Hippo Rollers
2 Billion
Litres of Water / Year
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About Hippo Roller


Traditional methods of collecting water is by heavy 20-litre buckets (20kg) balanced on the head, by mostly women, children and elderly. This daily task is very time consuming and not easy over long distances.

Women and Children

Designed for transporting more water, more easily in tough rural terrain. The heavy load of water is borne on the ground reducing suffering and empowering women, children and the elderly.

Innovative Solution

Happy children with their new Hippo Roller. Collecting water is much easier and quicker now so they can get to school on time and achieve a better quality of education for improved employment opportunities.

Proven technology

These Hippo Rollers have been rolling 90L of water each day for the past 8 years. They are very durable and well suited to the tough terrain where they are needed. Embedded grains of sand add more protection.

Health & dignity

The specially designed irrigation cap allows for irrigating food garden rows by simply rolling up to plants and removing the mini-cap. The mini-cap repurposes standard soda bottle tops for easy replacement if lost.

Time & Productivity

Nelson Mandela recognised the Social Impact Value of the Hippo Roller through empowering women and youth while providing sustainability and job creation for the unemployed.

Global Reach

Currently, all Hippo Rollers are manufactured in South Africa and exported to many countries. Due to the volume occupied, shipping in bulk and local manufacture will reduce the 'landed' cost.​

Get Involved!

We encourage recognition that SDG 6 (Clean Water & Sanitation For All) is a significant global challenge and that proven, appropriate technologies like the Hippo Roller are required to change lives across the globe.​
Health, Prosperity And Dignity:

More water means a better quality of life, children are enabled to get to school and gain better employment opportunities. Families can irrigate crops, generate income and rise above subsistence levels, restoring dignity through improved health, hygiene and poverty alleviation.

Time, Productivity And Opportunity:

The unlocked time to focus on improved productivity, education, work and play, empowers people with the opportunity to become self-sufficient and break free from the poverty cycle.

"A personal appeal is made to your organization to actively support a national project which will positively change the lives of millions..." - Nelson Mandela

Global Reach And Scaling Up:

65,000+ Hippo Rollers have already been distributed to 56 countries over the past 29 years and have positively impacted on a conservative estimate of 650,000+ direct beneficiaries and many more indirectly. Scaling up will allow us to broaden our footprint globally and improve product affordability through bulk distribution and local manufacture.

Please Get Involved!

UNICEF revealed that 2,2 billion people still lack access to safe, readily available water at home. Worldwide, women and girls spend 200 million hours fetching water every day, wasting valuable time that could rather be spent on education and income opportunities.

Who We Are

Hippo Roller is a social enterprise organisation based in South Africa that manufactures and distributes Hippo Rollers with the aid of sponsors and donors for the past 30+ years now. Managed by its Founder, Grant Gibbs and his family, Hippo Roller have built a sustainable business supplying Hippo Rollers and related products to Corporate businesses for social upliftment and brand-building promotions; NGOs for improving access to water, saving time for other important activities and improved education and employment opportunities; Donors for helping rural and impoverished communities around the world and Governments.

The Hippo Roller was first designed in 1991 by two other South Africans, Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker who received their first design award in 1992 from the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) Design Institute. Despite a number of small improvements over the years the original design is primarily unchanged.
Hippo Roller plans to scale up by partnering with like-minded organisations to facilitate local manufacture in other regions to significantly reduce the “landed cost” and increase affordability and distribution.