Hippo Water Roller Project

The Hippo Water Roller was invented in 1991 by two South Africans; Mr. Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker. Initially called the “Aqua Roller” the name was changed to “Hippo Water Roller” in 1993 to give it an “African flavour”. The association with water, round body and thick skin compares well to the famous African Hippopotamus. Apart from some minor changes and improvements by Grant Gibbs of Imvubu Projects, South Africa; the basic design remains unchanged. The Hippo Water Roller is exclusively manufactured and distributed worldwide by Imvubu Projects, a social enterprise - trading as The Hippo Water Roller Project. As of June 2012, approximately 42,000 Hippo rollers have been distributed in 21 countries directly benefiting in excess of 300,000 people. 95% of these rollers have been donated or sponsored by corporate businesses as part of their social responsibility programs. The Hippo Water Roller Project is in the process of appointing local manufacturers in other countries where there is sufficient demand for Hippo rollers to justify the setup cost. It is expected that the savings realised in shipping complete Hippo rollers compared with shipping raw materials will eventually amortise the setup costs. The purpose is to reduce the “landed cost” of the Hippo roller in other countries. The project seeks to partner with many NGO’s, aid organizations and corporate business to help reduce the global burden of limited access to water, affecting more than a billion people. Two out of every five people in Africa do not have access to clean drinking water. This means that there are currently 461,215,160 people living on the African continent who are at risk of being affected by illnesses caused by dehydration and poor sanitation. The number of people who do not have access to clean water in Africa is equivalent to the total population of the United States (US) and Russia combined. The United Nations (UN) estimates that Sub Saharan Africa loses 40 billion hours each year in activities relating to fetching water, which is the same as a whole year’s worth of labour by the entire workforce in France. Similarly, the average weight of water that is daily carried on the heads of predominantly women is equal to the average traveller’s airport luggage allowance: 20 kilograms.

The Hippo Water Roller Project mission is to improve access to clean water for rural and impoverished households by means of appropriate technologies including the Hippo Water Roller, consequently improving their quality of life and economic prospects. The Hippo Water Roller is exclusively manufactured and distributed worldwide by Imvubu Projects, a social enterprise - trading as The Hippo Water Roller Project. The project distributes sponsored Hippo rollers in partnership with NGO’s and donors to rural impoverished communities where access to water is limited. The purpose is to significantly enhance people’s quality of life thereby improving their health, education and economic opportunities. Education in hygiene, water purification, rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation based food gardens are promoted simultaneously.

The need was identified when we saw how existing Hippo Water Roller owners needed a further innovation to transport their goods as well as to become economically active. Where woman in rural and informal communities formerly carried water for a living they now can use the time saved by using a Hippo Water Roller for business. The Hippo Mobile Spaza (Spaza is a term for a shop that is used for in South Africa for a trading post) adds yet another dimension to solving economic problems and empowers users with a “ Business in a Box” concept:

  • Transport of goods to the trading position;
  • Display of goods in a presentable manner;
  • Branding and identification of products, goods and services;
  • Returning home with water and cash.

For more information please visit: www.hipporoller.org

Multimedia: http://hipporoller.org/multimedia.html

Brochure: http://hipporoller.org/images/files/HippoWaterRoller-LocalManufacturing-Aug2010.pdf

Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/hippowaterroller



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