The Concept

The Wativi is a cross between a quad and a small tractor that is designed to transport barrels of water to villages in Africa. It would be powered by two cyclists, an electric motor, and a set of batteries that could be recharged with the sun.


 The Origin of the Idea

I recently was introduced to the Hippo Roller which is a rolling water barrel designed to be used in rural Africa. It gave me the idea of combining several concepts together to form a small train of water barrels. The idea was to free the time of other villagers (usually women) for other projects. The Wativi could also accelerate the speed and quantity of water that could be transported to every village.


How It Works

The idea would be to build a tandem vehicle resembling existing all terrain vehicles. This contraption would be equipped with large, empty plastic wheels measuring approximately the height of motorcycle tires and the width of ATV tires. The ‘cargo wheels’ could be covered by a strap or rubber band to optimize traction, or made with built-in sprocket-style teeth.

Two people would sit in the center and pedal. A heavy-duty gear box would allow three speeds (Sloth, Turtle, Donkey). An electric motor would assist the riders in getting the Wativi into motion and help pull a series of ‘rollers’ joined together by wooden or metal rods mounted on pivots so that the vehicle could take curves. The number of pulled ‘rollers’ would depend on many factors.


Potential Market

Wativi’s could be provided free of charge to African villages already using the Hippo Roller. Funding of each unit could be done with specific sponsors. For instance, in exchange for an hour’s worth of workout, employees from multinationals could be credited with helping to buy a Wativi for a specific village in Africa. In other words, each time the employee worked out, the company would set aside $5 aside towards the purchase of a Wativi for that village. This would be a win-win solution to improve the health and welfare of the company’s employees and the villagers at the same time.



The Wativi concept was imagined in August 2016 by Charles Bombardier and designed by  Adolfo Esquivel. Adolfo earned an Industrial Design degree from Colombia and completed a postgraduate study on Events Design at the UQAM of Montreal. He currently works as a freelance industrial designer in Montreal. Adolfo also created the design of the Libelule Submarine-ATV and the Motowalk people mover.