Whilst wells in rural India are now more accessible than they were 20 years ago, it is still not unusual to see women carrying water in a metal pail balanced on their heads.
Children, too, are tasked with walking in heat of up to 40 °C to fetch water in this way – sometimes they are as young as seven years old.
These typical water-carrying methods, however, bring with them physical loading that has the potential to cause injury, lead to musculoskeletal disorders, such as neck or back pain, and risk disability.
As a father of a three-year-old daughter, it struck me how terrible it is to endure that kind of hardship from such a young age – and so I got to work…
…by the simple office water cooler bottle that is delivered in the thousands every day throughout the UK.
As a designer and problem solver, looking at this bottle on our water cooler got me thinking. Surely, large amounts of water could be rolled instead of loaded on the head?
Also I can’t possibly be the first person to have thought of this…
Whilst researching , I came across an incredible lady by the name of Cynthia Koenig, founder of Wello. Cynthia and her team had already designed the WaterWheel which has been vetted through a series of design validation pilots that took place across India over the course of 2 years. Her team lived and worked in dozens of villages, carried hundreds of litres of water and engaged with thousands of potential end-users and sector experts.
My charity project, Wells on Wheels will be purchasing the wheel directly at cost of £28 per wheel including logistics. We will be responsible for distributing to the villages in need, starting with the village of Dahiwad.
Cynthia is a firm believer in the potential for business to alleviate poverty. Her career has focused on incubating mission-based businesses designed to alleviate poverty in the developing world. She has helped launch ventures of all shapes and sizes, ranging from community-run ecotourism businesses in Mexico and Guatemala to a national strategy for sustainable tourism development in Bhutan.
I too feel that businesses can work to help alleviate property and I wanted to start giving from my own company to this amazing cause.