South Sudan has no piped water on tap anywhere! The water table is very high, about 10 – 15 meters below ground level, so finding water is not difficult; however, there is no water infrastructure! Most water is accessed from manual borehole pumps and then carried home in 25 litre containers.
This is changing with the introduction of hippo water rollers. Effictively they’re large plastic containers that can be rolled from water source to home without the back breaking strain of people having to carry water on their heads. The hippo water roller report speaks for itself and is a brilliant innovation for public health within South Sudan!
Apart from the obvious benefits, three new positive outcomes were identified:
1. Boosting Local Businesses – Clay brick manufacturers said that their production rate had almost doubled because they were able to spend less time and effort collecting water which was good for business
2. Social Events – The Hippo roller now formed an integral part of any social event or gathering and was often loaned out for the purpose of being able to make more water available – rather like a status symbol.
3. Personal Dignity – Possibly the most striking and unexpected benefit was how young girls (age 14) felt that they could now look like “city-girls”. Carrying heavy loads of water on their heads makes it impossible to braid their hair and even causes hair-loss. Now they could make themselves look more attractive and stand a much better chance of meeting a partner.
The provision of such practical solutions is one to be shared and I suggest if you are interested in finding out more you read the full report here: