- In third-world countries, women and children must haul water over long distances in order to supply their communities with clean, safe water.
- Alternative sources like wells are only functional 6-8 months of the year, and well pumps are unreliable or fuel to power them can be difficult to obtain
- The first version of the Hippo Roller multiplied the hauling capacity of a single person but the cost of manufacturing and shipping them limits the number of people they can impact.
- Hippos are currently manufactured in South Africa but are needed in other countries such as India and Siberia.
Enter Project H Design and Engineers Without Borders
Emily Pilloton took interest in the Hippo challenge and began with fundraising for a “Hippo drop” – the term for a distribution of Hippos to a community – as the founding project for Project H. During the Hippo drop the designers visited the Johannesburg manufacturing facility and identified an opportunity for design improvements.
Project H partnered with Engineers Without Borders’s Appropriate Technologies’ Design Team and split into two teams: one focused on reducing cost in any way, and one focused on playing with the inherent design of the device. We find the Flickr photos of the design process to be fascinating. Here are a few of our favorites:
One meeting asks, “What do men do?”, considering the social cause for women and children needing to do the hauling.
The next step: India
These redesigned hippos need a new passport stamp! See below to learn how one click – your vote – can send Hippo Water to India. Today is the last day to vote!