People queueing up for water are a familiar site for anyone who has been in Africa:. A chore often left to women and children.
According to a study in rural areas in South Africa surveying 1,052 children in 366 households, water carrying ranked as the most time-consuming of household chores for children.
In average, a child spent just under 16 hours a week hauling water from the nearest water source to their homes.
The study shows the impact of fetching water on children’s school attendance, sense of well-being and general health. All three factors relate to how much time the kids spend on the chore. This in turn is dependent on the distance of the water source and how many trips they make daily to get water.
For example, 62% of children who make two or more trips a day to collect water report that they miss school. The proportion of children who miss school among those who fetch water once a day was considerably lower, at 44%.
Similarly, children fetching water two or more times a day are four times more likely to develop health problems than those doing a single trip a day.
Q-Drum came up with this solution: A 50 liter Linear Low Density Polyethylene drum that can be pulled or rolled by kids. The drum is tough, surviving 3 metre drop-test filled with water, resisting a load test up to 3,7 tons.
More articles on The Road about poverty, development and children.
Picture courtesy Q-Drum. Article inspiration: Green Upgrader