Report: Hippo Water Rollers are Changing Lives in Madagascar

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The dry, spiny forests of Madagascar receive very little rainfall and represent one of the most unique ecosystems of our planet. The lack of water in this area lends to a plethora of rare, adapted wildlife and poses challenges for local people to survive. The need for water requires innovative solutions to improve the livelihoods of the people who call this region home.

When the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP) was launched in 2009 the average child in Lavavolo, Madagascar spent much of the day fetching water from a nearby well and few had the luxury of attending school. MBP has been working with the Lavavolo community in Madagascar and partnering with Conservation Fusion, an international NGO, to provide education and development focusing on water and agriculture and conservation.

“The Hippo Rollers have allowed my children to spend time on their education since they do not have to spend the majority of their day fetching water for cooking, washing and bathing.” ~ Matilda, MBP camp cook.

Conservation must benefit local people and address critical issues such as access to clean water and sanitation, often underpinning conservation initiatives. The introduction of the Hippo Water Roller was therefore instrumental in community development projects that followed. It provides quick transport of water into a storage tank for reforestation to restore critical habitat for endangered species and reduces impacts of climate change.

When the Director of Conservation Fusion, Susie McGuire, arrived in Lavavolo in 2011, she wanted to test out the Hippo Water Roller for herself:

An entire gang of young girls joined me enthusiastically with their buckets. We rolled up to the well, and they kept chanting the number eight with giant smiles on their faces. They had already figured out that the Hippo Roller could carry eight buckets worth of water within its belly, requiring only ¼ of the time it took to fill their buckets. – Susie McGuire, Conservation Fusion.

The introduction of Hippo Water Rollers is a life-changing solution to the lack of water available in the Lavavolo region. Hippo Rollers allow women and children an opportunity to free up time spent collecting water, acting as a catalyst for conservation and education. The addition of an aquaponics system, filled with water from the Hippo Water Roller, grows fresh produce and fish providing improved nutrition and income generation.

Based on the original report by the Director of Conservation Fusion, Susie McGuire.

Comments 1

  1. Hello,
    I am a middle and high school teacher in Rochester, NY. I have developed a program to bring my students to Madagascar to get a real world experience through conducting scientific research, working in remote schools, bringing medical and school supplies, and connecting with the people and culture of Madagascar. I brought students last spring and will continue to do so every other year with the support of my school. This is a non-profit trip that is partially funded by my school (students pay half the cost of the trip or less depending on financial need). I have been able to make connections and arrange the trip on my own, which keeps the cost down.
    I am always looking for ways that we can make connections and help the people in the villages that we work with. I saw the hippo roller on Facebook and would love to brainstorm ways that we might work together on such a project since some of the villages only have one tap while other villagers need to walk far distances up and down hills to fetch water.
    Please let me know if you would like to work with my high school students and I to help bring the hippo roller (or other helpful items) to these remote areas of Madagascar. Thank you!
    Beth Guzzetta

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