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A woman in Sudan with a Hippo roller and a water bucket

The Hippo roller carries 90 litres (24 gallons) of water inside a rolling wheel. With the Hippo roller the weight of the water is borne on the ground.

The water is transported by holding on to the handle with which the drum is pushed or pulled. This requires far less effort from people than carrying the traditional 20-liter (5-gallon) buckets or containers on their heads. Dimensions:

  • Drum: 50 x 50 x 65 cm. Capacity: 90 Litres. Weight: 8.5kg.
    A Hippo roller filled with 90 L water effectively weighs only 10 kilograms (22 pounds) on level ground.
  • Handle: 100 x 70 x 3cm. The steel handle provides firm control over difficult terrain while pushing or pulling the roller.
  • Lid: 135 mm / 5.3 inch diameter. The large opening allows for easy filling and cleaning of the interior. The sealed lid ensures hygienic storage of water.



Hippo roller used in tough rural conditions

The Hippo roller has a maintenance-free design for use in tough rural conditions where users have no access to spare parts. 

  • The drum is manufactured from UV stabilized Polyethylene
  • The flexible drum material has no seams or joints and forms a thick wall of protection
  • Stress distribution is around the entire drum
  • An embedded sand grit adds an extra layer of protection
  • The screw-cap wears IN and not out
  • An average lifespan of 5 - 7 years and more
  • Extensive field tests over many years have proven its effectiveness
  • Used in test cases as an anti-personnel demining device, absorbing the blast of landmines when filled with water



Compare cost / price of 90L rollerCompare cost of 15L buckets



1997 SABS Design Award for Hippo Water Roller

  • The SABS Design Institute awarded the Hippo Water Roller the Cullinan Award (Industrial Category) in 1992; and the “Design for Development” award in 1997.

    The Design Institute of the South African Bureau of Standards regularly uses the roller in exhibitions around the world.
  • The Hippo Water Roller was a finalist in the INDEX: 2005 Award and received "Top Nominee" status in the Home category. 

    INDEX: Design to Improve Life® is a Danish organisation that Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges.



Last modified on Friday, 08 November 2013 10:24

What is it?

The Drop Test

  • The Hipporoller Drop Test In November 2009 we took a Hippo Water Roller filled with 90 Litres (24 gallons) of water and dropped it from a height of 2.2 meters (7 feet) onto a solid concrete floor.…


  • Impact Assessment: Department of Rural Development

    In October 2012, the South African Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) produced the Hippo Water Roller Impact Assessment Report - 8 Selected Sites.



Contact Us


Where can I BUY the Hippo roller?

Go to the Hippo Roller Shop. We ship worldwide.

Where can we request a QUOTE?

Request a formal quote from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Compare prices and shipping fees at the Hippo Roller Shop.

Do you have LOCAL distributors?

No local distributors yet … Visit our online shop to check pricing and shipping.

Where can I DONATE to your project?

You may sponsor Hippo water rollers through the Hippo Roller Shop. Your full contribution will be used to provide Hippo rollers to water-stressed communities.

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