Problem: Feminine hygiene product generate extraordinary amounts of waste. Close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year. In India, more than half of India’s women and girls use disposable napkins, translating to 44.9 billion pads per year thrown away. In Pacific island countries, where waste often escapes to the ocean, this is a clear and present problem. Wrapped in a plastic bag, a feminine hygiene product can take centuries to biodegrade.
The carbon footprint from making disposable female hygiene products is also enormous: 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year – which is like burning 35 million barrels of oil.
Solution: To make a dent in the plastic tide by turning disposable feminine hygiene products into reusable.
Goals and Objectives: By producing and selling reusable sanitary pads that are durable and made of natural fibers, women and girls have an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to single use, disposable sanitary pads made of toxic plastic materials.
Implementation: Frances Angelica Salele and her business partner Isabell Rasch, who both work at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.), are first to market in Samoa – and the entire Pacific – with their startup MANA Care Products founded in 2018, affordable, sustainable and reusable cotton female hygiene products. The business offers women and girls an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to single-use, disposable sanitary pads made of toxic plastic materials. They plan to also provide employment to a team of women seamstresses who will manufacture the product.
Achievements: Angelica Salele, one of 12 winners of the UN Environment Asia-Pacific Low-Carbon Lifestyles Challenge.
For more information, read here: https://www.unenvironment.org/es/node/21821
Problem: Sri Lanka has over 1 million three-wheelers, the harmful emissions given out by these vehicles contribute drastically to air pollution and global warming.
Solution: An electric conversion kit that would enable the tuk-tuks (three-wheeler auto rickshaws) to run on electric power.
Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to decarbonize the transport sector, by converting auto rickshaws to an electric powertrain, and enable them to operate just like any other electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions.
Implementation: Taking up the challenge, 33 year old Sri Lankan engineer and lecturer at the University of Moratuwa, Sasiranga De Silva, has an innovative solution to the problem of the harmful emissions by auto rickshaws. Aiming to make, Sri Lanka’s favourite mode of local transportation safer for the environment and its citizens, he created the electric conversion kit for auto rickshaws to run on electric power. The kit itself is based around a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can cover 110 km on a single charge. This reduces harmful emissions and works on lowered energy consumption. Another incredible benefit of this sustainable solution is that it’s a money-saving option.
A key challenge for De Silva has been making sure that his conversion kit is affordable for tuk tuk drivers, who generally pay around 700,000 Sri Lankan rupees (around US$4,000) to buy their vehicle. Given that De Silva has estimated that the converter kit could save drivers around US$1,000 a year, he found most tuk tuk owners felt US$2,000 would be affordable.
His battery pack will allow drivers to cover around 110 km per day. There are already some electric vehicle charging points at supermarkets in Colombo but he will also provide chargers, which can be used in a regular socket, allowing the drivers to recharge their vehicles overnight when electricity tariffs are lower.
Achievements: Sasiranga De Silva is one of 12 winners of the UN Environment Asia-Pacific Low-Carbon Lifestyles Challenge in 2019.
Mr. Sasiranga De Silva
Summary: Through this initiative, UNDP aims to support the Union of Comoros' energy transition and greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives in compliance with the commitments made in 2015 at COP21, within the framework of Nationally Determined Planned Contributions (INDCs), and before that, in the Itsandra Manifesto, signed in 2011 by the Government of Comoros and the United Nations System.
Challenge: The energy sector is experiencing cyclical and, above all, structural problems related to the size of the small islands that make up the country. Insularity poses major scale structural constraints for the production of electrical energy, the market is not attractive for investors.
The national energy bill is difficult to assume by the national economy. The cost price of thermal electricity produced with hydrocarbons is very high, of the order of US $ 0.8 per Kwh.
High dependence on biomass, at 66%, particularly with regard to household consumption and Ylang distilleries and hydrocarbons at 34%, has negative consequences such as deforestation.
The many attempts made over the last 20 years to overcome the problem have all failed. They have all been solutions based on diesel generators. But this choice is one of the very factors of the problem.
Solution: Following the United Nations Annual General Assembly in 2014, the Comorian authorities signed an agreement in principle with New Zealand and UNDP on the development of geothermal energy exploitation of the Karthala volcano, which culminates at 2361 meters above sea level. UNDP Comores thus ensures the follow-up of this program and its administrative as well as technical coordination with the national institutions in charge and the partners of the program.
The technical collaboration between UNDP, New Zealand and the Government of the Comoros has mobilized the necessary expertise and funding of more than $ 20 million to carry out all the studies needed to carry out the first phase of the program, and begin the second phase of exploratory drilling.
Phase II of the program is intended to confirm the resources and sites of the plant's production and plant drill holes.
The final phase will include production drilling, plant construction and interconnection to the electricity distribution network.
Co-financing from the African Union's Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), combined with those from New Zealand and UNDP, led to the first phase of the program, which consisted of conducting surface studies. and exploratory. For example, joint teams of New Zealand and Comorian experts from the Geological Survey of Comoros (BGC) conducted all technical field studies. The results made it possible to define the points where exploratory drilling can be conducted, in order to determine the real production potential, as well as the investments required during the construction phase of the geothermal power plant. A first exploration mission, conducted by the New Zealand technical partner (Jacobs) and the BGC, allowed for geological and geochemical exploration. The initial findings and report of this mission indicated the presence of resources, but their precise location and depth remained to be determined and were the main objectives of the geophysical explorations that followed in July 2015.
The geophysical exploration campaign for the development of Karthala geothermal energy conducted at its summit by mixed BGC teams, and Jacobs associating GNS Science (Te Pū Ao), lasted a month. The goal of this campaign has been fully achieved. The 80 MV (magnetotelluric) sounding points were recorded as well as the 250 gravimetric measuring points, despite the hostile environment related to the difficulties of access to the measuring points, the very unfavorable climate during this period, as well as the heaviness of the supply logistics of the field teams in particular.
This surface exploration phase was used to develop the drilling plans. The treatments and the 3D modeling, realized by Jacobs associated with GNS Science (Te Pū Ao) and CGG (formerly Compagnie Générale de Géophysique-Veritas), gave the model of the structure of the subsoil with a diagram of spatial extent of the reservoir, its depth and associated structures.
The geothermal studies carried out reveal:
- the existence of a geothermal reservoir around the Karthala volcano at a depth between 1700 and 1900 m, and a heat source for geothermal energy at a depth of more than 5000 meters;
- the availability of a geothermal system around the Karthala volcano with potentially exploitable temperatures of the order of 250 to 300 ° C, as evidenced by the geothermometry of gases;
- the potential to produce between 40 and 45 Mw of electricity from the Karthala;
The environmental and social impact assessment is therefore underway to ensure that ecosystems and the environment, in general, are preserved.
With the support of UNDP and New Zealand, the Government is implementing a resource mobilization strategy, which has allowed for the gradual integration of the African Union's Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF / AU) into the Fund. Global Environment (GEF) in the program.
Country Provider: UNDP, New Zealand
Beneficiary Country: Union of Comoros
Supported by: GEF and African Union through the GRMF
Implementing Agency: Comoros Geological Survey (BGC)
Project status: In progress
Duration and schedule of the project: 2014-2023
Karim Ali Ahmed
Environment - Energy - Sustainable Development Program Analyst
Summary: The project aims to strengthen the capacity of the security forces (police and gendarmerie) to better care for victims of GBV. Particular emphasis has been placed on improving reception and listening to victims. In addition, monitoring the victim's journey with a focus on the drafting of the report and the orientation of the victim to the appropriate structures of care.
Challenge: GBV constitutes a major obstacle to the full participation of victims in the political, economic, social, cultural (including religious) life of society. The socio-cultural causes of GBV are intimately linked to the economic conditions of life of the population, poverty, the environment, unemployment, illiteracy coupled with obscurantism and the erosion of societal family values for both victims and perpetrators.
In Senegal, the prevalence rate of gender-based violence in households is 55.3%. The major problem remains that professionals are not trained to welcome an audience suffering which has serious repercussions for survivors because of a non-adapted, prejudiced reception, not stimulating the release of speech. Indeed, 68% of GBV victims in Senegal do not resort to justice or denounce their perpetrators.
The project acts through several components:
In order to mobilize more the actors concerned and to encourage the victims to go to the police stations, several communication actions were undertaken, notably: the production of posters, stickers, participation in a radio program, etc.
The program is sustainable and its mission is to be pursued by the authorities, UN agencies and key partners. For example, the reflection around the realization of the One Stop Center for the integrated care of the victims will be initiated by the program, but its effective implementation can only be done after an appropriation by the national authorities.
The role of the program is to engage the authorities in the cause they advocate so that concrete, formal and financial commitments can be made to continue to implement what has been undertaken by the program. In addition, the national GBV survey is a basic tool for the construction of the transformation projects that will take place in the coming years.
Country Provider: South Korea
Beneficiary Country: Senegal
Supported by: UNDP Seoul Policy Center, UNDP Senegal
Implementing Agency: UNDP
Project status: In progress
Duration and schedule of the project: 2018-2019
Seynabou Diaw Ba
Governance Team Leader
UNV, Governance Unit
Summary: The UNDP Country Office supported Mauritania in organizing a series of technical visits to Cape Verde and Brazil to enable a high-level Mauritanian delegation including national and local stakeholders and partners in the program - to guide and to refine their vision and draw inspiration from the implementation of the new local and sustainable economic development program, which will have to register and support it.
Challenge: Mauritania has only 0.5% of arable land, being a desert country, and it is the fourth least densely populated country in Africa (4.3 million inhabitants and a density of 3.9 square kilometer). Although there has been real GDP growth of 3.5% in 2017, the economic recovery remains insufficient given population growth and only translates into a 1.1% increase in real per capita income (Bank World, January 2019)
Solution: The UNDP Mauritania Office, with the support of the UNDP ART initiative, assists the Government of Mauritania in the implementation of a new regional governance support program for the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ) and Local Economic Development (LED).
Cape Verde, in particular, which hosts the 4th edition of the World Forum for Local Economic Development, organized under the theme: "Local Economic Development as a means to achieve equality, equity and cohesion in the framework of the Localization of the Sustainable Development Goals ", with a view to exploring, more precisely, three main thematic areas perceiving the LED as:
Brazil was prioritized as a result of the exchanges made, with the support of UNDP between the Mauritanian and Brazilian delegations present at the Praia Forum DEL. Following its exchanges in the field of LED and the establishment of regional agencies for local economic development, both parties expressed their interest in sharing know-how, particularly in partnership with the CNM (Confédération National Municipalités Brésiliennes ); SEBRAE (national SME support organization)
The delegation drew a set of lessons from these two missions, mainly:
Country of Origin: Mauritania
Beneficiary Country: Mauritania
Supported by: UNDP Mauritania
Implementing Agencies: Government of Mauritania / UNDP Mauritania
Project status: In progress
Duration and schedule of the project: 2016 - 2021
Fah Brahim Jiddou
Summary: The objective of the project is to improve community safety and social cohesion in the area at the intersection of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso through interventions aimed at mitigating the conflict vectors that are the marginalization of some young people, the lack of trust between the populations and the Defense and Security Forces, and conflicts between pastoralists and farmers.
Challenge: With about 325 km of shared border between Mali and Burkina Faso, and 838 km with Niger, the border region between these three countries remains in a situation of acute fragility characterized by recurring droughts, insecurity caused by the crisis of 2011-2012 in northern Mali, increasing the presence of terrorist groups, and organized crime.
Although they already existed in the past, population displacements and irregular migration are increasing. Beyond this fragile environment, the general lack of government services, inadequate decentralization and the very limited presence of state security forces are major obstacles to any strategy to promote stability in the African subregion. 'Where is. As a result of political, social and economic marginalization, the Malian, Nigerian and Burkinabé community borders of the Liptako-Gourma regions have suffered and continue to suffer from isolation and extreme poverty.
Solution: The project responds to the need to promote national cohesion among the populations and to strengthen community safety through interventions contributing to the priority areas of "national reconciliation", "natural resource management" and "sustainable livelihoods" of the project. Peace Consolidation Fund. It will implement activities to strengthen the social fabric, manage natural resources and prevent conflict. The project approach aims at national ownership by involving national, local and community authorities, NGOs and civil society organizations in all stages of project planning, implementation and evaluation. This approach will be implemented with the aim of sharing experience and South-South cooperation.
The project is being implemented in close collaboration with the respective governments of the three countries, several UN agencies (IOM, UNCDF) and local NGOs / CSOs. Country
Providers: Burkina Faso (coordinating central role), Mali, Niger
Beneficiary countries: Three border regions (Gao, Sahel, Tillabery) of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger
Supported by: United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBSO)
Implementing Agency: UNDP
Project status: In progress
Project duration and schedule: 24 months including a six-month extension - August 15, 2017 - 15 July 2019
Summary: Côte d'Ivoire has created a platform for promoting and valuing the skills of women in decision-making positions.
Challenge: Gender parity in the national development process is a challenge. The lack of statistics does not facilitate the promotion of women in the management of public activities. Thus, allowing women's information and data on women's profile and skills to be mastered is an answer for positioning women in decision-making positions and in sectors where women are underrepresented. In Côte d'Ivoire, women remain marginalized, with a status weakened by the socio-political situation. Data from the National Institute of Statistics show extreme poverty: 75% of rural women live below the poverty line and can be deprived of basic social services. 31% of the staff of state employees are women in 2015, and they remain poorly represented in the legislative and executive power (16% ministers, 11.37% deputies, 7.46% mayors). Socio-cultural factors perpetuate traditions that are harmful to girls and women (World Bank, 2013).
Côte d'Ivoire wants to take advantage of some opportunities related to gender issues in governance because according to the President of the Republic: "Whenever women enter positions of responsibility, in companies, in the Function Public, in politics, analyzes are better developed, more open, decisions are made with greater awareness, they are better explained, better accepted, their implementation becomes easier, conflicts are calmed, 'balance comes back'.
The Compendium was therefore set up for the elaboration of a directory to make Ivorian women's skills visible in order to enhance their participation in public life. The Compendium is a platform for valuing female skills with the main objectives:
As part of the exchange of experiences, countries such as Togo, Benin and Mali have drawn inspiration from Côte d'Ivoire's experience in designing and implementing their female skills and several others such as Senegal, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Guinea-Bissau have shown their willingness to implement this Ivorian practice.
The second phase of the Program also aims to benefit from South-South cooperation for the advancement of women at the political and leadership levels and the operation of business incubators.
Country Provider: Cote D'Ivoire
Beneficiary Country: Cote D'Ivoire
Supported by: UNDP, UNFEMMES, UNFPA, Government Information and Communication Center (CICG), LP2I, National Institute of Statistics (INS) Implementing Agency (s): Compendium of Women's Competences of Côte d'Ivoire (COCOFCI).
Project status: In progress. COCOFCI was set up by the Government in the National Program on March 2nd, 2016 in the Council of Ministers.
Duration and schedule of the project: The second phase of the program covers the period from 2019 to 2023.
Contact: Minister Euphrasia Kouassi Yao, National Coordinator
Ms. Carol Yangni N'da
UNDP Côte d'Ivoire
Mr. El Allassane Baguia
UNDP Côte d'Ivoire
Summary: This project sought to strengthen the assessment and inventory capacities of Zimbabwe’s ministry in charge of lands, in order to support the effective implementation of the national land-reform programme initiated in 2000.
Problem: The fast-track land-reform programme of 2000 has transformed the land-ownership structure in Zimbabwe, by transferring agricultural land from 6,400 former large-scale commercial farmers to about 163,775 newly resettled farmers. This new structure requires that the land-administration system, as well as the related policy and regulatory frameworks, be strengthened in order to effectively respond to the emerging needs; otherwise, the expected gains of the land reform risk not being achieved. Indeed, the challenges already being felt include land insecurity, conflicts among farmers, illegal resettlements, environmental degradation and the decline of agricultural productivity and output. Consequently, the country has been experiencing problems such as food insecurity, inadequate supply of raw materials for the industry, job losses, shortage of foreign currency and overall economic decline. Yet, lack of resources and capacities has been hampering governmental efforts to address these challenges.
The main objective of this project was to support and strengthen Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement (MLAWCRR) and other implementing partners to carry out their activities in line with their mandates and in a more effective, efficient and sustainable way. The ultimate aim was to accelerate the rehabilitation of the land sector and to improve the regulatory and land-management frameworks as prerequisites for the recovery and development of agriculture and other land-based economic activities.
A project management unit was established and housed at the MLAWCRR, while a working group was established with the former commercial farmers to resolve the outstanding compensation issues. This has thawed the relationships between the Government and the former farmers. Other key components of the project included:
– The update of the farm inventories;
– The development of a consensus-based mechanism for the compensation of former commercial farmers;
– The establishment of an adequate survey-control network;
– The survey of medium-scale farm units (above 100 ha each) and the update of the land-information database;
– The establishment and strengthening of the coordination of the Land Information Management System (LIMS) within the MLAWCRR;
– The development of a dispute-resolution framework; and
– The evaluation of land-tenure systems and policy recommendations.
The project’s specific achievements include the following:
– 2,881 farm inventories were carried out, providing information for the purposes of determining the compensations to the former large-scale commercial farmers;
– 30 MLAWCRR staff were trained in database management, and a land database is being implemented (80% completed);
– Five continuously operating reference stations (GPS base stations) were built and are operational, thus cutting the costs and time involved in mapping and surveys;
– 24 staff of the Department of the Surveyor General (DSG) were trained in image-analysis software for using satellite data for mapping;
– 557 medium-scale farms were surveyed and a draft strategy for surveying the remaining medium-scale farm units was produced;
– Area networks (LANs/WANs) were established at the head offices of the MLAWCRR and DSG, as well as at DSG’s Southerton and Bulawayo offices; 114 officers were trained in LIMS and updated the existing database;
– The MLAWCRR drafted guidelines for a functional and legally supported dispute-resolution framework, based on international good practices;
– A study of land-tenure systems and policies was produced, to contribute to the development of the National Land Policy Framework;
– The Zimbabwe Land Commission (ZLC) was established as a specialized body for dealing with land-related issues, and its strategic plan was formulated to underlie its activities, including securing resources for land audits.
Study tours to Brazil and Malaysia in 2017 exposed ZLC’s commissioners to international experiences and best practices on land reform and tenure issues, including guidelines on how to conduct land audits, which have since then been developed and are being implemented in Zimbabwe. Study tours to African countries (Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania) in 2018 also provided ZLC’s commissioners with knowledge about different local land-governance provisions and regulations.
Provider countries: Brazil, Kenya, Malaysia, Rwanda, Tanzania
Beneficiary country: Zimbabwe
Supported by: UNDP and European Union
Implementing agencies: Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement (MLAWCRR)
Project period: January 2014 – February 2019
Summary: This project seeks to deepen the foundations for peace and social cohesion in Zimbabwe, by enhancing national and community dispute-resolution capacities, providing dialogue platforms for consensus and confidence building around shared values, fostering tolerance, and encouraging inclusiveness and collaboration in the equitable delivery of development dividends.
Problem: Social polarization has been recognized as a historical issue in Zimbabwe. Despite the efforts that have been made to address it, there are unresolved grievances that ought to be tackled for the nation to collectively forge forward. The establishment of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) in the new Constitution (2013) provides an avenue to guide Zimbabwe in dealing with these enduring issues in a peaceful and structured manner. Moreover, through a consultative process convened in October 2015, stakeholders indicated that there remain important local disagreements in several domains, such as: intra- and inter-political party tensions; quarrels related to natural resources (including land, water and environmental degradation); violence against women and girls; and growing intolerance (especially at the political level). These disputes, if not well managed, could undermine the country’s ability to achieve its set socioeconomic goals.
The overall objective of the project “Deepening the foundations for peace, dialogue and social cohesion” was to reduce potential threats to peace and social cohesion in Zimbabwe, while improving mechanisms for structured response to conflicts and disputes before they escalate to violence. The project targeted both national and community levels and focused on four key areas:
1) Strengthening governmental capacities to coordinate peacebuilding and social-cohesion issues;
2) Strengthening the capacities of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to design a strategic framework for reconciliation;
3) Enhancing dialogue and consensus-building processes towards nationally shared values; and
4) Enabling community peacebuilding mechanisms to provide alternative mediation and dispute-resolution services.
With the leadership of the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) and the active involvement of key ministries, church and faith-based organizations, NGOs working in the peacebuilding field, and entities from the culture and arts sector, the project’s main achievements included:
– The NPRC bill, drafted with multi-stakeholder inputs, was approved by the Parliament in October 2017;
– The following high-level dialogue platforms were supported: a multi-sectorial dialogue space entitled “The Champions Dialogue Group” (or “Dialogue Reference Group”), the Creative Arts and Culture Leaders Forum, the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), and the civil-society organizations’ platform on conflict early warning and early response;
– The mediation and dialogue capacities of key stakeholders were enhanced: 324 Local Peace Committees (LPCs) were strengthened, and 225 peace mediators and facilitators were trained (109 male and 116 female, including 70 young people) in four districts; in the first year of the project, close to 180 disputes were resolved;
– District visits provided stakeholders the opportunity to receive first-hand community testimonials in an effort to better understand the role played by local structures in supporting peacebuilding;
– Three capacity-enhancement retreats were held, each focusing on a key topic: people affected by violent conflicts; truth-seeking and truth-telling mechanisms; and post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation initiatives;
– A framework for multi-stakeholder processes for consensus building on shared values was designed and piloted through the churches nationally in 2017; critical conversations on peace and social cohesion were initiated through a working session that drew on regional experiences of religious leaders promoting pre-electoral peace and reconciliation (from Kenya, Lesotho and Zambia);
– In 2017, the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust led a two-month Peace Campaign targeting the youth to pledge a commitment to peace, including through the utilization of a Peace Mascot;
– A report on the scope of academic programmes on peace and governance in Zimbabwe was produced, culminating with the design of a fellowship programme to invest in the future generation of peacebuilders, to be carried out in collaboration with six national universities;
– A Peace Pledge was convened at the national level as a confidence-building measure before the 2018 elections; leaders of 23 political parties fielding presidential candidates made a public commitment to non-violence before, during and after the elections;
– A national Peace Caravan was convened as an innovative approach to localizing the pledge and mobilizing citizens’ participation in peace promotion; having traveled through all the ten Zimbabwean provinces, the caravan provided a platform for sustained multi-stakeholder dialogue with state entities, political parties, civil society organizations and faith institutions;
– South-South exchanges further supported the strengthening of the NPRC, which gained experiential learning from homologous entities in other African countries, such as Kenya’s National Integration and Cohesion Commission, Ghana’s National Peace Council and South Africa’s Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.
Provider countries: Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia
Beneficiary country: Zimbabwe
Supported by: Government of Switzerland and UNDP
Implementing Agency: Zimbabwe’s Office of President and Cabinet (OPC)
Project period: February 2016 – December 2018
Programme Specialist (Peace and Governance)
Problem: In much of the developing world, post-harvest losses are as high as 80% and the cold‐storage chain is virtually non‐existent due to the high cost of equipment and spotty electricity.
Solution: Solar Freeze is a company pioneering mobile cold storage units that are powered by renewable energy and used by rural smallholder farmers.
Goals and Objectives: The solution is designed to help rural smallholder farmers reduce the huge challenge of post-harvest loss.
Implementation: SolarFreeze, a startup in Keny, designed this innovative solution that provides solar-powered cold storage units for smallholder farmers and traders in Sub-Saharan Africa with no need for grid connection.
Solar Freeze provides farmers with portable solar-powered cold-storage units that they can access through mobile phones via simple SMS and USSD messages to book and store perishable produce using the sharing economy and pay with mobile money.
Solar Freeze was recognized as the best energy access startup in the continent upon the successful conclusion of the RES-EXPO conference “Renewable Energy in East-Africa: New Frontiers” organized by RES4Africa in Nairobi and was awarded the Africa Energy Prize.
Achievements: Reduced Food Loss and Waste in the fresh produce agricultural sector by 90 percent. Increased incomes for rural smallholder women and youth farmers by 70 percent. A complete supply chain system powered by renewable energy consisting of Solar Powered Mobile Cold Rooms and Milk dispensing ATM’s running on renewable energy. Cheaper fresh food produce by 40 percent and reduced malnutrition for the bottom of the pyramid consumers in towns and cities since customers work within their budget while purchasing milk at the solar-powered ATM vending machine.
Problem: Soil has the potential to help mitigate the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon. Hugely under-recognized and under-utilized as a storehouse for carbon, the soil has long been excluded from climate change discussions simply because it has historically been very difficult to know how much carbon is held in the soil.
Solution: Until recently, measuring soil carbon levels efficiently and reliably was only possible in a laboratory and with the use of sophisticated equipment. But now a new tool has made it possible to measure, monitor and verify soil carbon levels in the field.
Goals and Objectives: Effectively monitoring soil carbon content and quality in agricultural systems can help decision-makers develop soil protection strategies to mitigate the greenhouse gas effect caused by the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
Implementation: The solution is developed by researchers from the International Potato Center and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). The portable device uses laser-induced optical techniques: Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (LIFS), to measure soil carbon levels and can be used to improve planning and governance of different agro-ecosystems.
LIFS system was developed and patented by EMBRAPA-Agricultural Instrumentation. EMBRAPA and CIP have tested the devices in numerous agro-ecosystems of Brazil and southern Peru to confirm their accuracy, reliability, and ease of use.
Partners: The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA)
The International Potato Center
Tel. +511 3496017
Address: Avenida La Molina 1895, La Molina
Apartado Postal 1558, Lima, Peru
Problem: Agriculture in Africa faces challenges such as overreliance on rain-fed agriculture, outdated farming technologies and minimal youth inclusion in the sector.
Solution: The Greenhouses sensor is a simple solar powered gadget integrated into modern greenhouses that automate irrigation by allowing to monitor temperature, humidity, soil moisture and most importantly regulate the water supply which is channeled through drip lines and link them up to the farmer’s mobile phone.
Goals and Objectives: The new technology dubbed Smart Mobile Farming to ensure low costs for managing the greenhouse is aimed at conserving water and provision of virtual greenhouse maintenance. The aim of the solution is to help farmers juggle between farming and other chores and at the same time help to keep the water bills low, especially for urban smart farmers.
Implementation: The solution is developed and implemented by Illuminum Greenhouses, Kenya, an Agri-Tech greenhouse and drip installation company in Kenya working with smallholder farmers to improve productivity and increase efficiency through the use of new modern technologies.
Greenhouse farmers can now monitor temperature and soil conditions while far away thanks to an automated sensor gadget that communicates about the greenhouse conditions to the farmer through their mobile phones. They can be able to open and close their irrigation system as well as query and get alerts on their current greenhouse status i.e Temperature, Humidity and Soil Moisture content via SMS. This can be done from anywhere and any time of day just by sending a simple SMS to their greenhouse. This means that a farmer doesn’t require to be available to monitor their greenhouse and execute the action as the sensor gadgets identify the problem and fix it.
The greenhouse automation system works by measuring and monitoring specific conditions needed for optimum growth of plants. This is done by electronic sensors that continuously monitor these set parameters and if exceeded rectifies the situation and notifies the farmer via an SMS alert. This data collected by the sensors is also dynamically updated to an online server for analyses to provide information such as graphs e.g temperature against time. These graphs are stored for up to a year so as to assist the farmer to plan for the next season as he/she will be able to know which months have the appropriate optimum conditions for growth.
This system is powered by solar panels thus green and can work in rural areas where electricity is a challenge. It has an 18Watt Solar panel and a battery which is charged by the panel during the day and then provides the system with the required power during the night. The battery can go for 5 days without any charge making it a very durable system.
Achievements: So far, Illuminum Greenhouses has built about 1,200 greenhouses across East Africa, with 5,500 Smallholder farmers using their technology (€7500).
Budget: The automated system currently goes for Ksh. 35,600 due to the high costs of electronic components and assembly here in Kenya. It is expected that these devices will be fabricated soon in bulk and retail as low as Ksh. 15,000 (USD150) to make it affordable to all smallholder farmers. Installation charges are only Ksh. 2,300(USD23). However, the system is designed to be very easy to install from the box to enable anyone to install. This shall be the cost of a complete system comprising of the Main Unit, Watergate valve, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and soil moisture sensor.
Also, the system shall be based on the number of sensors a farmer acquires with the very basic system consisting of the Main Unit, a water gate valve and a soil moisture sensor costing only Ksh.8,900.(USD 89).
Address: Bishop Magua Centre, Nairobi, Nairobi County, Kenya
Phone: +254732613501, +254732613531