. A very low tech, common scientific sense to solve a very complex water problem that the "best brains" in the world finds solutions to very elusive. You have killed many birds with one stone: - children get to play and be healthy, provide clean drinking water, save rural mothers and children energy by limiting their trek to the stream to fetch sometime contaminated water and carrying them back over considerable distance etc. You have improved the quality of life.

williamston, nc
Great Story, please share information so that the children in my area can help buy this for a town. How much fun to help others, great report.

(anonymous)
Do you think we need exercise! But yes I would love to see this in our region!

art carrillo - quito, ecuador
Just a wonderful practical invention. You already have a place in heaven.
Good boy scout.

Siyad Jelle - Columbus, OH
I saw this program and I was amazed how this water pump changing people lives, I thank you for showing us such program.Also, I am from East Africa. I know this will help a lot of my people in the remote villages of Ethiopia. Please let me now how I can contribute and get this water pump.Thank you.

Bruce Dynes - Andover, MN
What is great about this project is that it is simple and the whole community shares in the responsibility of keeping it going. All reap the benefits and all help. This is not slave labor but a sense of community and individual empowerment and pride for all. Good job.

Renee Clermont - Columbia, MD 21044, MD
What a wonderful invention. It's by divine intervention when my friend called me to watch a program on Haiti and later on the PlayPlump came on. I am actually looking to solve the water problem in my orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti. We have to buy water to use and the kids fetch drinking water in a near by spring. I can try to raise funds to get one of the play pump for them. I love watching the kids playing on the merry-go-round. Thank you Mr. Field for such a brilliant idea.

Zoe Krasney - Albuquerque, New Mexico
What is the feasibility of having some of the roundabout pumps installed in drought-affected areas of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere? Clean water would make such a difference for health, agriculture, and replanting the forests.

Deborah Russell - Seattle, Wa.
I really liked this idea. I have been saying for years, if we could harness all the renewable energy that children have then we would not have to depend on fossil fuels. Maybe someone can come up with a plan to use a teeter-totter to for a form of renewable energy from children playing on it.

Joanne Weidig - East Lansing, MI
This is the very best idea I have ever heard! It is absolutely genius--yes worthy of a Nobel Prize!--to give children a toy which produces lifesaving water! Perhaps Mr. Field can find a way to coordinate with the Vestergaard Frandsen Co. (Europe) which makes the Lifestraw (www.lifestraw.com), a personal, inexpensive water purifier, and Mr. & Mrs. Padget in Brighton, MI, USA (www.solarovens.org), and give each village 1 Play pump, 1 Solar oven per family, and a Lifestraw for each person. And throw in a few of the above-suggested wheelbarrows, too, for good measure. I love that all of these ideas came from individual entrepreneurs who simply care about our world and humanity enough to pursue them to reality. You are all to be commended.

(anonymous)
Thank you a million Trevor! This is practical wisdom, what we all need to solve most of our problems. A simple solution to a big problem. I would like to know how possible it is to help my poor village in Kigumo Maragua District Kigumo. I am fond of farming but in our village there is no reliable flow of water. This puts me in a dilemma like the rest of my villagers. Is there a way we can be supported by well-wishers out there?

Pa Mambuna Bojang - Lexington, KY
The play pump is simply a God given innovation. Growing up in Gunjur Village, The Gambia, West Africa, I share everything with those wonderful kids jumping on the play pump. Access to clean drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa will save thousands of lives at all ages. The "globally-thinking" Mr. Field is a world hero and should be awarded Nobel prize for his selfless being. Long may he endure good health to keep providing clean drinking water for the needy!

Linda Heylin - Brookdale, CA
My son is in the Peace Corps in Niger and working on water for his village. This is a very good program for him to see. I am forwarding it to him. I thank Mr. Field for this amazing program.

Yakubu Azi - Atlanta, GA
This is fantastic - I was born and raised in Nigeria but moved to the USA... years ago - Indeed access to clean water was a problem 25 years ago in my home town of Jos East and is still a problem today - Mr. Trevor Field, thank you very much for the wonderful work you are doing - May God bless -

(anonymous)
This is an invention worthy of much praise.

Mahdi Zain - St. Paul, MN
This is really great. I would like to be the representative of play pump international in Sudan, my native country, to solve the problem of those who suffer to get a drink of clean water. Please let me know about the details of how can I introduce this to Sudan.

(anonymous)
I had the benefit of watching the update on PBS with my young sons and explained that is what every human should strive for, to help one another. You should be nominated for a Nobel Prize for physics, "The simple solution to a complex problem".

Stillwater, OK
Wonderful and inspiring.

Brenda Fitzgerald - Medway, MA
We visited Botswana, Zambia and South Africa three years ago and were overwhelmed at the lack of water for the local communities. Even one-half mile away from the world's largest waterfall, the women were walking with those pots on their heads. I am now on my way to your website to see how my family and friends can help. We would like to see more publicity on this story.

Demmye Booras - San Diego, CA
Bravo Trevor! What a brilliant concept. This is the type of innovation that can really change the world. You're an inspiration to all of us to rethink problems in search of simpler solutions. Thank you!

(anonymous)
I LOVE the idea! It is creative, inventive, and kind-hearted. I ADORE IT!

John Mchale - Melbourne, FL
What a wonderful story in this day in age. Keep up the good work. Trevor Field is a genius (he is a blessed man). I look forward to contributing financially to his efforts.

San Jose, CA
Simple and very effective. Great idea. I would like to know more info. This would be perfect at 3rd world countries.

Richard Cohen - Maplewood, NJ
I work for Liberty Science Center, New Jersey's premier science museum, and was assigned to develop a presentation on water purification methods. I was excited to see this video on Frontline last evening and will certainly share information on this wonderful project with colleagues and museum guests after our museum's grand reopening in July of 2007.

Kansas City, MO
How can we donate money to this project?

Gabrielle Ravioli - North Reading, MA
Mr. Field, your invention is truly inspiring. I commend you for the great task you are taking on, and hope that you will accomplish your goals with all-around support. What you are doing for the families and especially the children of Africa is amazing. I hope that others will pursue similar projects with the same determination, so that the world may bring life to this and other distressed communities worldwide.

(anonymous)
Try helping out your own country for a change. (Iraq)

Florence Y. - LA, CA
Once again this demonstrates that our youth can and will take proactive steps to ensure a bright future. They just have to be made aware and a fearless-somebody must give them an opportunity. Let's all stay open minded.

(anonymous)
Fantastic idea; we saw it on the show. Do you have his email address please?

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Trevor Field's email address is: trevorf@roundabout.co.za

J. Brandon Vidrio - Sacramento, CA
Thank you Mr. Field and associates for this simple but effective creation to bring drinking water to areas that are less fortunate. This seems huge! I'm considering the Play Pump for my research project (senior thesis).

Nicole Lanphear - Kingfisher, OK
Hey, could FFA chapters and shop classes help build these pumps? Those that do, could we send delegates to Africa to help install and teach farming/animal health care? Just an idea. Way to go Mr. Field. These pumps could help all over the world.

South Bend, IN
I am deeply moved by this inspiring article. How interesting to learn that the colonists helped create this problem too. This is one way to begin payback time. In a world reflecting so much greed, anxiety, fear, and despair, you have brought light to the truth that we are meant to find solutions and help one another. I may not come up with an ingenious idea, but it is my privilege to support the courage and genius of others. Hooray for oneness, generosity and peace. Thank you Frontline for bringing our attention to this wonderful happening.

Jacqueline Saltibus-Parham - Cambria Heights, NY
Thank you so much for not only enlightening my children, but me. Water is something we ALL take for granted. Now we can see others who DO NOT have water and ways of getting clean water to people in need. We will help to do our share.

Michael Whelan - Bend, OR
Great success; congratulations. I'm working with Paramedics For Children, building a children's center in Copan Honduras for 100 kids; we have an abundance of water in the stream but this would be an amazing way to get it the 400 lateral feet and 20 vertical feet to the building. Does it filter also? Thanks for the great work.

Rachel Russell - Columbus, OH
What a great invention! I watched the segment in WOSU, public TV. I was very moved. I thought about my own childhood in Africa and I got chills. I would like to bring play pump to Burkina Faso. Can you help me?

Vijay Khasat - Clinton, OH
I was fascinated by the story. Many poor villages in India can really use the play pump installations. I would be willing to volunteer my services for this cause. I am a retired civil engineer. Where can I get more details?

Kombo Alpha - Jacksonville, FL
From horsepower to children power. Energy exists in many forms. Appropriate technology is the answer for remote villages in developing countries.

Elizabeth Robledo - Los Angeles, CA
This story has really touched my heart. Mr. Field is a genius and wonderful person. I was smiling from ear to ear throughout this film just seeing these kids have fun on the play pump! Let's get involved with Mr. Field and send him donations...I am! Just send whatever you can; it all adds up!

Richard Hernandez - Bronx, NY
Thanks for this heart-warming story. There is an after school program in the South Bronx, MS 254, that has raised a thousand dollars for this program. Kids helping kids. Ms. Garcia is the Program Director. Like Trevor, Ms. Rasheedah Garcia makes this world a better place for children. God bless them both!

Sandy Shoopman - Fairland, IN
God Bless you for your loving heart and for caring so much for these forgotten orphans. There is an orphanage in Hlane, near Swaziland, Southern Africa that needs clean water. Please contact me if you can help them with their lack of clean water to drink. I can tell you all the details.

PJ Patierno - Denver, CO
This is such a simple story about a seemingly simple device that brings such a fundamental change for these people. Wow! I think this journey by Trevor is incredible. I love every aspect of it and I am glad his project is getting this attention which is leading to the needed financial support in terms of donations and grants.

Sonya Stewart - Pittsburgh, PA
This is the coolest thing I have ever encountered. The biggest problem in the world solved with $7,000 a pop and the side effects are all positive as well. I am ready to quit my job and go from church to church and mosque to mosque raising money and marching American people to villages in Africa. Innovative, environmentally friendly, and building the local economy while attacking the social and public health issue of AIDS--wow. Glad my husband tunes into PBS.

Roger Hosbein - Winnetka, IL
Frontline is a fabulous program. Trevor field is a true entrepreneur.

Jim Swink - Six Mile, SC
Trevor proves once again that one person can make a difference to millions of people. Christ Church of Greenville, South Carolina has been part of a water project in Haiti and I have seen first hand the power of fresh water.

Jesse Allen - Slippery Rock, PA
Wonderful story. It is true, when people care and work together, great things can happen. What a simple way to make left better for so many!

Veronica Rhodes - Tupelo, MS
What an inspiring story! Thanks PBS for airing it. Trevor is a perfect example of how one person can make such a huge difference in the world. Every human, and animal in my opinion, should have access to the basics for a healthy life, like clean water, nutritious food, shelter, and of course love.

Pittsburgh, PA
My daughter and I were completely mesmerized by the story of how simple yet elegant the Play Pump invention was to South Africa. We are planning to send a contribution to Trevor Field. Bravo to Frontline!

Mary Elmendorf - Sarasota, Florida
In1957, I was Director of CARE in Mexico. With Quaker volunteers working for American Friends Service Committee and support from Mexicans at every level--village, state, national--we drilled a well, added a pump, and demonstrated that safe drinking water could save hours of time as well as the lives of many children--over 50 percent of whom were dying before their fifth birthday. Too bad that we didn't have the wonderful roundabout for the children then. Congratulations. May this project stimulate worldwide response to this basic need--safe and accessible drinking water.

Houston, TX
I enjoyed this piece. I am currently teaching a biotechnology class where students must design a simple technology for developing countries. This should help spark the imagination of many kids!

Decatur, GA
My husband and I saw the story last night and I couldn't stop saying "wow". I love this idea; it brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face to know that the kids got a great playground toy that also brought them clean water. Thank you for caring about people beyond your own backyard.

Kate Grabowski-Clark - Glastonbury, CT
I am a teacher in the Glastonbury Public Schools in Connecticut. Over a month ago, I came across a Play Pump ad in the New York Times. With a group of amazing fifth graders, we came up with a plan for a fundraiser named "Water 4 Water", where we are selling bottles of cold water each morning in the school's lobby. In a few short weeks, we have raised over $400 in one school! The plan now is to expand this project to all elementary schools in our district, with our goal to raise the $14,000 by June, enough to install a Play Pump. We are truly "pumped up" to reach our goal. Thanks Trevor, for an inspiring idea.

Michelle - Philadelphia, PA
Thank you PBS for programs like these. Thank you Frontline for your stories and for showing us the world beyond what's on popular media. It is amazing to me the spirit of people to make the world, our world a better place. I actively search for stories like these because they are inspirational, they motivate me to try and make a difference. We are all human beings sharing a planet and its just amazing to see others reaching beyond their comfort zone to impact the lives of others. Thanks once again.

Paul Williams - Edmonton, Alberta
Thank-you so much for this gift you have brought to this world Trevor. God Bless you! Hey everyone, what else can we think of that may bring as much life & joy to the world as Trevor's idea? I know I am thinking of a few, what about you? PS With more water comes more sewage! What about combining water distribution with a methane gathering sewage disposal system? Raw methane from sewage can be used for cooking & heating fuel. Now that's cooking with gas (literally)!

Shelby Jacobs - Oceanside, Ca
The Play pumps are a wonderful way to deliver water to all of Africa.

Murray Knowler - Turner Valley, Alberta
What an incredible idea! How about phase two of this project be the creation and distribution of a low cost, light weight, low maintenance wheel barrow or cart. Transporting the water back to their homes seems to be the next challenge for these people.

David Okong'o - Kisumu, Kenya
This is great to get and give clean water to the community. Am looking forward to help my community to have one so the children will also a chance to play.

Stephen Dowdy - Broomfield, CO
Amazing! Just saw a Frontline/World re-broadcast of this. "Child Labor" but for a good cause! It's hard not to be cynical about motives these days, but I'm sold. Another great aspect to this is that it counters some of the privatization of the world's water resources by corporations who might make the claim only they can deliver water. "Frontline" is the top priority entry on my personal video recorder software's "Favorites List" for the reason that you provide us with great information such as this.

Washington, DC
Thank you Frontline team for showing this video again today. Coming from a developing country myself, I realize how pressing the problem of clean drinking water can be. By bringing this issue into the forefront, your piece will certainly bring some change in conditions for thousands of people around the world.

E BYRON - DELRAY, FL
When I saw the show at the beginning I thought...I wish I had a lot of money so I can give to this "playpumps program" then, when I saw that the First Lady of USA collected money for this project it put me at ease. I still will want to contribute somehow. I'll be talking and showing this to others and start doing something to help. Thanks WXEL for showing the program.

Paula - Brooklyn, NY
I enjoyed watching this story on Frontline tonight. Mr. Field I smile at what you did for the young children in South Africa. Who of us does not like seeing smiling, healthy children at play? I applaud your humanitarian efforts and wish I too can come to South Africa to work on this project. Keep up the great work. Great job to Frontline for covering such a positive story.

Jimmy Nowell - Granbury, Texas
My wife saw this program when it first aired on PBS, but I didn't have a real idea how it worked! Now I do, and say BRAVO!, for Trevor! A fantastic idea, every school in dry areas NEED this!

Montclair, NJ
What a fabulously inventive idea and contribution to all those who struggle with water deficiency!

Adam Brang - University of North Florida, FL
This is an excellent example of an innovative idea that has multiple positive outcomes. Adjusting the solution to fit the challenge is so important. Let's hope the benefit of this reaches those most in need.

Joan Lobell - Baltimore, MD
It's so great to hear some good news, especially about such simple solutions to closing gaps between people of the world and making such huge differences to the way we all live. More power to Trevor Field and people like him who want to give of themselves to make the world a better place to live, especially for those whose lives are the hardest. Thanks for such great programming and finding stories like this one.

Beau Duncan - Grenada, MS
What a love-fest of people in total denial who have never traveled the real world. Nice dream for those who avoid the nasty reality of the world.

Tom Zimmerman - Philadelphia, PA
Awesome... How one man can change the lives of so many with one simply beautiful idea. play exercise kids = life. I have been to Africa twice, and I will return many more times.

Eric Stubbs - Hattiesburg, MS
Simple yet revolutionary; true genius! How can I help? I have seemingly endless resources for manpower and the determination to get the funds donated. Bringing these people water is real help! That is changing lives! Where do I sign?

Bangor, MI
What a story! I just saw "Play Pumps" on my local TV news and logged on to the web site. Kudos to Mr. Field. What an idea! I'm taking the information to my United Methodist Women's group next week to convince them to do a fundraiser. God is pleased with you, Mr. Field.

(anonymous)
Our class is doing a fundraiser to help raise money to build another one of these, and I thought it was a GREAT simple way to get clean water! If you think about it, the money is pretty cheap since it can guzzle water to lots of people and it takes only one-day installation! I'm glad this was invented--maybe less death will occur because of this!

(anonymous)
Our high school Red Cross club would like to provide a well for a community in Africa. We have started fundraising and our goal is to raise $5000. We would like to use this money to provide a community with clean drinking water but we cannot find an organization that would dedicate our funds to a particular community. The students want to be able to communicate with the people in the community and perhaps take on additional projects to help the community. Is there an organization that is willing to enter into partnership with the students?

Kampala, Uganda
I would like to participate in any way that I can. I am a third year student in Makerere University doing international business administration.

Emmanuel Ndikum - Los Angeles, CA
Water brings life indeed. Thanks to the constructive invention of the great Trevor Field, millions of people across the globe will have access to fresh water. I am originally from Cameroon, Central Africa, and having experienced firsthand the problem of water in rural areas, I know the PlayPump will save lives. I am very inspired by your invention and will be presenting it as the project of the year to all Cameroonian groups here in the U.S. for fundraising. Please, send me information on how the PlayPump can be built and maintained locally. Basically, what are my options for getting the PlayPump working sooner in areas in my country? You're the man, Mr. Trevor Field -aka- "Fresh Waterman." Thanks again and also to Frontline for bringing this story to viewers and readers across the world. God bless you.

Houston, TX
The story is so moving. I am originally from Africa and have known what it is like to be without water. I would like to be part of this wonderful project, maybe one for my village.

(anonymous)
I am doing the model United Nations and I am using the play pump.

Felicia Parker - Sacramento, CA
To even start our day, we need water. This story particularly interested me, since I am looking for a community project for my Alumnae Sorority, how can we help and support or build a "Play Pump." There's nothing like being able to do for one's self, it's a basic human right.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Please see: http://www.playpumps.org/

Stan Sujka - Winter Park, FL
Outstanding! Having just returned from Kenya and Tanzania, this is one project that desires our financial support. I had children begging us not for money, but water and pens.

Lusaka, Zambia
I enjoyed reading this stuff but how do I help the rural people here in Zambia. I need some people who are willing to join hands with me to move the water sector forward, from drinking to the irrigation sector. Please connect me to whoever is willing to help or even come down to Zambia so that we can help our disadvantaged people.

Yokohama, Japan
Like everyone who has observed children running about the playground, I thought if only we could harness their energy...

Honolulu, HI
I am a student and we are presently learning about social entrepreneurship and sustainability. You have inspired me and many others in my class!

Frew Tibebu - Tracy, Ca
I knew there will be a solution to all the problem associated with clean water....about time somebody start applying this simple & appropriate technology to the region. I just hope that it spreads like wild fire all over Africa. It is a shame that the so called developed nations have not thought about this.The story grabbed my heart ! Thank you Mr. Trevor you are my hero!

WC, CA
This is fabulous! It also lets me know that people want to be part of the solutions to their own problems.

David Sugarman - Queens, NY
At last! A negative reaction. How long before you raise a generation of slaves? ("You'll get lunch after you've worked the water wheel two hours!") In essence: The White Man's Modern Invention for Africa. Go back three thousand years and get a child-labor shadouf.

Weatherford, Texas
I think this is a wonderful invention. I look forward for more infromation and stories such as these. I pray that we can raise the money we need to give clean water to every child that needs it.

Natasha Liu - Kensington, CA
Everybody make a suggestion to Oprah (Oprah.com) to have Trevor Fields on her show. Then he'll get even more positive exposure!

(anonymous)
This article was very moving. All ideas are great. I just wished that there were more people out there doing what's needed to help these countries.

John Washington - Vallejo, CA
At a time when governments can't wait to complicate issues and fight over them, one man comes up with a wonderful plan that is brilliant in its simplicity. This could ONLY be on PBS! Also, is there any way that I could learn more about the beautiful music in this story?

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Thanks for your interest in the music in The Play Pump. It's from a CD called "The Colours of South Africa, Part One" by Robin Hogarth, published by Associated Production Music (APM).

Mary M. - Chicago, IL
What a great idea! I love it. But these from 'anonymous' are excellent questions:
(anonymous)
[Is there some plan to make sure the pump can be maintained and repaired? Is local technology used? How many are still being used after 5 years?]Too many good ideas have foundered on the issue of maintenance and repair in rural and underdeveloped areas of the world. Please post something on your site about this.

Ipswich, UK
Your compassion for the suffering has driven you to a practical response to alleviate suffering. What wonderful gifts of heart, mind and practicality you have. Keep using your gifts.

Vivain Chinda-Manjor - Lagos, Lagos
It is so amazing to hear that people like Field still exist. Bringing development to the poor communities cannot only be enough but the sustainability of these projects are very crucial. Thank you very much for this piece. It reminds me of my village where I come from.

John Peter Rugut - Eldoret, Kenya
It rekindles in me the many struggles and challenge that some children undergo in many parts of the world: poverty, disease, war, famine, etc. Such is a very creative way of self- sustainability.

Venkatesha Murthy - Bangalore, Karnataka, India
It is a wonderful invention. We in India need something like that for the rural water supply combined with playing equipment for children in villages. The cost of $7000 seems to be too high for us to afford. Perhaps a cheaper version which is also durable and maintenance free can be produced if they are mass-produced and subsidised by UNICIF or such agency. Thank you for your kind action of helping the poor with water and equipment for play combined together. We in India experience a lot of power cuts and it is difficult to depend on electricity and we use hand pumps which require frequent maintenance. We may try this new concept at some of our rural schools. If funds are made available we may try this through Sri Vivekananda Sevashrama.

Valerie Edwards - Los Angeles, CA
This brilliantly simple idea is powerful not only because it can be replicated easily and cheaply, but because it harnesses human nature to make it work. Children naturally love to play, and parents love their children to have fun, so the dynamics are perfectly aligned for this wonderful invention to work anywhere. Mr. Field is my hero.

(anonymous)
Fabulous, innovative. This brought tears to my eyes. It is a win-win for everyone.

Anthony Lynch - Torrington, CT
The people of Onsworth know that one hand washes the other, so let's join hands and let the people have fresh water. Thanks Mr. Field and everybody that's involved in that wonderful project.

David Hansen - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Just learned of your site. I am raising money for drilling wells in Keny (http://waterforkenya.org) I have a Board of nationals there and a team of workers. I would love to have more information. Our priority is to drill wells for schools, churches, orphanages and market places. This would be wonderful to employ. Please provide me with more details.

Castro Valley, California
What a wonderfully simple invention with the capability of transforming so many lives. Talk about your life saving devices! I'm inspired.

M. Otechi Nyangweso - Middletown, DE
I am a Kenyan visiting Delaware this summer. You need to have been in the rural areas and urban slums of Africa to know how degrading the lack of access to safe water is to the poor people of Africa. Trevor's effort is a blessing from God and my prayer is that it can be replicated across Africa 10 million times over. Guys in the West need to loosen their purses towards this noble cause.

Charl Trichard Trichard - Bloemfontein, Free State
See the latest POWER WHEEL. This one pumps to 150m, static water level, but at the same time generates electrcity! See www.aqualec.co.za These units have effectively been used in Kwa Zulu Natal, South AFrica, where water lies very deep owing to the landscape. Through 3 years of intensive research, the mark III has finally been launched which produces 220V ac current, enough to run computers, tv's and even charge cell phones, especially in rural areas/schools.

Bill Wattenburg - San Francisco, Ca
They should couple this water pump with an inexpensive device for purifying water that was developed by the University of California Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory (Dept of Energy). It uses UV light to purify enough drinking water for a 1000 people each day. It could be powered by people power as well.

Jim Sands - Orem, UT
Sometimes in trying to solve the world's problems, we look to the latest technology for solutions...and miss the mark. In this case, the simplest idea is the best. Thanks for the creative and heartwarming story!

Robert Potter - Portland, Oregon
There are so many good causes. This one however has prompted me to action. I will undertake fundraising activities and try to help. Thank you for bringing this important story to my attention.

Donjae Watson - Chicago, IL
It gave me great pleasure (not to mention hope in mankind) to read this story. My hat goes off to you Mr. Field, and your team!

(anonymous)
An idea so simple ....so beautiful...bringing joy and health to people's lives....how perfect is that!

Susie - Lex, SC
We watch Frontline all the time. This show was incredible! Thank you PBS and Mr.Field for being there.

Indrakant Patel - Markham, Canada
I am really impressed with the project! It is combines fun and usefulness which helps in developing the minds of the children too! I am also thinking of how it may be intorduced in other areas!

Brendan Ugwoke - Elkhar, IN
I am so thrilled with the story of the Play Pump. Since May 9th, it has been on my mind 24hrs a day. I am from a rich but poor country and would like to know how I can import this idea to help my village.

ROBERT WATSON - North Tonawanda, N.Y.
What a happy feeling your story left me with. Such a simple idea with huge results. I refuse to believe anyone seeing this story could not be moved to open their wallets. TELL YOUR FRIENDS PEOPLE!

Ocek Eke - Elon, NC
Thank you so much for this program - you and Mr. Field have given hope to many around the world. Because of this program, I know I definitely have a project for my global studies course next fall - to introduce students to this project and get all of us involved in making the play pump more available to those who need them.

Pasadena, CA
Saw the Frontline Show on May 9, 2006. Would like more information with the possiblity of financial support.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Please contact Trevor Field directly.

jim fritz - novato, ca
Mr Field has shown the South African government the way and now it's up to the government to gather its resources in the interests of its poorer citizens. There are very few things more important than clean fresh water for the health and welfare of the people of any country, no matter how rich or poor that country is. And South Africa is not poor.

Jerry Ohs Ohs - Pony, Mt.
Terrific idea. I am looking forward to working in the area of clean water with the bio-sand-filter, and drilling new wells with Lifewater International. This playpump would work so well with what we are trying to do.

Alan B. and Miriam O. Campbell - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
We never miss opportunity to learn more about our world through FRONTLINE. We truly appreciate your dedication to this mission of enlightenment. My wife and I are 85 years old and have been married 65 of them. Thank you!

Africa Brown - Chicago, IL
This is GREAT! I want to help raise money for this, my sister and I sing. My father was Oscar Brown Jr.,Can we donate our talent for shows or fund raisers I would love to help! Need more like Trevor, you rock!

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
We're sure Trevor Field would love to hear from you. Oscar Brown Jr. was always one of our favorites.

Jim Scarborough - Cary, NC
Awesome idea! Great story! "How can I help?" I quickly wondered. http://www.playpumps.org/ is the official site for the program with links for donations and other information. I also stumbled across http://www.changemakers.net/ - a site with information on various social entrepreneurship projects. I was quite surprised to find that the playpumps.org site wasn't on the links page for the story.

Sonja Richter - Seattle, WA
What a simple and effective thing! It could also be used to generate power as well! Any application of the "Play Pump" as the "Play Generator?"

(anonymous)
One of the most encouraging and delightful stories I've ever seen. Thank you!

Erin Prevette - Escalon, CA
This was truly a beautiful story - not only providing a desperately needed source of potable water but providing joy to so many children. This is truly improving lives and I will be sharing this story with others.

(anonymous)
SPECTACULAR! I worked as a missionary at a Center for Handicapped Persons in Central Africa. Beautiful country, beautiful people but oh! How lacking in potable water supply to heavily populated areas. I can see the spots where I would love to see these fun for children pumps be installed..

Al Postle - Latham, NY
Fun concept, BUT how many African Villages can afford $7000for a Play Pump? The pump must be part of a larger system that pays for itself or the price must be brought down significantly.

(anonymous)

New York City, New York
I was watching "Going Tribal" with my son educating him on the challenges that the poor face in this world, most importantly the lack of fresh drinking water. My son responded, "Mom maybe when you retire you can bring fresh drinking water to the poor...." Two days later I found myself learning about Trevor Field and his mission to bring fresh drinking water to those in South Africa. It is a testament to his will and shows everyone that what it takes is some ingenuity and determination. One pereson can make a difference. Thank you for airing this. Because of your show I will be contacting Mr. Field.

Sybil Dawkins - NY, NY
This piece was inspirational and beautiful. Mr. Field's Play Pump design is simple, practical, and profound. Seeing the faces and hearing the laughter of the children was a blessing. Thank you!

Derek Bailey - Cheyenne, Wyoming
I first learned about the Play Pump in Sojourners magazine. I was amazed then and once again last night when I saw the airing of this show on public television. Thank you Frontline World for getting the story and the show out there! And special thanks to Trevor Field - you rock! Here are some related links that I'd like to share:The Sojourners article for further reading:https://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=Soj0602&article=060210Another organization working on the water problem in Africa, Living Water:http://www.living-water.org/main.aspxThanks!

Venerable Man Jen - Hacienda Heights, CA
Hey, where are all the big rich foundations? Oprah, Bill Gates, Rockefeller, where are they? What a great idea!! I would like to send a copy of the segment to some foundations for funding for Mr. Trevor Field. Frontline, can you help?
Thank you.
Peace
Venerable Man Jen

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Foundations and anyone else can watch and read about "The Play Pump" online on our Web site for free. They can also visit Trevor Field's Web site: www.playpump.org. And PBS sells DVD and VHS copies of our FRONTLINE/World episodes for $29.99 at shoppbs.org. "The Play Pump" story can be found in the FRONTLINE/World episode titled "Inside Hamas".
http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=2260793&cp=1412583&parentPage=family

Sandra Roszel - Marshall, VA
I haven't stopped sharing your story with friends and family today. The Play Pump and the people behind the effort show that even "regular folks" can make a difference. Thanks for the story.

Len Kleinman - Brooklyn, NY
What a delightful marriage of design, technology, usefulness and amazing use of the natural desire of kids to have fun. As a designer, I bow and congratulate you all.

Ron Carney - Phoenix, AZ
Is there any one thing that could be given to our modern culture that could make as much difference in our lives as this gift makes to the recipients in developing countries--especially for only $7000?! It's staggering to think of the far-reaching implications that these pumps must have. Sadly, over 64 MILLION of these life-giving machines could be installed for the roughly $450 billion that the USA has spent on the war in Iraq.

Kasondra White - New York, New York
That is a really good thing you people did for those families. Hope you keep it up because I would be really happy and proud.

Evansville, IN
Frontline: Thank you very much for the superb story. It is just spectacular. I was very moved and touched by this report. I share the feeling and recognize the difficulties very well.

Jaishankar Raman - Valparaiso, IN
I teach an economic development class in my University and my students were challenged to create projects that were simple, cost effective and serves the purpose. I have asked my students to view your program as it illustrates that we do not need billions of dollars to save the world. Thanks for the program. I hope you keep it free online, for my future classes!

Edmond, OK
A superb piece of reporting on a most ingenious idea. FRONTLINE/WORLD, PBS and Rough Cut are all to be commended for this and the other high quality programs. Keep it up!

XForest Wanaku - St. Paul, MN
Your program just made my day. This gentleman is on to something, that everyone needs and is made of H2O. Can poverty be eliminated without water? Trevor knows the answer. Many blessings!

S. Suresh - Santa Cruz, CA
This was a great story. I am very inspired and we need these types of practical low budget solutions than big multi-million or billion dollar projects.

Pund Kamath - Bangalore, India
This play pump is far more useful to humanity who have no available water or electricity than the little stones brought from the moon.

Monica Griffin - Mounds, OK
I was so totally thrilled watching this video! Actually, awed at the ingenuity and simplicity of this solution to a terrible problem. I hope this kind of project can be employed to help the many people around the world for whom water is so precious and scarce. I plan to pass this around to as many people as possible in the hopes that they will be as moved as I was. Frontline is one of the many reasons I watch PBS!

Milford, MA
Imagine, using the sheer joy of children at play to bring health and safety to the community. What would happen if we brought such wisdom and creativity to so many other world problems?

Maree Penhart - Los Angeles, California
Mr. Field....I watched the program on the merry-go-round pump with the biggest grin on my face. It is totally awesome!I just visited a school on Vanua Levu in the Fiji Islands whose well has dried up! Can you help set us on the right track
for a play pump?. Their beautiful voices will be singing a new song about it in no time!

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
As many others are doing, you may contact Trevor Field at trevorf@roundabout.co.za. You will also find more information in our links and resources section.

Mary Gooding - Ellicott City, MD
I was very intrigued to see such an innovation. I am from Sierra Leone West Africa. 90% of the time, we have no running water. We have perfectly working pumps. I would like to know how this system can be introduced in Sierra Leone. This is one of the very basic needs my country lacks severely. No water. Please help. My country desperately needs it. I would do all I can to help Sierra Leone in getting this system. Is it possible for me to contact Mr. Field about it? If so let me know how.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
You may contact Trevor Field at: info@playpumps.org. You will also find more information in our links and resources section.

(anonymous)
Thanks for educating us and showing us creative solutions for the world's problems!

geoffrey ugwu - upland, california
It is nice to know that people like Mr. Fields, who make the world a much better place, are still around.

Ray Prasad - Portland, Oregon
This was a great story and very uplifting. I have sent an email to Trevor for details. I would like to install such units in Indian villages

Jim - La Mirada, CA
Trevor is a true humanitarian. Thank you Frontline for airing this inspiring story tonight. Way to go! Ideas like these have an incredible chain reaction to mobilize people's imaginations to encourage them to get involved financially to help those in need. I will definitely pass on this story to everyone I can. And would love to help this effort.

lance charles - simi Valley, CA
We must demand the basic things for all living things: housing, water, food, clean energy, and sustainable occupation. The play pump is a fantastic way to get good clean water into the lives of the people who really need this technology.

Colles Larkin - White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Great story! So let's all help!

Brooke - Burlington, IA
We just watched this on TV tonight. My kids and I were compelled to get online to find out what we can do to help this project. Thank you for airing it and for posting Mr. Field's contact information. Very few people seem to be looking for such practical means to help with basic needs like water. Thank you Mr. Field!

Hema Jatla - Cincinnati, OHIO
I am moved. Outstanding innovation, simple solution. Makes a tremendous difference to these folks.

David Jackson - St. Cloud, Florida
Great story! I have friends actively involved in international water quality issues around the world. I want to be sure they see this story. Keep this excellent reporting flowing.....DJ

Bill Tumlin - Niceville, FL
I was so impressed with the program and the simplicity of the "play pump". The priests from my church and I have a vision to drill water wells in Rwanda and Uganda in conjunction with an Anglican Bishop's dream to provide clean drinking water to his village and the surrounding areas. We are in the infant stages and were inspired by Trevor's vision and reality. This could be our answer. How do we find out more? Feel free to tap me into whatever source is available. Thank you and God Bless.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
You can visit the Play pump web site at www.playpumps.org, e-mail Trevor Field directly, and look through our own list on this site of other links and resources. Good luck!

Cindy florer - West Des Moines, Iowa
Amazing thank you , We have been to Ghana twice now with our church supporting Globeserve. Fresh water is what these people need. How do we get plans, buy or help finance a play pump in Ghana?

odin, mn
Thank you Trevor! The idea of using fun to create health and help.....it is the WAY....!

(anonymous)

(anonymous)
Actually the website is www.playpumps.org . I just visited the site and it has a tremendous amount of information, including ways to support their work. Great story, thanks for airing it.

Irene Andrews - Nolanville, Texas
Why not have public schools or each school district sponsor a merry-go-round water pump? I teach special needs children at Fowler Elementary in Killeen, TX and I'd love to help launch a fundraiser for a pump and who knows, it could lead to pen pals and even student exchange opportunities. I have long felt that it is PEOPLE to PEOPLE more than governments that build bridges of hope, goodwill, mutual respect and understanding among countries and cultures.How can I get more information? How much does a pump cost, plus installation?
Thank you!
Your little story about one man filling a need is inspiring big dreams! Each one of us CAN make a difference...one pump at a time!

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
We are delighted about the outpouring of goodwill and interest generated by our story, "The Play Pump," which we broadcast last night, May 9. This is a story we first posted last year on our Web site. We had an enormous response to the story online -- you can follow the thread of e-mails below -- so we decided to air it on our television program, as many of you asked us to do.

For all those who want to help, we urge you to contact Trevor Field directly. He welcomes your involvement and is trying to spread his grassroots technology to other countries.

Here is his e-mail: Trevor Field at trevorf@roundabout.co.za

William Mackie - Austin, TX
A great story and a very well-produced piece of video. I think Trevor's work can inspire all of us in development to seek new, novel and inexpensive ways to improve the lives of those who so desperately need help meeting their basic needs.

Kelly - Boston, MA
Trevor, thank you for your passion and wonderful idea, and thank you to Frontline for covering such a superb story. Of course, the first solution to many problems is ensuring basic needs are met, which you are doing in spades.
I see much of myself in Trevor's journey. I am 33, working in PR - that I love but want to do something for the human race rather than for stockholders' wallets - and have a strong interest in solving basic issues in the third world, primarily with children in Africa that have been touched by AIDS (far too many children). Trevor, you have touched countless lives with your good will, ideas and ingenuity. I hope that one day - when I leave the corporate world behind - I can touch the same number of lives. You are truly an inspiration to all of us Trevor, thank you.

Munir Ahmad - Toledo, Ohio
In Pakistan, we face the same problems in rural areas. We have installed a number of hand pumps there. Can your technology be shared by others who want to install these wells in areas where drinking water is scarce?

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
We recommend that you contact Trevor Field directly. He says he is willing to share his technology.

Mary Ryan-Smith - Garden City, New York
How can someone/groups contribute money for this wonderful project?

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Contact Trevor Field directly. His e-mail address is on this site.

Businessman - Boulder, Colorado
Thank you for making a difference with your talent!

New Zealand, New Zealand
Well done!

USA, USA
Good design!

United States of America, United States of America
Cool site!

(anonymous)
Is there some plan to make sure the pump can be maintained and repaired? Is local technology used? How many are still being used after 5 years?

cedar bluff, ms
Superb story. And a superbly simple and sane response to such a staggering problem in the world. How can we find out more information about this?

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
As many others are doing, you may contact Trevor Field at info@playpumps.org. You will also find more information in our links and resources section.

Kathy Sullivan - Calgary, Canada
Wow! This is amazing. I often sit here in Canada wondering what I can do. Now I know. Thanks.

Azzezo - Toronto, Canada
This film touched me, as it showed how one person can help out so many people. I think this video should have been broadcast and that this newscast is remarkable for capturing this footage. Thanks. God bless.

Bleepasauros Rex - Chinatown, New York
I enjoy this video and like what Trevor is doing for the children.

Paul Range - Burnet, Texas
Are a set of plans or drawings available? We desperately need this in Haiti.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Trevor Field may be contacted regarding details of plans, etc, at info@playpimps.org.

Marsha Slivka - Toronto, Ontario
I just received this article from a friend who knew I would be impacted. Does Mr. Field need assistance with his work? I am a retired director of a not for profit and have been diligently looking for a project. This is wonderful. I can pack and be ready in a week. Mr. Field is someone who would be worth supporting. With thanks Marsha Slivka

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
Trevor Field may be contacted directly at trevorf@roundabout.co.za.

(anonymous)
what a fantastic idea! A very neat solution for water shortages everywhere.Keep up the good work!

Veeranjaneya - Mangalore, Karnataka
Field has done great job! He showed how a simple innovative idea can make a difference in other's lives. This will be an inspiring treasure for all.

Kampala, Uganda
Science has proven that everyone can be a genius. The only challenge is to work a way out to realize our potential to our society.

Heather Thomas - O'Fallon, Missouri
Thank you for bringing such an uplifting story to us all, I pray that all who do such wonderful work as Mr. Field will be blessed and supported. It's so nice to see warmth and gentleness coming out. We all need these types of example. Thank you to all very much.

(anonymous)
Great idea. We drill wells in the Central African Republic in villages where there is no drinking water. OMore than 70 percent of the population of this country does not have drinking water!Because there is no electricity there, we can only use hand and foot pumps. This idea is a good one. I would appreciate information on this for the Central African Republic as there are many public schools where this could be used. I have the equipment and the personnel to install these and to drill the deep well pump for these pumps but funding is very difficult as no one knows of the needs of this country. Please contact me if you can help this landlocked country in the very heart of Africa.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
We have forwarded your information to Trevor Field. Good luck!

(anonymous)
If anyone would like to help or get involved with our work, feel free to email me at: trevorf@roundabout.co.za

Godfred Tong - Garden City, NY
These types of stories need to be aired to PBS viewers. Most of us are unaware of the basic needs people in the Third World. More importantly, how some simple solutions can have profound impact to these basic needs. This will inspire more people to participate in creating innovative solutions and/or donate to these types of noble cause.
Thank you for posting this story on your Web site.

Michael Helenek - Allendale, NJ
I found this small program to be very interesting. It showed how one person and an idea can make a difference for many, many people. Frontline should compile several of these smaller pieces into a full program to air.

Harold E Dawson - Stockton, California
First, points for a positive story; not often enough to be had. Second, Kudos to Trevor Field; may God continue to bless him. I wish more people felt compelled to give as much, or more, than they receive. Third, one would like to see more people take something fun and make it of benefit to all. Fourth, let's have more emphasis toward stories which show positive actions, especially those that might get others thinking about how they might benefit others.

Myles Bantle - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada
What a neat story! Keep up the good work.

(anonymous)
This film was wonderful. And shows what one human being can do for another.

(anonymous)
This idea is the kind of caring act that God expects of us all, that if we are able to help our neighbor in the world, if we have the resources, then we are responsible to do something. I applaud Mr. Field and thank God that the women of Africa will have clean water to give to their children and not have to work so hard just to survive.Thank you to Frontline for putting these great stories out there for all of us to read. Frontline is one of the best shows on television and I love to watch it.

Guy Randall - Athens, Georgia
I was very moved by the article. Hope more will invest in play pumps. I would like to see Mr. Field post exactly where and how more of us could do drilling and all that is involved so that we may be hands-on in our own drilling and feel the joy he must feel.

Bryan Herrit - Chattanooga, TN
I enjoy your pieces. I find them informative and objective. Much better than any other news media. This story particularly interested me as a close friend has just returned from a mission trip in Uganda.