20081227-the-goals3Access to clean water is the key to many of the MDG’s, but we believe the primary impact of the Hippo Water Roller is its liberation of women from the daily struggle of transporting water.

A few facts:

  • Currently, women in rural Africa transport water in 5-gallon buckets on their heads.
  • It is common to walk five to ten miles every day transporting water.
  • The buckets are often re-used gasoline and paint containers, risking toxic residue if not properly cleaned.
  • After years of carrying water on their heads, women’s spines become severely damaged.

20090107-roller-girlsFor comparison: I complain even when it’s my turn to take the garbage out to the dumpster. I have never been known to travel more than one mile by foot – and that was only when PE teachers could force me to. My last encounter with a 5-gallon bucket was when we went cherry picking this fall, and it was too heavy for me when it was only 1/4 full.

With the Hippo Roller, an individual can transport 24 gallons (200 pounds) as if pushing a 22-pound weight. This is enough to provide water for a family of five people for a day, with a single trip. If there are less than five people or if more than one person has a Hippo Roller, excess water can be used to irrigate a home’s vegetable garden.

It also appears that the male fascination with gadgets is universal. Some men have taken over water fetching duties from their wives because they are proud to be seen using the Hippo Roller.

One major design flaw is the price point: $75, which puts it out of reach of those who need it. Hippo Roller has engaged Catapult Design to redesign the water roller to bring down its price point and even add water filtration capabilities so that nearby pathogen-filled streams can be used as water sources as well.

So far, over 30,000 Hippo Rollers have been distributed free of charge to sub-Saharan Africa, made possible by donations from people like you and support from programs like Google’s Project 10^100.

via Springwise