Blog

Sunday, 17 March 2019 10:20

Problem: Lack of education and awareness about the environment and SDGs among general masses.

Solution: The Zayed Green Challenge App is an Innovative Knowledge Based Mobile Application, functioning as an innovative educational tool in an entertainment mode to promote awareness and knowledge of the environment and the SDGs in both English & Arabic languages.

Goals and Objectives: The ultimate goal of the solution is to educate and create awareness about the environment and SDGs in a fun and engaging manner, that will appeal to all ages and cross-sections of society. By testing one’s knowledge and raising appreciation of a healthy environment which is the cornerstone of a sustainable future, the Zayed Foundation is taking forward the call to celebrate the precious resources of our Earth while also pledging to keep it sustainable for the coming generations. This is to fulfil the aim of promoting sustainable development through achievement of SDGs, especially Goal 4 that calls for ensuring inclusive and quality education for all as it is the key to build the human capacity and create awareness that will allow many other SDGs to be achieved.

Implementation: The solution is developed by the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment in 2017.

The Zayed Green Challenge App is an engaging game app that innovatively incentivizes knowledge and awareness of the environment and SDGs through fun games with exciting prizes and encourages lifelong learning among all ages and cross-sections of society, empowering them to respond and act positively to the pressing environmental sustainability challenges.

On 6th December, 2017, UN Environment Assembly (UNEA3) in Nairobi, Kenya, the Zayed Green Challenge app chosen three winners to reward with cash prizes of US$ 100, 50 and 25 respectively.

The application is available for free download via Android and iOS app stores.

Achievements: Incentivized mass participation by people from all age groups and different sections of the society including Schools and University students, working populations from private and public sectors and general public, thereby, enabling dissemination of knowledge about the environment and SDGs.

Available for free download, internationally, the Zayed Green Challenge smart app has reached 99 countries with a total downloads of 6,649.

Budget: USD 30,000

Contact details:
United Arab Emirates
Dr. Meshgan Al Awar, Secretary General, Zayed International Foundation for the Environment
Tel: +971 4 3163130│Mobile: + 971 50 4537733
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ZIFE Long

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 04:43

Summary

This pilot project aims to promote an innovative concept that can encourage the youngest people to adhere to social entrepreneurship. The project also seeks to illustrate the transformative power of socially innovative companies.

Challenge

Due to conditions such as insularity, size and income, São Tomé and Príncipe faces several development challenges. Although average annual GDP growth has exceeded 4% since 2012, poverty has not decreased significantly. Unemployment rates (19.7% for women and 9.3% for men by 2015) show a gender imbalance that needs to be addressed. At the same time, the unemployment rate among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 (23% in 2015) is much higher than the national average (13%). However, entrepreneurship among young people is underdeveloped for structural reasons related to the lack of available skills and funding, and the predominance of a culture that promotes the security of public functions over other, less stable livelihood options.

Solution

The pilot project "Promoting social entrepreneurship among young people" aims to promote actions that encourage young people to become social entrepreneurs, with particular attention to activities related to the green economy. The project also aims to demonstrate the transformative power of socially innovative companies that seek both financial profit and social benefits through a communication strategy geared particularly to decision-makers from the government, business community and development professionals.

Initially, the project will develop national awareness and leadership to promote a business-oriented approach to social development through a complete package of services (training, financing, peer-to-peer, market access, business laboratories) for the target group (young people interested in social entrepreneurship). These activities will be supported by the establishment of strategic partnerships with international entities specializing in supporting social entrepreneurship (such as Ashoka and Impact Hub).

Secondly, the project will support new and existing social entrepreneurs in developing skills in networks, resource mobilization, maximizing the use of information technologies, as well as in planning, starting and managing business. This stage will also include financial support for on-the-job training and the provision of small grants for potential entrepreneurs of community-based youth organizations, based on targeted local development (focusing on priority areas such as renewable energy or waste management).

To extend its reach and maximize target group engagement, the initiative will be mainly channeled through mobile caravans, mobile structures that will visit rural and urban youth centers. Two types of caravans are planned: the blue caravan, aimed at promoting activities related to the environment, and the green caravan, dedicated to services to support social entrepreneurship. The pilot project will cover the two most populous districts of the country (Água Grande and Mé-Zóchi), which concentrate around 60% of the population of São Tomé. Subsequently, based on the lessons learned, the initiative could be extended to other districts and replicated among other target groups (unemployed adults or women's groups).

South-South Cooperation will play a key role in the project, in terms of training and support in the management of social affairs, whether through access to instructional services or tutoring, in a group or individually, or through virtual sharing of knowledge.

Country of origin of the solution: São Tomé and Príncipe

Recipient country: São Tomé and Príncipe

Supported by: UNDP

Implementing agency: UNDP São Tomé and Príncipe, and Ministry of Youth and Sports of São Tomé and Príncipe

Project development stage: Ongoing

Project implementation period: Between 2018 and 2019

Contact Person:
Sabina Fernandes dos Ramos
Program Analyst;
UNDP São Tomé and Príncipe
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 28 February 2019 07:48

Problem: Farmers' supply of an appropriate amount of chemical to treat the trees in order to control the targeted pest or disease. Too little chemical can result in an outbreak of disease or building up resistance to the chemical. Too much chemical can be hazardous to the operator, cause environmental pollution or result in residue problems on the fruit, not to mention costing extra dollars. Also, farmers need dipper penetration of chemical inside the dense canopy of trees to cure disease.

Solution: Air blast sprayers deliver chemical liquid in the form of mist that are fine droplet sizes which are optimized for delivery of plant protection and plant enhancement chemicals. 

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to help the growth of crops, reduce the expenditure on manual labour and pesticides consumption, be less time-consuming and ergonomic operation.

Implementation: Airblast sprayers are developed by the Nashik-based start-up, MITRA (Machines, Information, Technology, Resources for Agriculture) for fruits and vegetables in general, and grapes, pomegranates, citrus, mango and apple in particular.

These sprayers can be trailed or mounted on tractors thus being recognized as tractor trailed sprayers, tractor mounted sprayers. Air blast technology is being used in these sprayers to provide sufficient air output for Grape orchards/vineyards. Air blast sprayers produce mist of fine droplet sizes which are optimized for delivery of plant protection and plant enhancement chemicals. Thus they are also recognized as mist blowers. MITRA uses axial fans especially suited for different sizes of canopy of orchard trees and air Assisted Sprayer technology works as atomizer and provided complete coverage in dense canopy of orchard trees with lesser chemical consumption.

Achievements: Airblast sprayers developed are up to 30% cheaper than sprayers available in other parts of the world and take half an hour for an activity that would otherwise require four to five labourers for 5 hours. Hence farmers are claiming up to 40% chemical saving, 80% time and labour saving with 100% coverage and assurance against disease. See M.I.T.R.A customer testimonials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAjvujn86boii7-JNg1RKpjFoBp5xBPIw

Contact details:
Address:
M.I.T.R.A. Agro Equipments Pvt.Ltd.
W-184, Ambad MIDC, 422010
Nashik, Maharashtra, India
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone & WhatsApp: +91-8888200022
Website:  https://mitraweb.in/#
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiEerX0xuG692Q3c8ZASDFw/featured
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mitraagroequipment/

Thursday, 28 February 2019 06:28

Problem: Energy poverty is a huge problem across Africa and renewable energy has a part to play however there are challenges. In crime ridden areas across Africa traditional solar PV solutions have failed. The solar panels are typically stolen within a few months of deployment. The problem is so bad that the Gauteng provincial government was prepared to dismiss solar power as a possible electricity solution for schools and community centres.

Solution: Think of a Turtle moving around, and hiding in its shell when needed. Similarly, the SolarTurtle climbs out of its shell, moves to where the demand for energy is, and then feeds on the rays of the sun to supply the demand – quickly and securely. SolarTurtle has a range of solar energy platforms for community electrification with a special focus on schools. From our flag ship solar containers that fold-away by the press of a button (like a turtle into its shell), to light weight portable kiosks that fold-away and store in-doors for safety. These micro-franchises allow community members to become Turtlepreneurs and address energy poverty at the source of the problem. Our secure energy platforms can also be used for banking, clinics, disaster recovery, cold storage etc. Anywhere you need energy quickly and securely.

Goals and Objectives: The innovation designed for unparalleled security and maximum portability and targets poor and rural communities by introducing a unique solar battery charging station (AKA Solar energy kiosk). Furthermore, our software package manages our franchise and makes training and monitoring easy.

Implementation: The SolarTurtle is an innovation in the form of a micro “electricity dispenser” inspired by traders in Johannesburg who used shipping containers as safe trading spaces and women setting up flip-up kiosk outside schools to sell food and drinks to kids. The SolarTurtle kiosks house solar panels that fold out during the day and retract securely at night, charging powerbank batteries during the day. By using powerbank technology, the storage medium also becomes the distribution medium as customers swap out flat power banks for a full one and continue with their day.

These solar kiosks are assembled off-site then deployed by simply offloading the units and unfolding the panels towards the sun. A unique software package manages the training, monitoring and impact tracking of these small community enterprises

Achievements The Solar Turtle was announced the winner of the inaugural the 2018 Nation Builder Social Innovation Challenge and the 2017 Inventors’ Garage competition.

  1. Stellenbosch Idea Competition winner, 2013
  2. WWF Climate Solver accolade, 2014
  3. Siemens, empowering people award winner, 2016
  4. SEED Award for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development winner, 2016
  5. Africa Prize, Royal Academy of Engineering short listed, 2017
  6. Africa Utility Week, Most Innovative Technology of the Year winner, 2017
  7. SA Innovation Summit, Inventors Garage Award winner, 2017
  8. SAB Social Innovation Award, Grant winner, 2017
  9. Design foundation, Design With Purpose Award, 2017
  10. Chivas the Venture award, finalist, 2018
  11. Nation Builder award (Mergon group), winner, 2018

Impact:

  1. Energy poverty – reliable energy source anywhere in the country without delay
  2. Environmental crisis – green source of energy will be used
  3. Unemployment crisis – electricity creates direct and indirect employment. Indirect employment relate to local enterprises like sewing and crafting that becomes viable due to electricity
  4. Education – learners have lights and can charge their phones and school ICT devices
  5. Robust and secure – solar systems will no longer be vandalised
  6. Affordable clean energy – No need for paraffin lamps releasing harmful smoke and no fire hazard
  7. Women empowerment – We aim to train and recruit women to operate the turtles. If you want to take a care of a country take care of its caregivers
  8. Skills transfer – Not only will the women be renewable energy experts after the training, but the value of entrepreneurship will be instilled. The idea is to change South Africa’s culture to a more proactive one
  9. Localisation – use local skills and products in assembling SolarTurtles

Impact to date:

  • European Commission – R1200k ($86k)
    • Renewable Energy for Women Empowerment Project (REWEP)
    • Deployment of 10 energy kiosks in rural Lesotho (2018-2019)
  • Royal Academy of Engineering - R320k ($25k), Research Grant
    • Develop automatic fold away system for future drop-and-go solar containers
    • Pilot for Home of Compassion, Delft, Cape Town, June 2018
    • Power for community centre and HIV clinic
    • Collaboration with Liverpool university, mechanical design
  • SolarTurtle Pilot (4kW system)
    • Deployed at rural school in Elliotdale, SA (Jun 2015)
    • Funded by SANEDI, TIA, Stellenbosch University
    • Already self sustaining and employing 3 people
  • Technology demo (2kW system)
    • Deployed at rural school in Cofimvaba, SA (Nov 2015)
    • Funded by Department of Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University
    • Powering the school with a special focus on ICT (power for e-learning tablets)
  • School power Gauteng
    • New retractable design for powering a school in high crime area
    • Feb 2016 for Palm ridge extension 9, SA.
    • Funded by EnergyNet UK
  • Nedbank solar banking branch (4kW system)
    • Design and build a bank branch using SolarTurtle technology
    • Deployed in rural Eastern Cape, SA (Sep 2017)

Partners:  

South African National Energy Development Institute

Budget:

$1,2mil scale-up funding needed to establish HQs in Lesotho, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries.

Contact details: Head Office
Address:  Mountain Whisper, Church Str, Kylemore, Stellenbosch

Contact person: James van der Walt
Phone: +27 82 478 2478
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact person: Lungelwa Tyali
Phone: +27723219070
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019 03:30

Problem: The sources of dissolved oxygen in an aqua pond are 4% of the water poured in, 7% mixed in from the surface water, and mainly 89% from the photosynthesis of algae. The growth of a quality bloom is a mystery and it varies from pond to pond. The use of organic and inorganic fertilizers and water exchange does not guarantee a quality bloom. If the source water is polluted there is no immediate remedy. If the algal bloom comprises of green algae and blue-green algae, then it does not readily support live food like zooplankton since the cell walls are made of cellulose and it is not easily digestible by the marine animals. Since the algae are not consumed it persists in the system and one day it will die and crash creating Dissolved oxygen problems.

Solution: ' NUALGI Aqua' is a novel research product that can grow diatom algae on almost any water substrate be it the Sea, high saline water, fresh water, sewage water, effluent water etc.

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen due to photosynthesis.

Implementation: Nualgi Aqua was invented by Mr. T Sampath Kumar of Bangalore, India in 2004.

'Nualgi Aqua' contains trace, special and appropriate nutrients that can deliver in a biologically available form. Upon application to the water body in the presence of macronutrients like N, P, K and sunlight, phytoplankton predominately in the form of diatoms, bloom and is soon converted to live food like zooplankton which is attractive to fishes and prawns. The live food boosts fishing and marine resources.

Nualgi Aqua can be used for the following purposes:

  • For growing phytoplankton in the seas to absorb global carbon dioxide and reduce greenhouse gases thereby solving global warming problem.
  • For preventing growth of toxic algal species called Red Tides in the sea.
  • For generation of plankton and live food in aquaculture ponds to boost the growth of prawns and fishes.
  • For treating sewage, polluted and effluent waters by growing diatoms and reducing cod, bod, color, bad odour and growth of toxic algae in ponds and lakes. 
  • For reclaiming and bringing life to lakes, rivers, and water bodies that are polluted by sewage and other pollutants and those in a state of eutrophication.
  • For preventing wild growth of waterweeds, water hyacinth, green algae and blue green algae and other waste plants in lakes, rivers, ponds and other water bodies.
  • Avoiding mass fish kill due to oxygen depletion, growth of toxic algae in ponds and lakes.
  • Removing and crashing out of green and blue green algae from water bodies without affecting the fishes, water animals and portability of the water.

Achievements: The 2015 trials in Queensland, Australia strongly indicate that the use of Nualgi Aqua is a simple, yet effective pathway to manage nutrients and control Blue Green Algae growth.

Contact details:
Address: 651, 11th Main road, V Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560 041
Contact person: Sampath Kumar Thothathri, CEO
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 91-80-26591524, 26595314 

Friday, 22 February 2019 05:16

Problem: Open fire cooking is inefficient, requiring large amounts of wood or charcoal. The huge demand for woodfuel for cooking has led to large scale deforestation across the globe, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Household Air Pollution (HAP) is a major contributor to illness and death in the developing world. Inhaling cook smoke can lead to pneumonia, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, COPD, and lung cancer.

Solution: The ACE 1 is a smokeless biomass cookstove, which burns any type of biomass both cleanly and smoke-free indoors or outdoors and drastically decreases exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM2.5), the primary components of HAP, during cooking. Many households in the developing world also rely on kerosene candles for lighting, which further increases HAP; the ACE 1 includes an LED lamp attachment which provides clean, safe lighting.

Goals and Objectives: The ACE 1 is capable of mitigating many of the problems associated with biomass cooking, as well as offering additional benefits by generating free solar electricity.

Implementation: The solution is developed by the African Clean Energy, a startup founded in Lesotho by Father and son team Stephen and Ruben Walker in 2011 to provide off-grid household energy solutions to people in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.  

The ACE 1 symbiotically combines clean biomass combustion and solar electricity to create an integrated solution addressing customers’ energy needs in a cost-effective way. The product decreases fuel use by 50-85% and it can burn any type of solid biomass, which opens up more fuel alternatives such as agricultural residue or even dried cow dung. It also comes distributed with a 10V/10W solar panel to support device charging and lighting, which for low-income households is a significant financial benefit since basic electricity expenses constitute the bulk of their monthly energy cost. This novel blend of thermal and electric energy generation makes the ACE 1 a unique energy product in its category, as it combines the health, social and environmental benefits of a cookstove with the business model of a solar home system. ACE has sold 26,000 units to date.

How the ACE 1 works:

  • A fan blows oxygen into the chamber through holes at both the bottom and the top. This drives the fire to increase in temperature until it reaches approximately 1000°C. These conditions cause the biomass to gasify.
  • Then the hot gas floats up to the top, meeting more oxygen and combusting completely.
  • The stove will produce as much as 5kW worth of energy, and the outside temperature, though warm after continued use, does not become hot enough to cause injury.
  • When fully charged, the battery will power the fan for over 20 hours of cooking. The battery can also be used to charge a mobile device or run LED lighting and can be boosted using a solar panel.

The ACE 1 has DC and USB ports for phone charging, allowing people without access to grid electricity to charge their phones for free, reducing their costs and increasing their access to ICTs. These ports can also be used to power an LED light included with the stove. Providing basic nano-grid electricity to those who live off the grid not only has benefits at the household level, but also at the level of national development policy. In some cases (such as inaccessible or low-population areas) off-grid solutions like the ACE 1 may be preferable to extending the grid, due to the burden which maintaining electrical infrastructure places on developing countries.

The newest ACE 1 model (to be launched in 2019) includes a microprocessor, enabling it to connect and communicate with smartphones. Concurrently, ACE has developed the Android ACE app, and the combination of the two upgrades the ACE 1 to a ‘smart’ product with new capabilities such as live maintenance alerting or usage data logging. This will make it possible to monitor and record ACE 1 impact, and create unprecedented transparency into the energy consumption habits of poor consumers living off-grid, on whom little data is currently available. This advancement, paired with an upgrade in ACE's current self-reported data collection practices, will allow the company to quantify with precision the environmental and social impact of the ACE 1, as well as well as improve its customer relationship management.

Achievements: The economic impact of the product is impressive. The solution reduces fuel use of about 70 percent, saves 50 percent of costs, and drastically improves the lives of women and children, who do the majority of the cooking.

Based on data collected with 3,000 households in Lesotho, customers interviewed experience an 83% average reduction in monthly energy expenses, 95% of them have stopped purchasing paraffin, and 59% say they no longer need to spend any money on energy.

Budget: The ACE 1 is priced at $100+, but the target market cannot afford to purchase it up front. The ACE 1 is sold on a Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) model, by which customers purchase it with a 6-9 months microloan, and then pay back the investment using the savings made on monthly energy costs. With this model, ACE is likely one of the only companies in the world that can give $2-a-day people access to a $100+ product.

Contact details:
Address:  
PO Box 12355 Maseru 100, Lesotho Plot 24 Ha Thetsane,
Maseru, Lesotho
Contact person: Ruben Walker
Commercial Director and Co-founder
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Problem: The Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis has been decimating 300 fruit species in India and in 65 other countries in Asia, Africa and is considered to be the most destructive, invasive and widespread of all fruit flies.

Solution: Israeli innovative pest management company Biofeed Ltd. is the only company with an effective solution to the most damaging fruit fly species. It’s FreeDome solution acts as the Fruit fly ‘Iron Dome’ and protects the fruit from infestation by attracting the pest away from the fruit, using specific lures, into a mass attract-feed-control station.

Biofeed’s solution is ‘green’ no-spray, environmentally friendly solution against the Oriental fruit fly, and additional fruit fly species.  

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to provide a season-long continuous and effective pest control, reduce infestation by 95% compared with current control strategies, and reduce spraying almost completely.

Implementation: The solution is developed by Biofeed, an ag-tech company in Israel which is a global leader in fruit fly control. The unique and innovative solution is developed with support of Grand Challenges Israel grant  from the Israel Innovation Authority and the Foreign Ministry’s international development agency, MASHAV.

The solution is based on Biofeed's patented Gravity Controlled Fluid Release (GCFR) technology that takes advantage of gravity, contrary to the common evaporation principle of most familiar attraction devices, and is thus very stable and highly effective. 

Biofeed’s devices, hung on trees, contain an organic customized mix of food, feeding stimulants and control delivered by a fluid release platform. Attracted by the odor, the fly takes a sip and soon dies – without any chemicals reaching the fruit, air, soil, farmer or non-target insects.

The launch of Biofeed’s first-in-class attractant for female Oriental fruit flies, has resulted from 15 years of development of the core platform and more than three years of development and testing in Israel and India.

The Biofeed platform is effective with as few as 10 units per hectare and for a period of a full seasons, before the dispenser needs replacing.

Achievements: Mango farmers on 3 Indian states (Tamil-Nadu, Andra-Pradesh, Karnataka) and 3 African countries (Togo, Senegal, Ethiopia) saw an overall decrease of fruit-fly infestation from 95% percent to less than 5%. Mango fruit was exported from Senegal to EU with zero spraying and zero infestation.

Contact details:
Address: Biofeed, Kfar Truman, Israel
Contact person: Dotan Peleg
Phone: 972-3-9742021
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 06:02

Problem: Agriculture pest identification and monitoring.

Solution: Is an integrated pest management (IPM) tool, the traps are effective in monitoring and mass trapping when used in the recommended quantity. Also being an Informative & educative tool to researchers, the traps are an eco-friendly alternative that help in organic cultivation. The bright yellow traps are the most effective and cheaper solution for whiteflies, aphids, leaf miners, thrips, jassids, leaf hoppers, tea mosquito, moth and beetles.

Goal: To support farmers in Identifying & monitoring their crop pests.

Objectives: To Identify, determine when insects first emergence, their relative numbers, where they are coming from, their population density. The above data helps farmer to use proper control measures.

Implementation: These products are very easy to use and we recommend to use at the rate of 10 sheets per acre (50 sheets per hectare) and the size of the sheet should not be less than 20cm x 29cm. A single trap is effective for 735 sq. ft area; traps in an average of 7333 insects within 5 days to 15 days of exposure.

Achievements/Impact: Farmers effectively are using in their farm fields of more than 50 crops of varieties like paddy, wheat, corn, barley, sorghum ,millets, pigeon pea, cowpea, Bengal gram, green gram, soya beans, groundnut, sunflower, mustard, sesame, almond, caster, cotton, tea, coffee, cardamom, black pepper, tobacco, garlic, mango, banana, grape, apple, pineapple, pomegranate, watermelon, guava, cashew, chilli, capsicum, tomato, brinjal, onion, pumpkin, cucumber and okra. Almost used by 500 thousand farmers serving 800 thousand acres.

Impact for farmers by avoiding up to 4 times of pesticides sprays, time savings from sprayings, money savings from avoiding pesticides sprays, farmers health is benefited with reduced risk of pesticidal exposure.

Impact on produce is residue free, pest free and export qualified.

Impact on Environment is an eco-friendly product, safe to non-target organisms and Recyclable.

Partners: APEDA, ADITI, ECOSERT, UPASI, TRA.

Budget: Rs.450/- per acre.

Contact details:
Address: #68A, 6th Main, 3rd Phase, Peenya, Bangalore - 560 058
Contact person: Dr. S Kannan (Head R&D)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 9535288849

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 12:47

Problem: The housing shortage situation has forced India to increase the bricks and cement production. The procedure of conventional brick production involves topsoil removal from fertile land at the end of every agricultural season. The consequences of the activities are releasing a large amount of GHG emissions, degrading the soil, and also threatening the farmers from losing their fertile land.

Solution: These challenging issues are being addressed by a new approach for brick production, which uses fly ash, a by-product from thermal power plants, instead of topsoil from a fertile productive land.

Goals and Objectives:  The solution aims at creating a low carbon economy that can contribute in alleviating poverty by increasing job availability and reducing environmental impacts at the same time.

Implementation: The inspiring green business initiative was spearheaded by Development Alternatives (DA), a research based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in 2014. Fly ash brick offers a simple low-tech solution to make more sustainable and eco-friendly bricks. The technology has been developed by TARA, a social enterprise that is part of a wider NGO group – Development Alternatives. Compared to standard brick production, fly ash bricks provide several advantages, as:

  1. being more sustainable and reducing impact to the environment;
  2. having uniform shape, size and colour like cement, which reduces plastering requirement;
  3. being lighter in weight, dense composition, and durable.
  4. cheaper and convenient to produce and use

This simple and low-tech technology introduced by TARA is basically a press machine to produce fly ash bricks. Generally, the machine consists of a raw material mixing chamber, mixture conveyor, moulds for the brick, a hydraulic system, and an electronic control panel. The operation of the fly ash brick machine is simple. The first step is to mix all of the materials, consisting of sixty-two per cent of fly ash, twenty-five per cent of quarry dust, eight per cent of hydrated lime, and five per cent of gypsum. All materials are mixed together with water to achieve the desired mixture consistency. After mixing, the conveyor transports the mixture into the moulds to have it pressed by the machine and make it compact. The last step in the process is to let them dry under the sun and water-cure for seven to fourteen days.

With this machine, the workers could produce the bricks faster and easier. One machine can produce up to 1450 fly ash bricks per hour depending on the type of machine. In addition to environmental benefits, various social benefits are also associated with the commissioning of new fly ash units, as the establishment of new units creates new employment opportunities especially for women.

Achievements:

The use of fly ash brick offers an opportunity for a productive use of waste, while preventing emissions and creating jobs for the local community. DA has been working in several states of the country towards the development of fly-ash brick industry, including Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Delhi, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Haryana. According to DA’s recent report, the state of Bihar produces approximately eighteen billion traditional bricks per year using approximately six thousand kilns produced from Fixed Chimney Kilns (FCKs), which are resource- and energy-intensive, as the predominant technology in the state.

Contact details:
Dr. Soumen Maity, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +91 11 26544122
Website: www.tara.in, www.devalt.org

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 08:48

Problem: The effect of deforestation is obvious everywhere in Uganda and African at large.

What once was the forested “Pearl of Africa” is quickly becoming as denuded of forests as Ethiopia and Kenya and the rest of East Africa, where harvesting of firewood for making charcoal is illegal.

Charcoal is their main source of fuel of the quickly growing urban population of Uganda.  An estimated at 0.85 million tons of charcoal is consumes annually in urban Uganda, each household taking a share of one ton annually.  In aggregate, this is the same charcoal consumption of the whole of Europe.

This is simply unsustainable, and the problem is only getting worse.

Solution: Green Charcoal is a technique that uses discarded palm kernels to extract the true value of an otherwise wasted resource such as palm kernels, rice husks, coffee husks, and maize cobs.

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to solve the problem of fuel scarcity for Uganda, where 90% of energy comes from biomass and only 1% from electricity, by replacing both wood charcoal and firewood with charcoal briquette and non-carbonized briquette respectively.

Implementation: The solution is developed by Green Charcoal, a briquette manufacturing company in Uganda.

The principal product comes from milling the husks themselves where it creates a more efficient and heat-radiating briquette. It also sources other abundant, otherwise discarded agricultural waste such as coffee husks, maize (corn) cob and rice husks to make a briquette.

The carbonized briquette is dried using environmentally sustainable solar driers and packed in affordable 25kg packs.

Since briquettes are created from compressing combustible materials, they are denser, harder, and more compact. They have high specific density (1200kg/m3) and bulk density (800kg/m3) compared to 60 to 180 kg/m3 of loose biomass. Thus, they offer a more concentrated form of energy than firewood or charcoal.

The remaining nuts are milled to get cold pressed vegetable fats and palm kernel cake. It solves many problems with its circular economy approach to business, but its main focus is on solving the problem of fuel scarcity for local populations.

Achievements: In order to make one tonne of charcoal, 88 medium sized trees have to be cut down.

In the last three years, we have sold over 800 tonnes of briquette saving over 70,000 trees from being cut down to provide charcoal and firewood.

Partners: Fledge, Etifor, Ecostar, University of Padova and Ministry of Water & Environment, Uganda 

Contact details:
Address: P. O. Box 708, Tororo, Uganda.
Contact person: Geoffrey Okoth Yoga.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +256 776824072 / +256 752933309

Monday, 11 February 2019 07:42

ProblemExperts in Egypt warn of water scarcity as a result of Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the River Nile. On the other hand, Egypt is facing water shortage due to climatic changes and increasing population.

SolutionThe Machine of Soil and Water Management for Rice Crop Cultivation (SWMR), a solution in the form of a machine that ploughs fields in a manner that saves about half the amount of water usually used for irrigation, and a quarter of fertilizers used in cultivation.

Goals and ObjectivesSWMR aims to save water for irrigation and fertilizers used in rice cultivation.

ImplementationSWMR is designed by Mohamed ElSayedElHagarey, a researcher at the Desert Research Center in Cairo (Egypt). A specially imported unit, which sows rice seedlings mechanically, is mounted on the machine. The machine’s Egyptian inventor was granted the prestigious WatSave Award for Young Professionals from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) during the Second World Irrigation Forum in Thailand. The innovative types of SWMR machines are beingrecorded under patent No. (28832).

The basic cylinder is the heart of the machine with many circular projections around. The projections carved cross section of trenches in the soil.

The machine makes ‛V’ shaped lines into the soil, at a depth and width of 20cm, and sows rice seedlings automatically. This operation maintains the water level necessary for rice to grow in the V-shaped troughs, which is less than the water used in conventional agriculture that requires the entire plot of land to be completely submerged. 

The machine costs about US$5000, but needs further development to make it ready for commercial production.

AchievementsThe machine was tested in a field in Kafr el-Sheikh governorate, which is known for rice crop cultivation in Egypt, with good results. It reduced the amount of water used by half, and the crop yield increased by 4.6 per cent. 

Contact details:
Address:1MthafAlMatria St. AlMatria, Cairo, Egypt
Contact person: Mr. Mohamed ElSayedElHagarey
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +0201063031920

Monday, 11 February 2019 07:19

ProblemMarine breeding centerbreed baby fish — fingerlings — in seawater pools and, like seeds, sell them to farmers who raise them and sell them in turn to their clients (fish markets). The marine breeding centers commonly pump water from the sea, use it for fish breeding purposes and then return the water back into the surf. This pumping happens on average five times a day, with a 500 percent daily water exchange rate.

Solution:Now, an Israeli company is trying to revamp that growing process.Latimeria’s Aquaculture System uses unique Recirculating system combined withartificial seawater to upend fish breeding.

Goals and Objectives:The solution is aiming to change all of this by avoiding the use of seawater, it recirculates the water between the fish tank and a set of mechanical and biological filters to keep it clean.

Implementation:Latimeria, an Israeli startup, desalinates drinking or agricultural water — using off-the-shelf desalinating technology — and then adds regular marine salt to re-salinate the liquidto create cheaper, healthier, environmentally safer way to raise fingerlings. This water is then placed in special polypropylene tanks called “water rings,” in which the fingerlings are bred and raised.

The new system enables breeders to grow their fingerlings in salt water at any location, away from the sea, and helps better control the growth environment by minimizing the risk of introducing pathogens and the total consumption of energy and water. The water rings are modular and independent from central systems, so they allow the easy scaling up of operations. 

AchievementsLatimeria's breeding center uses twice as less energy compared to a traditional breeding centerThe working procedures are very much like the other breeding centers, yet maintaining a very high biosecurity level. Breeders using the system would need to produce just around 3 million fingerlings a year compared to somewhere around 6 million at a regular marine breeding center.

Contact details:
Address: Kibbutz Ein Shemer, Israel
Phone: (+972) 54-4675097
Fax: (+972) 72-2449212
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Get Latest Updates

Connect With Us