5 Technologies Tackling the Challenges of the Developing World: #1 Hippo Roller

Since my 2007 trip to Uganda, I’ve been passionate about following the technologies being implemented in the developing world to make life a little easier.  Whether it brings clean drinking water, educational opportunities, or can keep the environments people live in cleaner and more sustainable, I’m interested.  Some of these technologies are quite innovative, so I’d like to share them here.  Each day for the next five days there will be a post about one of these technologies, each of these with major considerations in design.

1. Hippo Water Roller:

Often times in the developing world, not only is having clean water a problem, having it anywhere near where you need it is frequently an issue as well.  People, usually women and girls, spend hours a day fetching water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.  This proves not only inconvenient, but can hamper opportunities as well.  Many girls receive a sub-par education, because rather than attending a full day of school, their water duties come first.

In steps the Hippo Water Roller.  The roller, a giant plastic barrel rolled on its side and pushed or pulled by a metal bracket.  It takes the task of carrying water (which is just like in the movies usually carried on the head) much easier.  Rather than stumbling around with a 5 gallon bucket on one’s head, a Hippo allows one to carry 24 gallons of water at one time, with a carry weight of only 22 pounds.

More water can be carried in one trip, it’s safer for the spine, and it makes water-fetching duties quicker.  All of this also means more time for girls to go to school and get a real education, one they can use to better provide for their families in the future.


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