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University of Cumbria funds African water pump

John Freeman
University of Cumbria students have helped pay for an ingenious style of pump generating clean water for African villages.

Playpumps, the brainchild of the One Foundation, are sited at schools or villages. Instead of walking long distances to find a clean water supply, children play on a special roundabout. It draws water from underground, which is then stored in a tank for the village.

Since 2007, five pence from every bottle of One water sold at the University of Cumbria, which has more than 15,000 students at campuses and sites in Carlisle Ambleside, Penrith, Lancaster, Whitehaven, Barrow and London, has gone towards the cost of paying for a Playpump.

"Each Playpump costs about £7,500 to £8,500 dependant on the dollar exchange rate - so the students have drunk a lot of water!" says Hospitality manager Ann Burgess said. "We made a decision to support this cause as one of our key courses is teacher training - and this project allows children from the developing world to attend school.

"The pump that University of Cumbria students have paid for will be branded with our name when a site has been allocated."

Work will now begin to find the best location for your PlayPump. This process will involve a series of geo-hydrological and chemical tests to ensure that the water source is suitable for human consumption.

The University of Cumbria should find out in the next few months the name and location of the school or village where the pump will be located

Clean water will lead to improvements in health, education, gender equality, and economic development.

• Further information on Playpumps can be found here: