FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge 2017 / 2018 – Solving a water problem

Teams of children located all over the world are all participating in the 2017/18 FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge. This year’s challenge is to choose and solve a real world problem related to water.

During research many of the teams came across Hippo Roller as a solution and wrote in for information, advice and to get feedback on their ideas. It has been wonderful to see the creativity that has been flowing in these young minds and the solutions that they have come up with.

The 3 Creeks Robotics 3CR Team has even started their own crowdfunding campaign on the Hippo Roller website to raise money for people who struggle with water access.

One team even produced their own video, well done team!

We look forward to seeing if any of our teams make it through to the finals in 2018.

October 2012 – Video: No Water Today – a children’s school drama in rural South Africa

Video: “No Water Today” A chidren’s school drama in rural South Africa Filmed and produced by Grant Gibbs of the Hippo Water Roller Project. “No water today” is a drama that was performed by pupils of the Mchuci Primary Schoolduring a handover of 250 Hippo rollers to the Hlabekisa Village, a community near the Kruger …

October 2012 – Video: No Water Today – a children’s school drama in rural South Africa Read More »

“No water today” – A school drama in rural South Africa

“No water today” was filmed and produced in August 2012 by Grant Gibbs of the Hippo Water Roller Project.

Scene 1 – Wake up!
[Daughter] There is no water for me to wash. What must I do?
[Mother] Here is a little water left over – use this to wash your face.
[Father] Why is there no water at home? Our daughter can’t go to school dirty!
Child take your bag and go to school now.

Scene 2 – The classroom
[Daughter] Morning Ma’m, sorry that I am late.
[Teacher] This is not good enough! How am I supposed to teach you properly if you are always late for school? You come to school smelling dirty.
[Daughter] But Ma’m we don’t have any water at home!
[Teacher] That is no excuse – everybody has the same problem – now go and sit down.

Scene 3 – At home
[Mother] I am not feeling well and the water is far away!
[Father] But it is your job to make sure that we have water.
[Mother] The water is very heavy and difficult to carry from so far… perhaps they will deliver water for us today?
[Father] I hope so too…

Scene 4 – Water tanker
Water tanker arrives… Ladies queue for water… Arguing over position in queue… Some ladies get water… Others get none! The tanker ran dry!

[Song] Kids don’t lie…
This is a reality faced by rural households everyday!

The Solution
The Hippo Water Roller… Appropriate Technology… For improved access to water…

World Food Programme in Tanzania use Hippo Water Rollers in school feeding projects

Hippo water rollers are currently used by the World Food Programme (WFP) as a key part of their Schools Feeding Program in Tanzania. The availability of water is critical for the provision of meals to these pupils in Northern Tanzania.

The WFP have so far purchased more than 1,000 Hippo Rollers and are rolling them out at pre-selected schools. The WFP provides support to over 1,000 schools in drought prone areas of Tanzania.

One example is Eluwai Secondary School, located in the Arusha region in the North of Tanzania. The school, and village are named after the hardy plant that grows stubbornly in this arid landscape, looking almost like tumble weed that have grumpily decided to plan roots for a while.

The landscape in the Arusha region is dry, flat and unforgiving. Water is even more precious here and the inhabitants carry out an uneasy sharing of any water resources with the local wildlife.

tanzanian pupil with bucket of water

A pump donated by a church group was stolen and this meant that water had to be fetched from increasingly far distances AND extreme care had to be taken to make sure that the local wildlife had taken their fill before anyone from the school showed up with a bucket.

Mr. Mushi as well as Mr. Herbert Msaki form the core of the permanent teaching staff and teach the school of 471 students. They informed us that the availability of water is critical to preparing the mid day meal that sustains many students through the day and also ensures good attendance.

Needless to say, the arrival of the Hippo Rollers made it much easier for the school to fetch the 400 litres of water needed to cook daily.

The head boy at Arkatan Secondary School, Sailepu accepted the rollers on behalf of the school and gave a quick speech which brought must of us to laughter, mainly touching on how he was delighted he would have more time for homework but could not speak for all his colleagues!

The students went to the lake to use the rollers for the first time. They then had a race to see who would get back to the school first with one group using the “old ways” and one group the Hippo Rollers. It wasn’t even close…

“The introduction of Hippo rollers in WFP supported primary schools significantly reduced the daily burden on women and children…” – World Food Programme

  • Source: Extracts from a report received from Hippo Roller’s representative in Tanzania, Mr. Oluseyi Onabanjo.