David Barnard will run his ninth six-day desert race this weekend as he aims to complete a marathon on all seven continents. The weekend’s race will see him run on his sixth continent through the Australian Simpson Desert. All of this to raise funds for the Hippo Roller and to increase public understanding of the water-related issues around the world.
David Barnard has been participating in multi-stage desert foot races in remote parts of the world since 2010. From the Kalahari, Namib and Sahara Deserts in Africa, to the Gobi Desert in China, the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Grand Canyon in the United States, and the most extreme of them all, The Last Desert Race in 2014 in Antarctica.
“My next desert race is the 250 km Big Red Run from June 24 to 29 in the Simpson Desert in Australia. I enter these events both for the physical challenge associated with running self-supported through the deserts of the world, as well as to raise money and awareness for organisations at the forefront of responding to many of the key development challenges facing Africa,” Barnard says.
Running for Water
Water is a precious resource. It is also a scarce resource, and its presence and availability is often taken for granted. South Africa is currently recovering from the worst drought in living memory.
Though the UN Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, there remains more than 600 million people worldwide who are still without a safe water supply close to home, many of them living in rural Africa. As a result, they spend countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and carrying heavy buckets.
“Fortunately, a uniquely South African invention makes it extremely easy to collect, move and store water in rural conditions; up to five-times more water than a single bucket, by simply rolling it along the ground,” Barnard notes.
The Hippo Roller is a simple solution to millions of people living in areas without adequate access to water. Specifically designed to last many years in tough rural terrain, it enables them to transport up to 90 litres to their homes and gardens, making more water and time available for education, household tasks and food production.
Hippo Roller and you
It costs US$ 125 (R1 634) to manufacture and distribute a Hippo Roller, and Barnard’s aim is to raise US$ 6 250 (R81 706), which should cover the cost of manufacturing, and distributing 50 Hippo Rollers to needy communities in South Africa. Imvubu Projects will manufacture the Hippo Rollers, while Youthzones will help distribute them within needy communities.
“The impact of the Hippo Roller is real, immediate and it changes the lives of millions of people. The world’s future and our lives depend on having enough clean, safe water. We need extraordinary commitment to ensure clean water for all,” Barnard says.
To donate to the cause, you can visit David Barnard’s website.