Sub-Saharan Africa alone spends 40 billion hours a year collecting clean water. That’s a hell of a lot of hours. Women and children are usually tasked with the arduous journey of collecting water, and can spend up to three hours a day walking with heavy water buckets balanced on their heads. This puts a huge toll on the individual, on the community and on productivity. But the Hippo roller is changing that.

The Hippo roller is a revolutionary product replacing the traditional method of transporting water, by allowing users in rural communities to transport up to 90L of water at a time, simply by rolling it on the ground. Now, people have the ability to transport five times more than a single bucket in each journey, and this wondrous solution is having widespread impact on individual lives and entire communities.

There are some massive stand-out benefits:

HEALTH: greater access to clean water has a direct link to improved hygiene and health in rural communities. This in turn leads to greater standards of living and longer life expectancy

EDUCATION: with children having to spend significantly less time collecting water, they have more time to attend school. This of course leads to better education opportunities and ultimately more work opportunities helping them break out of the cycle of poverty

REDUCED INJURY: This is a big one. The Hippo roller reduces the suffering and long-term injuries caused by carrying heavy loads. Typical water carrying methods impose physical heavy loading, which has potential to cause musculoskeletal disorders and related disabilities. Unfortunately many rural communities do not have adequate health care systems, so individuals are left suffering in pain and are often debilitated

FOOD SECURITY: greater access to water leads to food security. With less crop loss, hunger is reduced. Additionally, the time saved can be better spent focused on activities related to food production and food processing

CULTURAL CHANGE: remarkably, the Hippo roller has caused a positive cultural change. Traditionally men do not generally partake in water collection, however men are proud to use this technology and are now often involved in water collection.

Read More: A Walk in Women’s Shoes – The Journey for Water.

The Hippo roller has had a very wide reach. As at September 2015, 46,000 Hippo Rollers had been distributed amongst communities from at least 20 countries. And its growth is continuing, with more and more people able to reap the above, very crucial, rewards.

So kudos to the impressive folk behind this fantastic product, who are changing the world one Hippo roller at a time.


Defeat Poverty

The Hippo Water Roller Is Changing Lives in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Dina Bloom