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The Hippo Roller Water Project
Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices ceremonies provide an excellent opportunity to award companies that are inspired by visionary growth, innovation, and leadership. Companies that create visionary growth strategies for their futures by proving exemplary achievements in research and processes. Frost & Sullivan ceremonies award executives as well, who work hard to transform their visions and goals into reality in order to make positive strides to enhance lives of communities around the world.
Frost & Sullivan honored recipients of its 2016 Growth, Innovation & Leadership Awards at a banquet held Wednesday, August 18th in Cape Town, South Africa. One of the awarded companies was The Hippo Water Roller Project to win “2016 African Rural Portable Water Solutions Product Leadership Award”. The Hippo Roller Project is the brainchild of two South African engineers, Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker. It is a sustainable initiative to help provide communities with an immediate and winning water and sanitation solution and to improve their access to water.
Endorsed by the United Nations World Food Program, The Hippo Water Roller is a distinctive portable water solution to alleviate the daily struggle of rural communities enabling them to transport water more easily and in less time than with traditional methods. It is set to reduce the suffering of communities where water infrastructure is either unreliable or totally non-existent. In fact, statistics show that 750 million people suffer from economic water scarcity, which means that they lack access to safe drinking water. In Africa, 40% of the poorest households do not have piped-in water, and more than half of its population lack access to improved water sources such as boreholes, wells, or taps. It is a heart-breaking reality of economic water scarcity where women and children are forced to carry their water using a 20 liter/five-gallon bucket filled with water on top of their heads for hours at a time every single day. This has devastating effects in terms of health with long-term neck and spine damage, and education by keeping children away from schools. For this matter, the Hippo Water Roller is a great innovation in a way that it makes more water and time available for education, household tasks, and food production. It enables people to transport up to 5x more water to their homes and food gardens.
The 90 liters Hippo Water Roller is effective and efficient. It is a barrel shaped container equipped with a steel handle used for the roller to be pushed or pulled. The design of this water innovation allows water to be placed inside the wheel so that the weight is borne on the ground and distributed over a wide rolling surface. This way, the effective weight is just 10 kg when pushed or rolled on level ground, which makes it very user friendly for women, children, and the physically weak. The Hippo Roller is specifically designed for daily use in tough rural conditions, including uneven surfaces, gravel roads, and sharp stones. it has thick drum wall, UV-stabilized polyethylene, and strong electroplated steel handle that proves its durability for 5-10 years. It also is maintenance free, so that it does not require any replacement parts and no spare parts. If lost, its utility cap can be replaced with a standard soda-bottle top.
Even though the Hippo Roller is not an ultimate solution, it is an appropriate technology widely accepted in many countries. Its integration in rural communities has had a positive impact by enhancing people lives.