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This simple solution rolls a long way in ensuring water access in rural communities

More than 20 years since its inception, the low-tech Hippo Roller continues to have a profound impact on communities facing water insecurity. The award-winning innovation entails a 90-litre, durable barrel-shaped container that can be pushed or pulled by a steel handle, enabling rural communities to transport water more easily, saving time, and ensuring access to water.

We interviewed Grant Gibbs, executive director of Hippo Roller, to find out more about the inspiration behind the invention, what sort of reach it has, and the extent of its social impact.

What inspired the idea to launch the Hippo Roller?

The Hippo Roller was conceptualised in 1991 by Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker, two South Africans who grew up on farms, experiencing the national water crisis first-hand and witnessing local communities carrying heavy buckets of water on their heads for kilometres every day.


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