Hippo Rollers

Hippo Rollers are made of sturdy plastic in South Africa. Some three years ago, Ric saw a newspaper article about these, and thought they would be ideal for Amlaku’s village. Traditionally in his village, as in much of the developing world, women and children collect water in jerry cans strapped to their backs – 20 litres at a time – or on buckets on their heads – 10 litres at a time. This can take hours of their time each day, and may even prevent children from attending school, depending on the distance to the water source. A Hippo Roller contains 90 litres of water, so trips to the water source are reduced considerably.

After some fundraising, we provided 10 Rollers for the village, with another 2 due shortly. When combined with the water tank Amlaku has constructed, these Rollers ensure that each household has much easier access to plentiful clean water, with the resultant health benefits, as well as benefitting women and children, who now spend far less time collecting water. Each roller costs around $NZ350.00, including freight.

Check them out at www.hipporoller.org

Walking home with water – from the Hippo Roller website.

Hippo Rollers arriving from Addis on the roof of the bus, Amlaku in the doorway.


All unloaded. Now they just have to be carried the 8 kms to the village.

Distribution – 1 Roller to every 5 homes.

Ric finding out how they work, October 2015.

Filling the Roller at the water source – the concrete block tank Amlaku has built.

Amlaku and Yaregal, his dad, showing the second use for Rollers

– using a second cap, which has a spout coming out of it, so that

they can be used for irrigation purposes.

Traditional way of carrying water. You can see why they love the Hippo Rollers.