Creation of a sustainable water barrel leads to an easier access of a fundamental need
One of the harshest realities faced by many African communities is the lack of convenient access to clean, safe water. Many women and children walk more than one kilometre every day to fetch water; a physically demanding activity that has negative effects on physical health. The educational development of young children, who are often tasked with water collection on a daily basis, is also compromised by this time-consuming responsibility which keeps them from attending school.
Not only is limited access to water a critical issue in rural areas of Mpumalanga, but also the province has the second highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country. The compounded effect is families with an increased need for access to clean water and nutritious food, but have a reduced number of people physically able to carry the numerous canisters and buckets of water.
&Beyond’s community development partner Africa Foundation works with communities to identify where support is needed to uplift, and empower the people living in that area. In the neighbourhoods surrounding &Beyond Ngala, the Community Development Forums identified access to water as a priority area. Together with Africa Foundation they sought to lessen the burden of carrying water from boreholes, by providing Hippo Water Rollers to the most vulnerable in the community.
Hippo Water Rollers are barrel-shaped containers that have the capacity to carry 90-litres of water. Water collected from the community borehole can be placed inside the barrel, which is then pushed or pulled along the ground, using the extended handle. The barrel is designed to withstand the rough terrain found in rural environments, and with water, weighs 12kg.
Through the generosity of Africa Foundation donors, over 1,200 Hippo Water Rollers have been distributed in the communities of Welverdiend and Thlabekisa. The Community Development Forum identify the most vulnerable community members; elderly residents, people who are ill or living with disabilities, orphans and households that are headed by children. For these households, being able to take the Hippo Water Roller to and from the borehole just makes life that little bit easier.