Gallery: REPORT FROM SOUTH AFRICA: Hippo Rollers Delivered!


Greetings from South Africa!

Regular readers of Inhabitat are hopefully aware of the exciting humanitarian design initiative called Project H Design, founded by our very own Emily Pilloton. Currently on the scene in South Africa right now, Project H has successfully delivered 75 ‘Hippo Rollers’ – an ingenious yet simple rolling barrel device that facilitates a more efficient and safer transport of daily water supply needs. The roller holds 3-4 days worth of water for a family of 7, about 5 times the amount of water that can be moved using traditional methods. It’s an amazing product and an amazing story of good design enabling communities. Inhabitat’s Emily Pilloton has just returned from delivering the Hippo Rollers to Kgautswane, and here’s what she has to say…

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  1. Albert Kwessi October 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm


  2. Laurencia June 21, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I am amazed by your project, you are a genius, its good news for the rest of southern africa, I am more interested in how to go about fnding you and look for ways to bring that kind of service to the Namibians in rural areas as well.


  3. asources June 3, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Wonderful!…We love you Emily for what you’re doing! More power to you!

  4. talensja April 21, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Nice project Emily,,,,keep it rolling. God bless you.

  5. Pete P April 17, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Emily, Grant and all, nice going!… or nice doing! One concern I have about the design is how long will these Hippos last? How long before a hole is worn through the side from the abrasion from rolling them on rocky soil?

    A solution I thought of would be to add a couple of giant rubber bands around them to create a wear surface — essentially a small tire to absorb the majority of the abrasion. An idea for your consideration. ~Pete

  6. Kate Andrews April 17, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Congratulations Emily – this is so exciting and it would seem the Project H initiatives are really kicking off. This is such a great concept and I can’t wait to see the evolution of Project H over the next few years.


  7. lewis April 17, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Amazing how this sort of enabling technology is completely available right now, all it takes is for someone to actually DO it. To put in the time and get it out there. sweet work

  8. Peter Hoh April 16, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    When I first saw this design, the idea was to persuade manufacturers to switch to this kind of barrel, which could then be reused to carry water. Is that still in the works, or has that delivery model been dropped?

    I’m sure that the barrel is easier to roll with the metal bar. The prototype used a rope through the center.

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