Itron Installs Play Pump at South African School

A merry-go-round's motion powers a pump which draws clean water into a storage tank for the school

Itron Inc. has built a PlayPump at Tshwarelela Primary School as part of a collaboration with its customer the Sol Plaatje Municipality. The municipality is situated in the diamond mining city of Kimberley, capital of the Northern Cape Province in South Africa.

Itron’s strategic involvement with the utility includes technology support through Itron’s prepayment and water metering technologies, as well as an investment in the community through a comprehensive social investment project. As part of its social responsibility program, Itron collaborated with the municipality to install a PlayPump at Tshwarelela Primary School. As the children play, the merry-go-round’s motion powers the pump, which draws clean water into a 2,500-liter storage tank for drinking, washing, cleaning and watering the school’s vegetable garden. The pilot project between Itron and the local municipality is the first of its kind in South Africa, and Itron is currently exploring additional sites for investment.

The PlayPump was officially opened on Friday, April 12, 2013 by the Executive Mayor of Sol Plaatje Agnes Ntlhangula and other council officials. The 1,250 Tshwarelela Primary School students gathered in the square to sing and dance nearly two hours before the official ribbon cutting. This corporate social responsibility initiative forms part of a broader program to address affordability and accessibility of energy and water in the communities Itron serves.

“The high cost of water and electricity is a big issue in Sol Plaatje. Itron’s donation of a PlayPump to Tshwarelela Primary School not only allows students access to clean water, but provides them with a fun place to play,” said Ntlhangula. “We are very thankful to Itron for their generous donation.”

Itron donated the PlayPump to Tshwarelela Primary School and will provide it ongoing maintenance, dramatically reducing the school’s water costs and enabling the school to reallocate funds to student programs. Access to this free water also enables the expansion of the school’s vegetable garden into a community garden that allows residents to grow food and help the community.

“Clean and affordable water is essential to life and Itron is committed to protecting this precious resource. We are proud to help Tshwarelela Primary School with access to drinking water and to be able to give something back to the community,” said Damian Padachi, managing director of Itron, South Africa. “We look forward to working with other municipalities to help make a difference in the communities where we do business.”


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