THE PROBLEM: In many communities lacking access to water, women and children are tasking with walking long distances to collect water from wells. Many walk over 6 km a day with heavy buckets on their head. In fact, women worldwide spend over 200 million hours on this task alone. Annually, children lose a cumulative 272 million school days a year due to water collection. (Hippo Water Roller website)
THE CHALLENGE: Infrastructure challenges often make it difficult to provide communities with direct access to water. In the short term, there are very few options that reduce the physical load women and children must bear, in addition to the time spent on this task.
THE INSIGHT: What if there was a type of jerry can or water jug that could be carried in a different manner to alleviate the burden on women and children?
THE SOLUTION: The Hippo Water Roller carries 90 litres of water inside a rolling wheel that can be rolled or pushed (five times the amount of water that can be carried on one’s head). It has a large opening for easy fill, but a secure lid to ensure hygienic transport.
THE IMPACT: Over 350 rollers have been distributed to the Eastern Cape Province. An impact assessment has revealed that the roller reduces the stigma that women and children are the only ones who can collect water, and has even been used by men of the community. Members of the community have experienced “fewer spinal pains, backaches and hand blisters.” Rollers are shared among members of the community and have reduced traffic to and from the water source. The hippo roller has been successfully adapted to the needs of those in rural areas of the Eastern Cape.
THE INNOVATOR(S): Grant Gibbs, executive director
Learn more here.
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