SA GOOD NEWS: Running across Australia for water in South Africa!


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Running for Water – South African desert runner David Barnard to tackle Australia’s Big Red Run in support of the Hippo Roller

David Barnard has been participating in multi-stage desert foot races in remote parts of the world since 2010. From the Kalahari, Namib and Sahara Deserts in Africa, to the Gobi Desert in China, the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Grand Canyon in the United states, and the most extreme of them all, The Last Desert Race in 2014 in Antarctica, David is on a quest to complete one of these extreme desert races on all seven continents.

“My next desert race is the 250km Big Red Run from 24-29 June 2017 in the Simpson Desert in Australia. It will be my ninth multi-stage desert race, and the sixth leg of my quest to complete one of these races on all seven continents,” said Barnard.

“I enter these events both for the physical challenge associated with running self-supported through the deserts of the world, as well as to raise money and awareness for organisations at the forefront of responding to many of the key development challenges facing Africa,” he said.

For this project, Barnard aims to raise funds for the Hippo Roller, promote its work, and contribute to increased public understanding of water-related issues around the world.

 Simple ideas. Changing lives.

Barnard said, “Fortunately, a unique South African invention makes it extremely easy to collect, move and store water in rural conditions – up to 5x more water than a single bucket, by simply rolling it along the ground.”

The Hippo Roller is a simple solution to millions of people living in areas without adequate access to water. Specifically designed to last many years in tough rural terrain, it enables them to transport up to 90 litres to their homes and gardens, making more water and time available for education, household tasks and food production.

It costs $125 to manufacture and distribute a Hippo Roller, and Barnard’s aim is to raise $6,250 (see: – the cost of manufacturing, and distributing 50 hippo rollers to needy communities in South Africa.

Whilst Imvubu Projects will take care of the manufacturing of the Hippo Rollers, it is the work done by Youthzones within communities, helping distribute the Hippo Rollers amongst the most needy, which really drives home the impact that access to clean, safe water can have.

Said Youthzones’ Schalk van Heerden, “We are delighted to continue our relationship with social enterprise, Hippo Roller. Working with Hippo Rollers has been a huge benefit to the Youthzones network as now water can be collected easily, without multiple trips to wells, in turn giving people energy and productivity!”

Said Barnard, “The impact of the Hippo Roller is real. It is immediate. And it changes the lives of millions of people. The world’s future and our lives depend on having enough clean, safe water. We need extraordinary commitment to ensure clean water for all.”

“Please join me on this journey and let’s make a difference in the lives on those that could benefit from better access to water with the Hippo Roller,” he said.

About David Barnard

Professionally David has more than 25 years’ executive and senior management experience in initiating and leading development programmes across Africa, with extensive expertise encompassing international development, advocacy, fundraising, corporate citizenship, civil society strengthening, policy, ICT4D and governance. He is passionate about applying information and communication technologies in support of social, economic and political development processes.

In addition, David is an extreme ultra-marathon athlete, dedicating his participation in multi-stage desert races to organisations working in response to key development issues in Africa.

To interview David Barnard about the Big Red Run and his Hippo Roller campaign:

David Barnard:

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