BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 6266

A low-tech design solution for water collection in South Africa

A low-tech design solution for water collection in South Africa
Key Info
  • A low-tech design solution for water collection in South Africa
  • Duration: 05:08
  • Successful design doesn't necessarily require sophisticated technology or big budgets. In South Africa, one company is changing how water is collected in some of the country's most poverty-stricken areas. The energy of children playing is harnessed to operate a water pump. Not only has the company made clean drinking water accessible with its ingeniously simple design solution, it is also readdressing the gender balance with the gathering of water and assisting young people's access to schools.
  • Subject:

    Design and Technology


    Design Issues

  • Keywords: DesignedWorld, design, process, water, technology, sustainable, poverty, developing, Africa, school, geography, modern, charity
Ideas for use in class
  • Use the design shown as an example of a brilliantly simple and highly effective solution to a very serious problem – shortage of clean drinking water in rural Africa. By capitalising on children's natural inclination to play, in this case on a roundabout, the designers harnessed the energy required to operate a mechanical pump with few moving parts which was easy to construct and highly reliable. The programme emphasises the need for appropriate local solutions to local problems. You can use this programme to help pupils understand the elegance and utility of design in dealing with all manner of problems. An intriguing challenge would be to ask the class to work out what mechanisms were operated by the roundabout and to make simple models showing how they work.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.