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Hippo Water Rollers - Offering Transformational Access to Clean Water



One of the harshest realities faced by many African communities is the lack of convenient access to clean safe water. Many women and children walk more than two miles every day to fetch water and carry it home, which is physically demanding and potentially dangerous. The educational development of young children, who are often tasked with water collection on a daily basis, is also compromised by this time-consuming responsibility which keeps them from attending school.



In response to this pervasive problem, the Hippo Water Roller was created in 1991 and piloted in South Africa. It offers an immediate solution to the relentless struggle to collect enough water for daily activities, consumption and sustenance farming and results in improvements to health and living standards. In recognizing the social impact value of the Hippo Water Roller, Nelson Mandela appealed for the active support of "a national project which will positively change the lives of millions..."


These robust and durable water barrels each hold 24 gallons, and are designed for easy use by women, children and elderly community members. They can be pushed or pulled for long distances over rough rural terrain, which eases the time and physical burden on the individuals charged with water collection. The lid has a tight seal, which keeps the stored water free of contaminants. The durability of the Hippo Roller (5-7 years) reduces plastic waste, eliminating the need for multiple buckets with short shelf lives, and the quality of the plastic leads to the roller being transformed for other household uses once its life as a hippo roller has expired.


Recently, a team of swimmers associated with the Africa Foundation in South Africa took part in the 50th Edition of the Midmar Mile Swim to raise funds for Hippo Water Rollers. With over 800 participants, the Midmar Mile is one of the world's largest open water swims, and has been raising funds for charitable causes since 2016. Each swimmer had to raise a minimum of ZAR 2,035.00 to cover the full cost of a roller.

 The campaign exceeded all expectations by raising over ZAR 300,000.00, which translates to 168 Hippo Water Rollers. These rollers will be distributed across Botswana (Okavango Delta region), South Africa (Sabi Sand region) and Tanzania (Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti region).

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