Inspiration Projects

The Hippo Roller: Increasing Access to Water and Empowering Women

MAKER: Hippo Roller, a social enterprise

CHALLENGE: Water scarcity and impoverishment in Africa. According to Hippo Roller, “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.” This challenge necessitates that women and children must spend hours each day walking long distances to collect single buckets of water. Leading to long-term neck and spine damage, absence from school, and less time for economic activities.

SOLUTION: The Hippo Roller collects up to 5x more water than a single bucket, simply by rolling it along the ground. It is a 90 liter barrel-shaped container with a steel handle that can be pushed or pulled. It’s designed to distribute the weight of the water over a wide rolling surface, making it easy to push or roll for women, children, and the physically weak.


  • Reduces suffering caused by heavy loads
  • Improves hygiene and health
  • Empowers women and children
  • More time for economic activities
  • More time for education
  • Makes the elderly less dependent
  • Improves morale and personal dignity
  • improves irrigation of food gardens



Note: Project summary sourced from excerpts from Hippo Roller’s website.

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