Deforestation is major environmental problem in Rwanda. The High Efficiency Stove Microenterprise team at UC-Boulder is working with Rwandan engineers to develop and market two stoves that better use limited local resources and that burn more efficiently and cleanly.
An NCIIA Sustainable Vision team from MIT has developed a solar thermal microgenerator capable of providing both electricity and heat to the rural areas of South Africa. Read more about this low cost, sustainable project at PlanetGreen.com.
Last month Powermundo, an NCIIA Sustainable Vision grantee from Colorado State University, won $1,000 in the Foundation for a Sustainable Future and the William James Foundation's Richard Heinberg Prize awards.
Powermundo is a supply network that provides 'green-tech' products to the Peruvian market. Read more about the awards, visit Powermundo's website to learn more about the project, and watch a video about Powermundo.
The Georgia Tech Research Institute in partnership with the Emory University Center for Global Safe Water have designed, built and tested an innovative solar sanitation system for use in developing countries. Field prototypes of the systems have been constructed in rural areas in Bolivia with a local foundation partner. This system heats waste to temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius (140 F), which destroys disease causing micro-organisms and bacteria. Addition of lime or ash increases pH to promote microbial inactivation. The waste is rendered harmless for use as fertilizer within weeks.
The objectives of this research are to
conduct basic engineering and clinical research to further evaluate the field performance of initial prototype systems (temperature, pH and heating times needed for microbial inactivation)
construct and field test advanced prototypes in Bolivia
establish micro-financing and NGO partners for rapid and scalable use of the technology.
Drinking water drawn from underground sources has caused extensive arsenic poisoning among villagers in remote areas in Cambodia. Consequently, there is an urgent need for sustainable treatment processes that can provide arsenic-safe water to the affected population. This Sustainable Vision project aims to develop and implement a sustainable, community-based, wellhead technology modeled after an arsenic removal system operating successfully on the Indian subcontinent. More than 175 such units currently provide arsenic-safe water to nearly 200,000 villagers in West Bengal, India (near the Bangladesh border), a geologically and socially similar region. The project will place the arsenic removal technology at schools and other selected locations.
Summer 2009 update: The project is in progress to install the first community based system in a village near Pnom Penh, Cambodia.
University of Massachusetts - Lowell, 2008 - $46,839
The aim of this project is to provide small farmers in developing countries with an affordable solar drip irrigation method that promotes the sustainable use of water and energy. The world’s food security relies on improving irrigation techniques for smallholder agriculture in developing countries. The common irrigation practice is flooding with seasonal water gravity fed systems or diesel/gasoline-powered pumps. Solar pumps are clean, efficient and have lower maintenance. Drip irrigation (DI) is 40% more efficient than furrow. Depending on the crop, DI could allow three harvests per year instead of one in the rainy season, generating enough income to pay for the system.
Solar panel for the irrigation system.
Summer 2009 update: A prototype system has been installed on a small farm in Peru; results to date are positive.
NCIIA awarded Pace University a Sustainable Vision grant in 2007 to provide Senegalese students from the Thies University with the skills to exploit the opportunity for mobile phone and Web design based startups in Africa. Thies University students are currently competing to see who will take part in the next boot camp for mobile application development and Web design, while students from Pace University and partner institution Stony Brook University are participating in course on mobile application development for social changes.
This work will be expanded to grow a network by involving more students, faculty and universities, as well as stakeholders from the information and communication technologies industry and real clients from diverse Senegalese communities. Faculty training and courses will be conducted in universities in Senegal. Replication of the model will be encouraged with the purpose of providing students in Senegal with opportunities to implement their ideas.
University of Thiès students working on new software applications of various cell phones.
Summer 2009 update: Thies University students are currently competing to see who will take part in the next boot camp for mobile application development and Web design, while students from Pace University and partner institution Stony Brook University are participating in courses on mobile application development for social changes. A network has been built and organized using the MobileSenegal Ning network available at http://mobilesenegal.ning.com. It involves students, faculty and universities, as well as stakeholders from the information and communication technologies industry and real clients from diverse Senegalese communities and even international organizations. A faculty training was conducted for 22 faculty of 7 universities in Senegal to encourage faculty to join the network and discover the field of mobile application development. The network is currently organizing a mobile application competition open to all university students in the country.