University of Johannesburg provides Hippo Water Rollers to Crèche in Diepkloof informal settlement

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A small crèche in the 1.5 million Soweto township in Johannesburg has found a solution for its water crisis. The Ekukhanyeni crèche serves the disadvantaged community located within the Diepkloof hostel complex which serves as an entry point for migrants from the rural areas of mainly Kwa-Zulu Natal into the urban area of Johannesburg.

The crèche and hostels are without running water and only rely on a water point (tap) approximately 500m from the crèche where the caretakers collect water in buckets for washing hands, drinking, preparing of food and also to clean the ‘bucket-system’ toilet facilities.

Most of the parents of the 30 to 40 children attending the crèche are single parents and are under employed. With no running water on site or proper sanitary facilities, it is a daily challenge to maintain a safe, hygienic environment.

Ronèl Rossouw, University of Johannesburg (UJ) Community Engagement Champion and Chair: “We initially wanted to provide the crèche with a JoJo (rain water tank) but later realized that the big JoJo tank will not work in a small space as is the case with the crèche and also might be a safety hazard, should the little ones play next to the JoJo or attempt to climb on the JoJo.”

The UJ Department of Commercial Accounting and UJ’s Community Engagement (CE), in partnership with Soweto Youth and Development Projects – incorporated not for profit, identified Hippo Water Rollers as the appropriate solution for the small crèche.

The crèche caretakers make five trips to the water point a day, with a 20 litre bucket at a time. “The Hippo Rollers will bring in so much convenience, we will only make one trip to the tap a day and we don’t have to carry buckets several times to survive,” says Sylvia Mafa, the senior caretaker at the Crèche.

“A day would usually be exhausting because we would run between taking care of the kids, preparing a meal and taking turns in getting water every now and again – the water struggle is over now,” concluded Sylvia.

Paying tribute to the Commercial Accounting Department for their initiative, care and concern for the children of the crèche by this initiative and in many other ways – Denis Creighton, Soweto Youth and Development Projects Coordinator said,

“It is a great pleasure to make a difference in the children’s hygiene and lessening hard work for the caretakers.  We realized how much of a challenge it is to cook, wash hands, drink and clean the bucket system from one bucket, therefore the roller will make life a little easier.”

The crèche is registered as a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) with the Department of Social development, and is owned and run by ladies from the community of the hostel with support from Soweto Youth and Development and now Department of Commercial Accounting at UJ.

The UJ’s Department of Commercial Accounting, CE and Soweto Youth Development handed the Hippo Water Rollers to the crèche on Monday, 29 May 2017 at the Ekukhanyeni Crèche in Diepkloof, Soweto.

  • Report provided by Ronèl Rossouw, UJ Department of Commercial Accounting).