Saturday, February 23, 2008

All About The Hippo

Enough about Dogs. Today I'm going to talk about Hippos.

Sometimes the simplest inventions are the most brilliant. This is one of them.

Water is the most precious commodity in the world. Without water, we die. Without good water, we get sick, and then we die. It's a simple fact of life.

Can you imagine life without enough water? Having to trek miles every day to get water to cook, tend gardens, bathe, wash clothes... drink? Millions of people don't. While able adults are in the fields, trying to grow enough to eat, they send their children to get the water.

Millions of people worldwide are forced to walk long distances on a daily basis to collect their water requirements for the day. Children carry 20-litre (5 gallon) buckets on their heads.

How much can a 10 year-old carry? Not much. How much can a 6 year-old carry? I'm betting even less. Think about it, how much can your 10 year-old carry? Then there's the health issue - as these children carry heavy loads, they can injur themselves - back and neck injuries can be devastating to a family depending on them for water.

What is a Hippo Water Roller ?

Does it look familiar? It kinda looks like that grass roller sitting in your garden shed.

The Hippo Roller is a barrel-shaped container which transports 90 litres (20 gallons) of water. It is a drum with a large screw-on cap and a clip-on steel handle.

Children and the elderly can easily manage a full roller over most types of terrain. Extensive field tests over many years have proven the effectiveness of the Hippo Roller.

It can withstand tough rural conditions such as uneven footpaths and rocky roads. The large opening allows easy filling and cleaning. The water stays clean, and the steel handle provides firm control, whether pushing or pulling it. The heavy weight of water is rolled, and because the roller does the work, the Hippo operator would only need to move only 22 lbs (over level ground).

The Hippo Roller can also be part of a sustainable irrigation system - to support the gardens where people grow their food, and perhaps families could then grow enough to make some money. They could then become self-sufficient, making a positive difference to their own lives, and enable them to raise their families the way they want to, and should be able to. Their children will be able to go to school, play, and be healthy.

I challenge you to make a difference. There are many worthwhile organizations out there who can do just that, and your donations can certainly help.

But I challenge everyone to think out of the box. There are other ways, I'm sure of it. Just think about the Hippo. Just find a way ... somehow.

To find out more about the Hippo Roller, visit their website

To find out more about alleviating poverty of children in Canada and around the world, visit Canadian Feed The Children,

Contributed by Jamie Naessens

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