sábado, 18 de noviembre de 2017

A simple idea which changed the lives of millions | MercatorNet |November 17, 2017|MercatorNet|

A simple idea which changed the lives of millions
MercatorNet |November 17, 2017|MercatorNet|

A simple idea which changed the lives of millions

The Hippo Roller has revolutionised water transport in Africa
Michael Cook | Nov 17 2017 | comment 

I’m about 20 years late in burbling with excitement over this simple tool. But better late than never. Let me introduce the Hippo Roller.
It’s a heavy-duty, 90-litre (24 gallon), plastic drum with a long metal handle.
You fill the drum with water, whack on the cap, and roll it home.
Simple. Why didn’t I think of that?
It’s a lot easier for women than carrying a plastic bucket on your head with 20 litres of water sloshing inside, up hill and down dale, perhaps for kilometres.
In Africa, 40 percent of the poorest households do not have piped-in water, and more than half of its population lack access to improved water sources such as boreholes, wells, or taps. We don’t think much about water; millions of Africans think about it all the time.
The Hippo Roller is the brainchild of two South African engineers, Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker, who saw how rural villagers suffered in a drought. They started marketing it in 1994.
Women, children and the elderly can use it to transport five times as much water more easily, even over rough terrain.
Former South African President, Nelson Mandela said that the simple device would “positively change the lives of millions of our fellow South Africans".
More than South Africans, actually. About 50,000 Hippo Rollers are being used in 20 countries in Africa and in Haiti. The benefits are significant. It reduces head and spinal damage, improves irrigation, makes the elderly less dependent... but above all, it saves time. It gives children more time for education; it makes women more available for economic activity.
Grant Gibbs, the executive director of the Hippo Roller Project, the non-profit which markets it, says that it boosts people’s dignity. “In South Sudan, where I interviewed a teenage girl,” he said,  “I asked why she liked the Hippo Roller so much and she responded without hesitation: ‘Because now I can look like a city girl.’” She explained that she could not braid her hair to look attractive if she had to carry buckets of water on her head.
The Hippo Roller Project’s motto is “Simple Ideas. Changing Lives”. It is marketing the device, which costs about US125, through NGOs.
Simple things are often the best ideas. Remember that.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.


November 17, 2017

Australia will legalise same-sex marriage before Christmas and two articles today provide a commentary on what that means for dissenters. Retired Australian High Court judge Dyson Heydon, though he barely mentions the marriage issue, clearly had it in mind as he delivered a lecture in mid-October when the postal referendum was still under way and passions were at a pitch. Reflecting on elite opinion that already opposes any influence of religion in public policy, he foresees an era of religious persecution ahead. Zac Alstin, by contrast, finds himself at peace with the thought that Divine Providence will not be thwarted.

Margaret Harper McCarthy, writing in the American context, provides yet another perspective on religious freedom. Although Christian apologists have rightly joined debate over issues like transgenderism from the point of view of reason and natural law, she argues the central importance of Christian witnessing to the whole endeavour.

That argument could just as well be applied to the issue of cultural change that I deal with in my "post Weinstein" piece.

Do check out the other articles for great insights into simple things that can change lives; the plight of older Japanese men; how phonesare affecting teenagers' mental health; and a reminder about a much-loved adventure story. Oh, and the front page video about the rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci painting, "Salvator Mundi", which sold today for US$ 400 million plus $50m in commissions. There must be a parable in that somewhere.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,
God writes straight with crooked lines
By Zac Alstin
Divine providence and same-sex marriage.
Read the full article
A simple idea which changed the lives of millions
By Michael Cook
The Hippo Roller has revolutionised water transport in Africa
Read the full article
Lonely old Japanese men look for companionship
By Marcus Roberts
But some tragically looked for it in the wrong place...
Read the full article
After Weinstein we need a culture change - but what sort, exactly?
By Carolyn Moynihan
So far we are hearing about rules. Some aspects of 1970s culture are taboo.
Read the full article
Is ‘cuelessness’ exacerbating anxiety and depression in teens?
By Scott Stanley
Thin communication could be making us neurotic.
Read the full article
Modern elites have forgotten the Christian origins of liberalism
By Dyson Heydon
A former justice of Australia’s High Court foresees an era of religious persecution
Read the full article
Classic adventure story still captivates readers
By Jennifer Minicus
A classic adventure story for animal lovers
Read the full article

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