August 2012 – The Gaurdian UK: Hippo roller the first of 15 African innovations to transform the continent

Water Blog

On Sunday, the Hippo Water Roller was named by the The Guardian as the number one African innovation that helps to transform this beautiful continent!We’re in good company: read about some of the other amazing ideas described in this article….

Africa innovations:
15 ideas helping to transform a continent

Africa innovations: 15 ideas helping to transform a continent

#1 HIPPO WATER ROLLER

Hippo Water RollerIdea: The Hippo water roller is a drum that can be rolled on the ground, making it easier for those without access to taps to haul larger amounts of water faster.

Problem: Two out of every five people in Africa have no nearby water facilities and are forced to walk long distances to reach water sources. Traditional methods of balancing heavy loads of water on the head limit the amount people can carry, and cause long-term spinal injuries.

Verdict: Around 42,000 Hippo rollers have been sold in 21 African countries and demand exceeds supply. Costing $125 each, they are distributed through NGOs. A mobile manufacturing unit is set to begin making them in Tanzania. Nelson Mandela has made a “personal appeal” for supporting for the project, saying it “will positively change the lives of millions of our fellow South Africans”.

#2 THE iCOW APP

Idea: To harness the power of mobile phones to encourage best practice for dairy farmers and increase milk production.

Problem: Small-scale dairy farmers often living in remote areas don’t have access to valuable information about latest prices of milk or cattle, and they may not keep accurate records of important details such as their cows’ gestation periods or their livestock’s lineage – often resulting in inbreeding and disease.

Verdict: “The wonderful thing with iCow is that by the time you have used the app and adhered to all the instructions, your cows end up healthier, bigger and stronger. They can easily fetch you more money in the marketplace. Every smart farmer will use iCow,” a small-scale farmer based in the cental highlands of Kenya told Forbes magazine.

#3 FARMER MANAGED NATURAL REGENERATION

Idea: Farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR), which restores existing trees on drought-stricken land, to improve Senegal’s dwindling harvests.

Problem: Senegal is suffering its third drought of the decade, resulting in reduced crops and inflated food prices.

Verdict: FMNR is an inexpensive way for farmers to make improvements with the resources they already have, increasing millet harvests from 430kg to 750kg a hectare, and saving money on fertilisers, with restored trees producing leaf litter (forming humus) and giving shade to livestock (for manure).

READ THE ARTICLE…

#4 PORTABLE WATER PUMPS
Portable irrigation technology for farmers

#5 THE CARDIOPAD
A computer tablet diagnoses heart disease

#6 NIGERIAN COMPUTER TABLET
A tablet that can connect to the internet via a dongle

#7 ETHANOL COOKING OIL PLANT
Refining locally sourced cassava into ethanol fuel to provide cleaner cooking fuel.

#8 REFUGEES UNITED
An online search tool, where refugees can create a free profile and start their search for family.

#9 DIY AID SUPPLIES
To make Africa self-sufficient in emergency relief supplies.

#10 SICKLE CELL DISEASE RESEARCH
To show that large-scale, cutting-edge genomic studies are possible in Africa.

#11 M-PEPEA
To offer emergency credit through mobile phones.

#12 THE TUTU VAN
A mobile clinic that incorporates screening for tuberculosis (TB) and HIV into a general health check-up in order to overcome the stigma associated with these diseases.

#13 ORANGE SWEET POTATO
Breeding sweet potatoes to contain betacarotene, to help in the fight against childhood blindness.

#14 SPEAKING BOOKS
Easy-to-use audio books designed to get potentially life-saving health messages out to millions of isolated people

#15 NARRATIVE EXPOSURE THERAPY
…for Uganda’s former child soldiers, encouraging storytelling to help come to terms with their experiences.

PROUDLY AFRICAN!