According to Global Citizen, women and girls worldwide spend an estimated 200 million hours per day fetching water. Most often, they are transporting up to 40 lbs (18 L) of this highly sought after commodity by balancing it on their heads. Not only is this process time consuming, but women must endure a dangerous trek (on average, 3.7 miles) that can take a toll on the body and the valuable water collected from that journey.
According to a study conducted by NPR Station on health implications of water collection in South Africa, researchers found that carrying heavy loads on one’s head is associated with a particular pain pattern, with discomfort in the upper back and hands. In addition, there is an increased risk of headaches, likely caused by the compression of discs in the neck. In a survey, researchers collected data from six villages; 69 percent of participants reported spinal pain, and 38 percent complained of severe back pain. This method of carrying also decreases the pace in which women can walk, due to the added challenge of maintaining balance on their head. To add to this physical and mental stress, countries such as Guatemala, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Nepal, and many others, are characterized by rough, rocky, and mountainous terrain, making it even more difficult to get from point to point. This increases risk of falling and potentially losing the water collected and injuring oneself in the process. It’s about time to introduce a solution to this multi-factorial problem, in order to aid the millions of women toting water. Every. Single. Day.
However, there is a solution! Through intense research and intricate design, “Hydro Helper Pack” is the solution to the pains of transporting water over even the roughest of terrains, while also serving as a filtration system to ensure safety of the drinking the water. This innovative solution will be sold to World Health Organization’s field offices in each of the designated countries so that they can be distributed to women of families living miles from the nearest water source. This product will combat the problem of navigating over rough terrain, so that women can transport water more quickly and safely. Time constraints and balancing issues are no longer obstacles with “Hydro Helper Pack”.
Product specs of the “Hydro Helper Pack” include a 30 Liter capacity, 10 liters above the traditional bucket that women carry; supportive “backpack” design that includes cushioned shoulder straps, waist strap, chest strap and frontal water compartment that is devoted to individual hydration along the journey. “Hydro Helper Pack” ensures that weight is equally distributed on the back, shoulders, and waist to significantly reduce risk for spinal and back problems. This innovative design frees the arms to that the individual can have stability when navigating the terrain, allowing for a quicker and safer journey.
Also combatting the issue of water transportation is the “Hippo Roller”. This product allows the individual to roll the water in a cylindrical container on the ground, creating a less strenuous method for transporting water. However, the “Hydro Helper Pack” differs from this competitor because of the hands free design- heightening efficiency and safety when navigating through rough and rocky terrain. Even more notably, the pack maintains these signature features while also being structurally conducive to the female body’s shape and carrying capacity. At the same time, the pack acts as a filter to eliminate contaminants and reduce the risk of water borne illnesses contracted from poor drinking water. Although the “Hippo Roller’s” 90 liter carrying capacity is attractive, this feature is actually dangerous for rough terrain; the roller has the potential to roll over one’s foot or severely jerk the body when going down or uphill. Not to mention that the wheels could get caught on rocks or break from adverse conditions on the ground. For these reasons, the “Hydro Helper Pack” provides a solution that combines form and function to make clean water more accessible to families in need.
The durability and “backpack” design of the “Hydro Helper Pack” is a sustainable solution to traditional transportation methods and those currently on the market. By carrying water on one’s back, this reduces the risk of dropping, which makes tatter and tear less likely, allowing the pack to be use for years to come. However, the high quality and light weight pack material is structurally durable and conducive to adverse conditions to reduce risk of losing any water along the way. By distributing the packs to communities in need through a health and safety centered non-profit, access is no longer an issue in this situation. Each family will have equal opportunity to their pack to ensure adequate access to hydration for years down the road. Literally.