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Open licensed content is converted to wiki markup and placed in a content staging area such as this page. Specific sections may then be selected, and moved elsewhere in the wiki.

If a section is definitely not useful for Appropedia, it can be deleted. If you're not sure, leave it. You might add a comment, if you want to confirm with other editors before deleting.

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Links: Check links before including them, and only include working links. Links from old blog posts are often broken.


How to attribute

{{attrib_afrigadget|url=INSERT URL HERE| author= AUTHOR LINK}} e.g. {{attrib_afrigadget|url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/28/the-kinshasa-stove/| author= [http://www.afrigadget.com/author/kikuyumoja/ JKE]}}

Boilerplate

Place

== See also == 

at the bottom of each page (but above categories). Delete all but the suitable categories from each post and add other suitable ones if needed. Add one or more relevant pages to See also if you can, and add "== External links ==" section if relevant.

In the text below, attrib template is on top of each post; move it to the bottom (below the "External links" section) when posting.


Porting notes

Content

Imported
August 28th, 2009 to February 2nd, 2009 (p5)

(this whole section in pre to stop categories being read here, & make layout easier to see.)


Done:
* "The Kinshasa stove", url: "http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/28/the-kinshasa-stove/
* "A Locally Fabricated Radio Station at MFA", url: "http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/16/a-locally-fabricated-radio-station-at-mfa/"
* 



 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/26/hacking-the-flap-bag/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

''This is part of an ongoing series of posts on the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/07/afrigadget-and-the-solar-flap-bag-project/ FLAP bag project], a collaborative effort by [http://timbuk2.com/ Timbuk2], [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light] and [http://www.poptech.com/ Pop!Tech]. We at AfriGadget are helping to field-test these bags that have [[solar power]] and lighting on them, and get interviews of the individuals using them.''

I was a little concerned when 5 of the 10 FLAP bags that I received before I left for Africa weren’t assembled – just fabric, thread and electronic components. It would mean that I’d have to find tailors in each country to put them together. However, it turned out that one of my favorite parts of getting the FLAP bags to Africa has been working with the tailors.

What I end up doing is explaining the bag and how it works, then showing them the one that isn’t put together and asking them if they would be willing to duplicate. If so, they can keep the bag. Then, I offer a challenge, taking the two-paneled [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light Kits] from KVA, I then ask them if they could make something from their own materials, with their own designs, from it.

They had 2-3 days to come up with an idea, pick the fabric and create the bag. I then bought it from them for $20.

=== Kenya Bags ===

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Zi6_0274.JPG Image: Kenya bag 1]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Zi6_0254.JPG Image: Kenya bag 2]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0657.JPG Image: Kenya bag 3 - AfriGadget]

=== Ghana Bags ===

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0168.JPG Image: Ghana bag 1]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0169.JPG Image: Ghana bag 2 - mud cloth]

It should be noted that the gentlemen working on these had very little time to come up with their ideas and then implement them, as I was very much on the move. The local cloth use in Ghana was amazing, and I only wish the Kinte cloth (orange) one was done with ''real'' Kinte cloth instead of a print. The Kenyans used more ordinary fabric, but they were ingenious with the details around use, size and practicalities around security.

To really see the creativity at play in the Kenya bags, you have to either see them in person, or a video. Since I don’t have the bandwidth for a video now, that will have to come later.




[[Category:accra]]
[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:FLAP]]
[[Category:FLAP bag]]
[[Category:ghana]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:nairobi]]
[[Category:poptech]]
[[Category:portable light]]
[[Category:tailors]]
[[Category:timbuk2]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:FLAP bag project]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/23/a-kenyan-designer-and-tailor-with-the-flap-bag/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

''This is part of an ongoing series of posts on the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/07/afrigadget-and-the-solar-flap-bag-project/ FLAP bag project], a collaborative effort by [http://timbuk2.com/ Timbuk2], [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light] and [http://www.poptech.com/ Pop!Tech]. We at AfriGadget are helping to field-test these bags that have solar power and lighting on them, and get interviews of the individuals using them.''

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0285-sm.jpg Image: Stephen Omollo and Erik Hersman]

Jericho Market is a small market tucked away behind the industrial area in Nairobi, Kenya – near to Buruburu. It’s where you can find a lot of artisans who work on cloth-based projects, from clothes to bags and everything in between. I took off with David Ngigi, a local videographer friend of mine, to see who we could find. I brought two of the unstitched bags, two Portable Light kits and one completed bag as a sample.

The first person we spent time with was Joseph Muteti, a soft-spoken, 18-year veteran of the tailor trade in Nairobi. He specializes in making school bags for children and messenger-type bags. His bags are generally sturdy, with an added flair of embroidery to set them off for his customers.

Next up was Stephen Omollo, an energetic young designer who works on textiles ranging from shirts to bags. Style and usability are both important to Stephen, and his primary desire is to create items that people are proud to wear.

Interestingly, both Stephen and Joseph thought the bags were too large. Stephen wanted to cut in half, and Joseph by about a third.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0249.JPG Image: Joseph Muteti - a tailor in Kenya]




[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:FLAP]]
[[Category:FLAP bag]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:nairobi]]
[[Category:poptech]]
[[Category:portable light]]
[[Category:tailors]]
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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/21/giving-the-flap-bag-to-some-electricians/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

''This is part of an ongoing series of posts on the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/07/afrigadget-and-the-solar-flap-bag-project/ FLAP bag project], a collaborative effort by [http://timbuk2.com/ Timbuk2], [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light] and [http://www.poptech.com/ Pop!Tech]. We at AfriGadget are helping to field-test these bags that have solar power and lighting on them, and get interviews of the individuals using them.''

Hayford Bempong and David Celestin are electricians at Accra Polytechnic, who I wrote about last as they had [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/16/a-locally-fabricated-radio-station-at-mfa/ fabricated an FM radio station] from scratch and used it at [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa]. Hayford and David seemed like just the type to take a look at the bag and really determine its use. Being college-level students, they have a different type of lifestyle than many, and that might mean more ideas and thoughts about what the FLAP bag could be used for.

[http://vimeo.com/6205964 Electrical Students in Ghana take on the FLAP bag] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].

True to form, they were not nearly as excited about the quality of the stitching, or the textiles used, but very interested in the internal electrical components. They were excited about the idea of a bag with an in-built solar panel, and were curious as to wattage and the ability use step-ups and inverters to make it even more useful.

One suggestion that they made was around durability of the electrical components, specifically they suggested that a metal box should be built around it. Life in Africa can be quite rough on gear, and the chance that someone will sit on, drop, or crush this part is quite high.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0744.JPG Image: Accra Polytechnic students and the FLAP bag]



 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/16/agriculture-and-metal-fabrication-meet-in-n-ghana/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3825537729/ Image: Corn seed planter]

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3826340478/ Image: Corn seed planter]

This is a corn planter. It costs approximately $10 (15 Cedis) to make, and it significantly decreases the time that it would normally take to plant corn. This invention came about by taking a look a medical pill dispensing devices and transferring that knowledge to his communities needs.

Shamsudeen (”Sham”) Napara lives in the norther part of Ghana, which is a lot more rural and isolated than the southern part of the country where you find Accra, or the central part, where you find Kumasi. He has a metal fabrication shop where he builds tools, mostly for agricultural needs of those in the surrounding areas.

He was at [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa] this weekend and I was completely amazed at both the ingenuity and the quality of his work.

=== Shea Nut Roaster ===

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3825543353/ Image: Maker Faire Africa: Ghana 2009]

That’s not all that Sham has been up to though, in fact, he’s been busy with a couple other projects. Specifically, he’s been working with Amy Herman from the Univesity of Indiana to figure out how to enhance traditional processes familiar to those in Norther Ghana. This means he does a lot with Shea nuts and the processing of them. It is one of the few fields dominated by the women in the community, and a lucrative business, since the processing from raw to refined can net a good margin of profit.

Below is a shea nut roaster – a small version, since the large ones are the size of a table. It costs around $40 (60 Cedi), and it decreases the time and energy normally expended in the work of getting the nuts ready for processing.

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3826344000/ Image: Shea Nut Roaster]

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3826343294/ Image: Shea Nut Roaster]

=== Soap Cutter ===

Though he has many more inventions in his workshop in Northern Ghana, the last of the three items that he brought to Accra was a soap cutter. It’s a device that has a hinge on one end that opens and closes with piano wires and guitar screws to hold wire tight across the device. As it is closed, it slices the soap cleanly.

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3826337924/ Image: A soap cutter]




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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/15/cleaning-massive-amounts-of-water-with-chlorine/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[http://vimeo.com/6116204 Cleaning massive amounts of water with chlorine] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].

Suprio Das is part of the water-cleansing team with Killian Deku, Laura Stupin and Bernard Kiwia. Besides the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/15/ball-valve-chlorine-doser/ ball-valve doser], they’ve also created a siphon mechanism chlorine filter. It, like all of the [[IDDS]] work, uses locally available materials.

This particular project attaches to a hand pump and can cleanse unlimited amounts of water. Best of all, it has no moving parts, so it is less likely to break or wear down over time. It works by dripping chlorine into the water when a certain water level is reached. Then, the water comes pouring out in batches.

<center>
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3822313981/ Image: Chlorine water filter and doser]</center>




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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/15/ball-valve-chlorine-doser/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3823120204/ Image: Chlorine water filter and doser]

With one 5 liter bag of chlorine, and a device that costs $3 to build, you can clean 100,000 liters of water.

Here at [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa] is Killian Deku, a Ghanaian working in the [http://2009.iddsummit.org/ IDDS] program, has created a ball valve chlorine doser with the help of his team mates from India, the US and Tanzania. Their only real costs were the ball valve and the time taken to create the bamboo structure that holds it. The one variable cost is the bag of chlorine used to cleanse the water.

[http://vimeo.com/6115931 Ball Valve Chlorine Water Cleanser] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].




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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/15/a-plastic-waste-recycling-press/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3823127374/ Image: Plastic recycling press]

We’ve got a lot of plastic trash all over Africa, especially in the cities. A team from IDDS (Amit Gandhi from the US, and Mark Driordan from the UK) decided to create a way to add value to waste plastic by using a low-cost process to transform it into something useful: plastic sheets. From these sheets can be made a number of other products. On display they had shoes, bags, pencil cases and folders.

The sheets can be made from 3ply to 40ply in thickness, and the cost of assembly is minimal.

[http://vimeo.com/6115585 Turning waste plastic into plastic sheets] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].




[[Category:accra]]
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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/15/a-pedal-powered-hacksaw-for-the-disabled/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

Bernard Kiwia is from Arusha, Tanzania. He’s here at [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa] as part of the [http://2009.iddsummit.org/ IDDS] group that has been building innovative devices for the last couple weeks in Kumasi, Ghana. Today he’s showing his device that he created from an old bicycle and some welded rods. It’s powered by someone sitting in a chair.

[http://vimeo.com/6115320 Pedal-Powered Hacksaw in Ghana] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].

It cost Bernard about $45 to create the bicycle powered hacksaw and one day to fabricate.

Bernard’s been a bicycle mechanic for 3 years, and has been teaching students in Tanzania to fix them for the last couple. He was invited to IDDS and met a Guatemalan attendee that had some very interesting designs using bicycles. After seeing those, he realized that he could make similar tools and devices for the needs of people in Arusha.

(more pictures from Maker Faire Africa on [http://www.flickr.com/groups/makerfaireafrica/pool/ Flickr])

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3823132238/ Image: Bicycle Hacksaw]

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3822330797/ Image: Bicycle Hacksaw]

Since that time, Bernard has created a windmill, cell phone charger, drill press and a pump – all working off of bicycle parts and mechanisms.

His bicycle powered water pump. It sits by the side of the road for kids to jump on and pedal:
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/PIC-0024.jpg Image: Bicycle powered water pump]

A chair made from bicycle parts:
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/PIC-0161.jpg Image: A chair made from bicycle parts - Tanzania]




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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/14/mfa-water-bag-design-challenge/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

Amy Smith (of MIT’s [http://2009.iddsummit.org/ IDDS]) somehow got a hold of a mic and madhouse has now ensued! Everyone has been split up by their birth month into groups. They are given 5 water bags (sachets) and told to solve the world’s greatest problems. 30 minutes later we get…

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0614.JPG Image: 5 Bag challenge]

'''January: The Sachet Kebab'''
Decreasing litter and polution. People can collect water sachets off the ground easily with a pole and spiked end. It can be placed along the roads, and a lot of trash can just be spiked on the tip of it.

'''February: [[Hydro Electric]]'''
Generate electricity by using the bags to create small turbines.

'''March: Light absorbent and heat absorbent bags'''
They also had a crazy idea of drinking the water, peeing in the bag and selling that to farmers for fertilizer… to much laughter…

'''April: Potting and a Wallet'''
Drink the water and make it empty. Cut the top off and put in soil and grow small plants. Take another bag and put a small hole in it for drip irrigation. Second idea: use the bag to put your money in for when it rains.

'''May: The individual water-shower packet and a purse'''
Hang the water and put a small hole in it. Create a purse out of it to hold a camera or mobile phone.

'''June: Waterbelt, glasses strings'''
They’ve created some really interesting spectacle (glasses) holder. Also, a waterbelt to hold the water as you’re moving around.

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3821114630/ Image: Maker Faire Africa: Ghana 2009]

'''July: Water purifier'''
Uses the light from the sun to help purify the water. It takes a bottle top cut off and used as a funnel as well. It’s shaped like a train, for marketing reasons.

'''August: Kids toys'''
Make small airplanes and hats for children and an hourglass made from 2 water bags.

'''September: Drip irrigation and a pillow'''
Puncture a bottle or a bag on top to collect water, then use for drip irrigation. Also fill multiple old empty bags with air and put them inside a pillow case to create a pillow.

'''October: Drip irrigation'''
Starts with a bag, then a tube made of old empty bags that can direct the water further and over more areas.

'''November: Water resistant mobile phone case'''
“Your phone case is not water resistant, ours is. Clap for us.”
“We have created a water wallet, not just a plastic money carrier.”

'''December: Water sachet lighting system and a sachet wrist watch band'''
Put full bags on your roof that diffuses the light and warms the water.




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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/14/maker-show-and-tell/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[''Note: Pictures will be on the [http://www.flickr.com/groups/makerfaireafrica Maker Faire Africa Flickr group]. All images by AfriGadget are CC-by licensed for anyone to use anywhere they like.'']

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3820492752/ Image: Maker Faire Africa: Ghana 2009]

This morning at [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa], after a short introduction by Nii Simmonds and Emeka Okafor, the team (MFA sponsors) from [http://www.andspacelabs.org/ AndSpace Labs] have been moderating a “show and tell” by some of the Makers (which is what we’re calling those who are demo’ing at the event).

=== William Kamkwamba: Windmills ===

First up was [http://www.williamkamkwamba.com/ William Kamkwamba], who is really seen as a success story of this type of microentrepreneur or innovator in Africa. His windmills and the story behind it are an inspiration for many here, especially the aspiring makers with good ideas and their first prototypes. There is now a [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061730327?ie=UTF8&tag=movinwindm-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0061730327 book], a [http://movingwindmills.org/documentary documentary] and a [http://movingwindmills.org/ foundation] all set up around the inspired story of windmills from Malawi.

The crowd LOVES William. The Africans are so inspired by him due to it being done on his own without a bunch of outside help. This means from the expats who do a lot of good work of course, which is a good point. How much more exciting is it to see home-grown ingenuity and innovation making it big than it is if it’s imported in from overseas?

=== IDDS: Ghana ===

The [http://2009.iddsummit.org/ International Develpment Design Summit] has been going on for the last 4 weeks in Kumasi, Ghana. Two members of the team came up to talk about one of the devices that they created from local materials, that will be here at the show as well. It’s a device that allows you to store your food so that it doesn’t spoil as quickly. To see more of the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/11/final-presentations-at-idds-ghana/ IDDS work], here are the final presentations from earlier this week.

=== Pat Delaney: Multimachine ===

“You can have no industrial progress without machine tools.” He’s here to show how you can start from nothing except a pipe with three holes in it and an old/broken engine block, and create a universal machine tool. His is called the [http://makerfaireafrica.com/2009/06/09/the-multimachine-as-a-roadmap/ Multimachine]. Due to weight constraints he couldn’t bring a complete machine, so he brought the rudimentary drills and 200 DVDs full of instructions to the event.

Finally, Pat makes a call for someone to create cheaply and widely available welding glasses. Why? Because so many people in Africa are using sunglasses to weld, but it ruins your eyes in 3-4 years and you can’t weld anymore. This is terrible due to it taking 10 years to become a master welder.




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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/14/building-dominic-wanjihus-food-dryer/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

Dominic Wanjihia is from Kenya, and he’s here at Maker Faire Africa in Ghana because of the innovative designs and solutions that he comes up with for problems that ordinary Africans face. We had profiled one of his earlier inventions, an [http://www.afrigadget.com/2008/08/22/evapocooler-invention-for-cooling-camels-milk-in-somalia/ evapocooler for camel milk in Somalia], last year.

He’s been in Accra this last week working in the timber yards in Makola building a food dryer and a food cooler to show at the event. Both of them use air, and the dryer takes advantage of the heat from the sun. More detailed posts will be coming on them, but here’s a few shots of him and the carpenters building the devices.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0415.JPG Image: Dominic Wanjihia in Accra building his food dryer]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0421.JPG Image: Plans for the food dryer]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0424.JPG Image: Eben building the food racks]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0435.JPG Image: Lumber yard in Makola]




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[[Category:Materials]]
[[Category:Wood]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/12/afrigadget-pictures-from-around-accra-ghana/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

I’ve been having a great time in Accra, but not nearly enough time to spend on the details of every cool product or invention that I see. In the meantime, here are a couple pictures from around Ghana that will whet your appetite for what is coming up in the next week:

=== A trash collector on a trike ===

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/trash-collector-trike.jpg Image: Trash Collecting Trike in Accra Ghana]

=== A roadside motorcycle mechanic ===

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/motorcycle-mechanic.jpg Image: Motorcycle mechanic]

=== Carrying tables and chairs ===

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/carrying-tables-chairs.jpg Image: Carrying tables and chairs]

=== Hauling “trucks” ===

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/push-truck.jpg Image: Push truck]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/truck.jpg Image: A truck being pushed]




[[Category:accra]]
[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:africans]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:ghana]]
[[Category:pictures]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Environment]]
[[Category:News]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/11/flap-bags-in-ghana-day-1/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

''This is part of an ongoing series of posts on the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/07/afrigadget-and-the-solar-flap-bag-project/ FLAP bag project], a collaborative effort by [http://timbuk2.com/ Timbuk2], [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light] and [http://www.poptech.com/ Pop!Tech]. We at AfriGadget are helping to field-test these bags that have solar power and lighting on them, and get interviews of the individuals using them.''

I’d like to upload some of the video from today’s first big day in Ghana, but bandwidth considerations make that a little difficult right now. Instead, I’ll give an overview and show some pictures.

=== Mechanics ===

Henry Addo is a colleague of mine at Ushahidi, and he’s also the Ghanaian representative who is helping me hand out the bags, do interviews and have fun… He’s also a motorcycle rider, so I made sure to pack my helmet before leaving. We set off in search of likely prospects for both the FLAP bag project and [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa].

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/erik-henry-bikes.jpg Image: Me and Henry out on the motorcycles in Accra Ghana]

I started out on a 250cc Honda streetbike that made me feel a little like Bowzer in Mario Kart. Fortunately, our first stop of the day was at Henry’s local motorcycle street mechanic at which I saw a beautiful 600cc Yamaha Terere being fixed up. The owner happened to be there, and he was game for a 2-day swap (with about $10/day thrown in for good measure…)!

This was also the first place that we started showing off one of the assembled bags to gauge the kind of reaction that we would receive from people. We didn’t do any formal interviews here, but had a good time of questions and people came up with some interesting thoughts on the use of the bag.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/henry-showing-mechanics.jpg Image: Henry Addo explaining the FLAP bag to mechanics in Accra Ghana]

The head mechanic absolutely loved it, recounting the many times he was traveling around Ghana and needed light at night to fix his motorcycles.

The real estate businessman wanted to know the cost, thinking he would buy one right now for $100 from us (for bragging rights). Though he thought there was a market for them in Accra, that the real buyers would be found in rural villages.

The used-goods businessman wondered what would happen to the solar system if you tried to wash it to clean the bag. I didn’t have an answer, but I said that I thought it would be durable.

=== Tailors ===

We ran all over town trying to find tailors of adequate skill to assemble the bags that had come in pieces. It turned out being a little bit of a challenge, but things took a great turn for the better and we found 2-for-1 going on in a market. Elijah and Mohammed both traditionally use West African cloth to make both jackets and bags, however, they were game for this challenge (especially as it scored them a free bag).

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/tailor-shop-ghana.jpg Image: Tailor shop in Accra Ghana]

Both tailors spent a great deal of time examining the textiles used and they made comments about the quality level of the bag. Interestingly, they didn’t think they would use the bags that much themselves, but they did think that their wives would find them useful.

I did full interviews with both of them, and will upload those in the near future. Henry will be going back to them in 2-3 weeks to see what has happened with the bags and how they are being used.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/tailor-elijah-interview.jpg Image: Interviewing Elijah in Ghana]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/tailors-interviews.jpg Image: Tailor interviews - Ghana]

Knowing that we wouldn’t find too many others that could make the bags from the pieces we had, we also wanted to challenge them to something even more interesting. We asked what they would do if we gave them a basic portable light kit (2 solar panels instead of 1) and tried to make a bag with it, using traditional cloth elements and no set design pattern. Both decided to give that a try as well, with the caveat that some material would be hard to find, and we’ll report back on the outcome.




[[Category:accra]]
[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:bag]]
[[Category:FLAP]]
[[Category:FLAP bag]]
[[Category:ghana]]
[[Category:poptech]]
[[Category:poptech09]]
[[Category:poptech2009]]
[[Category:FLAP bag project]]
[[Category:Materials]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/11/final-presentations-at-idds-ghana/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Image: IDDS Ghana 2009]}}


IDDS Ghana 2009


The [http://2009.iddsummit.org/ International Development Design Summi]t is put on by Amy Smith and her students at MIT. This year it took place in Kumasi, Ghana – which will be followed by [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa] this weekend in Accra, where some of their work will be shown.

Here’s a quick list of the projects they have been working on over the last five weeks:

- A press that speeds up the process of extracting oil from shea nuts
- A device for generating electricity from a playground carousel
- A machine for making recycled plastic products from used water sachets
- A set of tools for threshing groundnuts
- A mechanism for producing chlorine from salt water using readily available materials
- A simple, low cost battery made from local materials, for household lighting and other uses
- A human powered grating machine for speeding up cassava processing
- A thresher to improve the quality of rice by preventing stones from mixing with the grains
- A chlorine dispenser for disinfecting drinking water
- A family friendly latrine designed to promote use and hygiene among young children
- A device for monitoring the growth of children under five through cell phone technology
- A container that extends the shelf life of tomatoes during transport and storage

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/20090802_Imprim_068.jpg Image: Edward tells Hazwan some of his thoughts on the rice threshing machine.]

Edward tells Hazwan some of his thoughts on the rice threshing machine.
 The importance of being in Ghana

Niall Walsh has written this information about how the importance of the move to Ghana for this year’s IDDS was to both MIT and the participants:

<blockquote>
The main difference between IDDS Ghana and IDDS in MIT is the proximity to community partners and potential end users of the projects. IDDS prides itself on the spirit of co-creation and this movement from the States to Africa is a crucial one in line with this vision. The difference between participants sitting in lecture halls in MIT, learning about international development and the importance of speaking to at least fifty villagers before designing a technology, and actually living with and talking to hundreds of villagers all over the country, is immeasurable. In total IDDS this year worked with ten villages throughout the Bromg – Ahafo and Ashanti regions and teams had the chance to make three separate two night visits (spread throughout the design process to make sure they had input into every stage) to these villages. Among a huge number of other factors, the simple experience of having end users actually become extremely excited about your prototype, and seeing them test it out, is an incentive for teams to continue their project after IDDS.<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
Another way in which IDDS interacted with the local community, rather than simply for it, was through it’s interactions with Suame Magazine. This is an engineering cluster located in the centre of Kumasi, spanning twenty miles and with a working population of over 200,000 people. There are approximately 12,000 independent micro, small and medium enterprises located in the area and their main activities of vehicle repair and metal fabrication (welding and casting) are renowned for their ingenuity all across West Africa. During the summit, participants worked extensively with these engineers and mechanics in the ‘Magazine’ and had the chance to share ideas, techniques, and technologies with each other<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
The point has been stressed home at this year’s IDDS that these villagers involved in the process, as well as the workshop guys in Suame, are partners in the design process, rather than simply people we should talk to along the way. Without these partners, the technologies presented tomorrow at the Great Hall would quite simply not be possible, and I think that knowledge, in and of itself, will prove invaluable to our participants as they continue to work in international development after the conference. In light of this, five villagers from each village, as well as workshop managers from Suame, will be provided transport, accommodation and food to come to the final presentations to see all the different prototypes.<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
Systems have also been put in place to ensure that the projects worked on at this year’s IDDS will continue to be worked on after IDDS. There are project grants and partnership grants available for the teams and there will also be a full time country liaison for Ghana, responsible for integrating the technologies into all of our partner villages, as well as sourcing new villagers and markets to help disseminate and create business models for the technologies. On a far more practical level, villagers will also have the opportunity to decide which of the prototypes they are most interested in, and then work with our partners in Suame Magazine to have these manufactured.
</blockquote>



[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:News]]
[[Category:Tools]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/09/the-flap-buckets-and-assembly/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

''This is part of an ongoing series of posts on the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/07/afrigadget-and-the-solar-flap-bag-project/ FLAP bag project], a collaborative effort by [http://timbuk2.com/ Timbuk2], [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light] and [http://www.poptech.com/ Pop!Tech]. We at AfriGadget are helping to field-test these bags that have solar power and lighting on them, and get interviews of the individuals using them.''

=== Day 2: The buckets arrive ===

This is a continuation of [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/08/the-flap-bags-arrive/ yesterday’s] starting video diary, where I received the flaps to the FLAP bag. Saturday morning the package from Timbuk2 was on our doorstep waiting to be opened. The bottom part of the bags had arrived, but there were a few surprises in store for me…

<center>
[http://vimeo.com/6015023 The FLAP bag buckets and assembly] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].
</center>[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0041.JPG Image: Assembling the FLAP bag for the first time]

Assembling the FLAP bag for the first time
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0042.JPG Image: Finally, I assembled the FLAP bag!]

Finally, I assembled the FLAP bag!


Next stop Accra, Ghana. I hope that all the kits arrive in one piece, and will start to put them to use as soon as I can.




[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:FLAP]]
[[Category:FLAP bag]]
[[Category:lighting]]
[[Category:poptech]]
[[Category:poptech09]]
[[Category:portable light]]
[[Category:solar]]
[[Category:timbuk2]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:FLAP bag project]]
[[Category:video]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/08/the-flap-bags-arrive/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

''This is part of an ongoing series of posts on the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/07/afrigadget-and-the-solar-flap-bag-project/ FLAP bag project], a collaborative effort by [http://timbuk2.com/ Timbuk2], [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light] and [http://www.poptech.com/ Pop!Tech]. We at AfriGadget are helping to field-test these bags that have solar power and lighting on them, and get interviews of the individuals using them.''

=== Day 1: The flaps arrive ===

The FLAP bag kits started to arrive Friday evening. The buckets (bottom part of the bag) from Timbuk2 had not yet been delivered at this point, so all I had was the flaps.

<center>
[http://vimeo.com/6014621 The FLAP bags start to arrive] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].
</center>

Tune in for part 2 later… in the meantime, some pictures:

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0006.JPG Image: The flap from the FLAP bag project]

The flap from the FLAP bag project
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0007.JPG Image: An unassembled bag flap]

An unassembled bag flap
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0009.JPG Image: The control unit and an unassembled FLAP bag]

The control unit and an unassembled FLAP bag's flap
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0012.JPG Image: FLAP bag kit assembly and usage directions]

FLAP bag kit assembly and usage directions
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSC_0017.JPG Image: The components]

The components





[[Category:bag]]
[[Category:FLAP]]
[[Category:FLAP bag]]
[[Category:kit]]
[[Category:lighting]]
[[Category:poptech]]
[[Category:poptech09]]
[[Category:portable light]]
[[Category:review]]
[[Category:solar]]
[[Category:timbuk2]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:FLAP bag project]]
[[Category:video]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/07/afrigadget-and-the-solar-flap-bag-project/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

I’m scrambling to put my bags together for Ghana, as I leave in just a day for [http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa]. There’s only one problem, I don’t have everything that I need, and I’m waiting on a shipment from a California bag company. The good news: I’ve just been told that I’m no longer sworn to secrecy, so I can begin telling the story. Here is the FLAP bag project story (from my perspective) and AfriGadget’s involvement in it.

=== A little background ===

Four months ago the [http://poptech.com/ Pop!Tech] team approached me about their collaborative project with Sheila Kennedy of the [http://portablelight.org/ Portable Light] project, who showed off her solar TB blanket at Pop!Tech 2008, and [http://www.timbuk2.com/ Timbuk2], the well-known messenger bag company.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE FLAPbag-players.jpg|600px|FLAP bag project companies]]

Their plan was to develop a bag that has the potential to bring the benefits of portable power to selected global communities around the globe, and they were hoping the I could help with distribution and testing within the African communities that I frequent, where power is crucial. Of course, I jumped right in, this was just too intriguing to not do so, plus I have great admiration for all of the players: Pop!Tech, Timbuk2 and Sheila Kennedy.

=== The FLAP bag project ===

FLAP stands for '''F'''lexible '''L'''ight '''A'''nd '''P'''ower. The flap on the messenger bag has the single solar panel on it, connected to the tech tray, which has an on/off switch, an LED light and a USB connection. So, in concept, the bag can be used as a portable lighting and power supply unit for anyone. Most useful however, to those lacking consistent power for devices or an electric lighting option.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE howtocharge-FLAP-bag-600x305.jpg|600px|How to charge the FLAP bag]]

Image: How to charge the FLAP bag


This bag will be the official Pop!Tech 2009 bag, and will also be sold by Timbuk2 sometime after that. It’s a unique bag that has the potential to change the way a lot of people (not just in Africa) do things. I don’t have detailed information on any of that, so look to the Pop!Tech team for more information on availability.

=== AfriGadget’s part in this ===

Due to my fairly extensive travels, dealing with just the right cross section of potential users for the bag, I was in the right place to distribute some test bags for feedback from end-users. My job, over the next three weeks will be to find the right types of people to give a bag to, interview them before and after, and report back on my findings.

My first stop is Ghana, then on to Kenya and Uganda. I have 10 FLAP bags, with plans to hand out 4 in Ghana, 4 in Kenya and 2 in Uganda. To do the interviews, I will have the help of Henry Addo in Ghana (also a colleague or mine at [http://www.ushahidi.com/ Ushahidi]), and with David Ngigi in Kenya (a young videographer and friend). Pop!Tech has supplied us with small video cameras that we’ll be using for the interviews, as well as some starter questions and types of individuals that they would like to see get the bag.

My objective is to find people from many walks of life, from taxi drivers to citizen journalists, and from roadside food ladies to seamstresses. One of my questions is this: can much of this bag be created from locally available materials?

<blockquote>
'''My main goal''': find out if it is useful, usable and if its adaptable to everyday life in Africa.<br>
'''The Challenge''': asking people how they would adopt these kits, looking for inventiveness.
</blockquote>

''I won’t be sugar-coating my own reviews, nor those of the people who we interview. ''

=== Tune in for more tomorrow ===

My next post will be pictures of the kits, unboxing of the items that I have received and my initial opinions on them. I’ll also be doing some personal interviews (video diary) of myself throughout the weeks ahead, giving some insights into the day’s events and overall thoughts on the FLAP bag project.

[Update: [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/08/the-flap-bags-arrive/ Day 1 video diary]]

I’ll also be using Twitter for updates, and though I manage the [http://twitter.com/afrigadget @AfriGadget] account, when I get on the road I usually just post from my personal [http://twitter.com/whiteafrican @WhiteAfrican] account.

Additional updates from the manufacturer and from the project team will be found on the [http://www.poptech.org/blog/index.php/archives/4797 Pop!Tech blog] and the [http://www.timbuk2.com/blog/ Timbuk2 blog] from time-to-time.




[[Category:bag]]
[[Category:design]]
[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:FLAP]]
[[Category:FLAP bag]]
[[Category:kva]]
[[Category:messenger]]
[[Category:poptech]]
[[Category:poptech09]]
[[Category:poptech2009]]
[[Category:portable light]]
[[Category:solar]]
[[Category:timbuk2]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:Gadgets]]
[[Category:Materials]]
[[Category:News]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/29/retrofit-turns-a-bicycle-to-an-ambulance/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/afromusing/ Juliana Rotich]}}

Zambikes is a project that retrofits bicycles by adding a trailer. This is especially useful in rural Zambia (and other parts of Africa) where there aren’t many cars to get the sick to hospital, much less an ambulance.

Watch how the ‘Zambulance’ retrofit is made…

The ‘ZamCart’
A multipurpose trailer

[http://zambikes.org/ Image: zamcart-2]

Interestingly, the Zambike project sells and outfits bikes under the local brand name of[http://zambikes.org/index.php/products-a-services/zambike  ‘Amaka Sana’], the Bemba word for ‘very strong’ .

To learn more: [http://zambikes.org/ Zambikes.org] and follow [http://twitter.com/ACIRFA_Zambikes/ @ACIRFA_Zambikes] on twitter

via [http://timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com/2009/07/building-bike-trailers-zambikes.html Timbuktu Chronicles]



[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:Metal]]
[[Category:Transportation]]
[[Category:video]]






{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/27/bicycle-mobile-phone-charger/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

Just last week two African inventors won recognition for inventions that involved scrap, bicycles and mobile phones.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE _46103485_kamkwamba.jpg|466px]]

William Kamkwamba grew up as a farmer in Malawi, at the age of just 14, he had built his own wind generator.

During a drought his families fortunes collapsed and he spent his time in libraries reading and discovering about wind energy. He found components for his invention in a scrap  yard; a tractor fan, shock absorber, PVC pipes and a bicycle frame.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE _46103781_windmill_300.jpg|226px]]

When his prototype was able to run four bulbs people arrived to charge their mobile phone. William has just appeared on TED  Global conference in Oxford this week to the conference to tell the audience how he did this.

Another inventor has already appeared on Afrigadjet and has just been discovered by the BBC. Pascal Katana, 22 who with Jeremiah Murimi, 24, has gone [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/21/fish-call-the-fisherman/ beyond fish] and has invented a [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8166196.stm dynamo-powered “smart charger”] to help people without electricity in rural areas to charge their cell phones. The system costs $4.50 and it takes an hour to fully charge a cell phone.

[http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46105000/jpg/_46105598_bike226.jpg [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE _46105598_bike226.jpg|226px]]]

These two young men developed the idea during summer break. Wish I had so much energy in my holiday.  These guys should be at [http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/04/14/maker-faire-africa-ghana-aug-13-15/ Maker Faire in Ghana this August].



[[Category:Communication]]
[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:Gadgets]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:Recycle & Reuse]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/27/sudan-school-grounds-brew-home-grown-games/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

Local school grounds in Sudan are a breeding pool for home grown games. The most popular seems to use any pole available, including those against walls, string & a soda bottle filled with rocks and dirt. Voila, you have a tetherball game at hand. About the only thing not found just laying around is the string and oddly enough that’s what needs to be replaced often, as can be seen by the photo with the variations in colored string.

[http://www.africaonfilm.org/gallery/7928552_jFr93#533679223_qZJKv Image: Tetherball in Sudan]

[''Editors note: these pictures were taken during a sand storm'']

[http://www.africaonfilm.org/gallery/8141788_6fSRM#533666901_pfTte Image: Sudanese children and their tetherball game]

Another home grown game seems to bear some resemblance to cricket. They throw a small rubber ball at another person who tries to kick it. If they are successful they run between two pre-determined locations, stacking rocks/stones/bricks at each point, until the other team can return the ball to try and hit them with it.

[http://www.africaonfilm.org/gallery/8273259_PFBg7#600527243_N4KUZ [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE 600527243_N4KUZ-M.jpg]]]

Oddly enough, it seems volleyball is another popular sport. I know of at least four schools which have installed volleyball nets

(''This story is from [http://www.martynsinafrica.com/ Taylor Martyn], a [http://www.africaonfilm.org/Other photographer] and missionary in Southern Sudan.'')




[[Category:bottle]]
[[Category:children]]
[[Category:game]]
[[Category:games]]
[[Category:kids]]
[[Category:malakal]]
[[Category:recycle]]
[[Category:reuse]]
[[Category:sudan]]
[[Category:tetherball]]
[[Category:trash]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Materials]]
[[Category:Recycle & Reuse]]
[[Category:Toys]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/24/cordless-table-light-bulb/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/obie/ Obie]}}

A ’stick-up’ Light Bulb like the one shown below sells on Amazon for $3.99

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE 119087_multiple500_2.jpg|500px]]

Sample the version we got from Gatundu, Thika District in Kenya. It goes for KSh. 100 ($1.20)

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE Table-top1-600x450.jpg|600px|Table-top]]



[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:Gadgets]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/24/hacking-an-in-office-shower/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

File this contribution from South Africa into the “odd, yet interesting file”:

<blockquote>
“What to do when you have a bath tub, but actually want to take a shower? Easy, just use whatever office materials you can find to make your own shower. Find a long rod, balance it on top of a door and the burglar bars. Attach a sheet of plastic, using office clips. Voila, you have a shower curtain. Now we want to use both the cold and warm water taps, so using pipes and ropes to hold them in place, both sources are fed to the main pipe leading up to the shower head. The shower head is attached to a shelf bracket using oh-so-useful cable ties.”
</blockquote>

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Photo-0011.jpg Image: Photo-0011]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Photo-0012.jpg Image: Photo-0012]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Photo-0016.jpg Image: Photo-0016]




[[Category:sa]]
[[Category:shower]]
[[Category:south africa]]
[[Category:za]]
[[Category:Sanitation]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/21/paperless-entertainment-the-mpesa-way/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/obie/ Obie]}}

[http://www.safaricom.co.ke/index.php?id=745 M-Pesa] Everywhere
[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE dsc04997-600x450.jpg|600px|M-Pesa Everywhere]]

Well, now you don’t have to be at the pub to buy me a drink…



[[Category:Gadgets]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/21/fish-call-the-fisherman/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/obie/ Obie]}}

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE pascal.jpg|595px|pascal]]
Pascal Katana, a Fourth Year student at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, developed an electronic device that ‘automates’ fishing. The trap employs amplification of the sound made by fish while feeding. The acoustic signals are radiated and attract other fish who head toward the direction of the source thinking there is food there.
Once a good catch is detected by a net weighing mechanism, it triggers a GPRS/GSM device attatched to the system and the fisherman gets a call/sms informing him that his catch is ready. Pascal is in the process of developing a by-catch control system which will ensure that his contraption doesn’t cause overfishing.




[[Category:Food]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:Make]]
[[Category:mobile]]
[[Category:nairobi]]
[[Category:SMS]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Food]]
[[Category:Gadgets]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/16/plastic-trash-become-drums-in-west-africa/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

2000 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djembe djembe] drums were created from 20 tons of plastic trash. “La Victoire sur les Sachets” is a short video showing their “victory over the plastic bags”.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE bT*xJmx*PTEyNDc3ODMwNTExNTkmcHQ9MTI*Nzc4MzA1NjMwMSZwPTI2ODg5MSZkPSZnPTEmbz1kMTA3ZWZhYTZhZWY*MWUwYjYyMTBkZWIyNTZhNjZkNSZvZj*w.gif|0px]]

[http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/2083/La-Victoire%20sur%20les%20Sachets%20:%20Stories%20on%20Human%20Rights View this movie at cultureunplugged.com]

[http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/2083/La-Victoire-sur-les-Sachets---Stories-on-Human-Rights#videoDetail Image: Molds of plastic trash being made into a drum]




[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:drum]]
[[Category:music]]
[[Category:plastic]]
[[Category:recycle]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:Materials]]
[[Category:Recycle & Reuse]]
[[Category:music]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/07/07/simon-mwauras-mobile-remote-control-inventions/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

Simon has hardwired a way to open and lock his door remotely via his phone, as well as get tea brewing and other manual and remote tasks. The video speaks for itself, so I’m not going to say anything other than to link you to my past thoughts on [http://whiteafrican.com/2009/06/06/hurdles-of-high-tech-entrepreneurs-in-africa/ challenges for tech entrepreneurs in Africa].




[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:entrepreneur]]
[[Category:invention]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:kenyan]]
[[Category:mobile]]
[[Category:nairobi]]
[[Category:phone]]
[[Category:remote]]
[[Category:robotics]]
[[Category:Communication]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/06/25/solar-cooker-in-use-maasai-mara/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

I didn’t believe it possible but I found this lady actually using a solar cooker in the Masai Mara!

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE mama-solar-cooker.jpg|434px|Mama solar cooker]]

Mama solar cooker


Made only of cardboard and tin foil this cooker fold up into a neat little package. It apparently cooks potatoes and cabbage in just 1 hour!

She told me that she got it as part of a study – one solar cooker was given to every manyatta. She couldn’t rememer which organization was handing them out but she has adapted hers by putting her pot into a plastic bag which she says retains the heat better. She says she’ll continue using the solar cooker after the study and will even buy one  at Ksh 1,000.

She still has a 3 stone wood fire to cook meat.

I wonder what happens to this device when it rains…does the cardboard become a sodden mess?




[[Category:Add new tag]]
[[Category:solar oven]]
[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:Food]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/06/15/football-handmade-in-south-africa/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/thandile/ Thandile]}}

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE 2010-soccer-ball.jpg|500px|2010-soccer-ball]]

''By grassroots reporter Thandile Ntlebi – One of the COSAT (Center of Science and Technology) learners, 17 years old, living in Township Khayelitsha, South Africa. Visit more of Thandile’s stories on [http://studentsforhumanity.com/ Students for Humanity]
''

Young boys are starting to realize their dreams and do what ever they can to make sure that those dreams come true even if they must get themselves dirty.

It’s Saturday around 11am, the community is very peaceful and the quietness makes parents wonder what their kids are up to. Within hours you hear whistles and names being called. Your boy is watching TV until his name is being called; he jumps up and runs as fast as a cheetah.

Around 1pm the field is full of people, as if there will be a fight or a community meeting. When you check it’s just young boys sorting themselves into two teams. After the argument of who should play and in which position, they settle down. The teams go to their side of the field to plan how they are going to win the match. The minimum of players is four; the maximum is eleven players for each team.

The referee blows his whistle and the game begins. Fans give courage to their players by cheering. They make them feel proud and confident. What is amazing is the ball and the field they are playing on. These boys do not have a coach or someone telling them what to do. '''They don’t have money to buy a soccer ball….. they make it on their own.'''

=== This how the ball is made: ===

Firstly you look for old clothes or blankets. Then you put a few condoms around, which you blow up with your mouth, but not with too much air. Just so it’s the same size as a soccer ball. After this you put either a plastic bag or a piece of old clothing over the condom. Then to make it strong, you tear up the old clothing or blanket into long strips and tie the strips all around the condom to strengthen the shape of the ball and make it heavier. Once you can feel it bounces well, you take a strong plastic bag and wrap it around the ball. Lastly you reinforce it by wrapping strong rope or tire wire around it.

Maybe you are surprised but let me tell you about the field. It is not a play ground or a park but it is a field that is full of drains and the half of it has a long grass and some kind of a wetland and a dumping place. And as we all know that when you are playing soccer you need scoring nets. These boys don’t have scoring nets, but take wood or cardboard that is in the carpet and make poles.

In the end some go home smiling and singing winners songs and others go home in a way sad but still planning how to beat them tomorrow.

These boys are young and know nothing about suffering or what the world is going to bring them in the future. But all they know they want to be famous soccer players and being admired by the world. They come from a [[poor]] back ground and they didn’t choose to be there but they can try by all means to change it and make their future as bright as it can be.

Maybe you think I’m crazy but hey, they are the ones who are building things from scratch and are creative if they don’t have money to buy what they need. They are the ones who get their selves dirty just to be seen as a soccer player. These are geniuses don’t you think so?

The credits of the soccer ball photo go to our friend [http://www.flickr.com/photos/michielvanbalen/3385007154/ Michiel Van Balen]

=

=

''''

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/studentsforhumanity/3536595138/ Image: thandile-ntlebi-tash]
]




[[Category:2010]]
[[Category:ball]]
[[Category:boys]]
[[Category:clothes]]
[[Category:condoms]]
[[Category:plastic]]
[[Category:playing]]
[[Category:soccer]]
[[Category:sports]]
[[Category:worldcup]]
[[Category:How-To]]
[[Category:Recycle & Reuse]]
[[Category:Toys]]






{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/06/01/distilling-water-from-volcanic-steam-vents/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

A unique water harvesting method has been devised in the drought ridden crater of Mt. Suswa, which is dotted with continuously puffing scorching steam vents.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE water-distilling.jpg|400px|Tapping steam for condensation]]

Tapping steam for condensation


Taking advantage of the steam vents that dot this landscape, local Masai have ingeniously tapped the vents for steam that is condensed on long plastic pipes that drip continuously into drums.  The local Masai claim that these vents can fill half a drum (approx 30 lt) per hour (though it seemed very unlikely to us). The water is sweet and apparently it feeds a community of several hundred people and their cattle with fresh and clean water.

We saw at tens of these contraptions in a particular zone within the outer crater of [http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=0202-11= Mt Suswa]. All were protected from animals by thorn bushes. There seemed to be an ownership structure amongst the users, some were better constructed, had longer pipes, were better protected and maintained. We were told that the systems were installed fifteen years earlier and it did not look like any modifications had been done since then.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE pipes1.jpg|400px|pipes1]]

The water distilling system used here is permanent and produces a continuous supply of clean water that is collected regularly by the local community. The system we observed was in the area called Kishalu – just beyond a school. The system could be more efficient at trapping condensation – much steam was wasted as pipes were quite short, and collection drums were left uncovered and open to evaporation. The beauty of the system is that it works overnight. These water distilleries were introduced to enable the community to survive the dry season when rain water catchments had dried up.

The Suswa system is infinitely better than the water distilling process on the edge of Lake Elamentaita. Here the local Masai Women daily place a piece of zinc sheeting over a steam vent to capture condensation. They produce only 2 liters per day; a days work to produce enough drinking water for a small family for one day.

If there’s an Afrigadget award out there, the Suswa water distilleries deserve it.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE josh-and-kadonyo-suswa.jpg|384px|josh-and-kadonyo-suswa]]

For more information about Mt Suswa check out [http://rovingrasta.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/suswa/ Roving Rasta], and [http://wildaboutafrica.wordpress.com/ Wild about Africa] for satellite images and details about hiking and caves




[[Category:Great Rift Valley]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:Masai]]
[[Category:steam vents]]
[[Category:Suswa]]
[[Category:volcanic steam]]
[[Category:Water]]
[[Category:water distillation]]
[[Category:Environment]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:Water]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/05/22/improved-charcoal-stove-in-kenya/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

In a previous post we told you  about the [http://www.afrigadget.com/2006/07/23/kenya-ceramic-jiko/ Kenya Ceramic Jiko, a fuel efficient stove], it’s such a common stove, we all have one at home.   But did you know that it was invented by Maxwell Kinyanjui?

I recently I “discovered” another amazing jua kali fuel efficient stove – I was at a private party enjoying a fantastic barbeque meal with 100 other guests. I stole around to the kitchen where there was no oven, but out back a tiny aluminium stove that was producing enormous amounts of food with an impossibly small amount of charcoal.

I’ve since come across it again at a private ranch where only the cook knew how to operate the thing to bake the most amazing cakes.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/baringo-chef.jpg Image: Baking Breadin Baringo]

Baking Bread in Baringo


And at Roberts Camp 100 miles north on the shores of Lake Baringo where the chef told me that one only used a tiny amount of charcoal, he lets it cool down somewhat and then let the bread bake without opening the oven until done (I guess he can tell from the smell?)

[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sCcdQxUiRCQ/Sau_wgfXHhI/AAAAAAAAACE/t_0oyhgY8Uw/s400/Picture5.png Image: Fuel efficiency stoves]

Fuel efficiency stoves


In recent months I’ve noticed these wonderful stoves everywhere, on roadsides and in jua kali markets.  I don’t know why I didn’t see them before. They come in a variety of sizes and openings are offered (two door or top hinged). They go for US $100 for a small oven (big enough to bake 4 loaves), and a little more for the bigger varieties. Great for baking, they provide [http://www.shmula.com/393/jacobs-oven-and-lean important business opportunities for communities, and underprivileged groups like the Jacobs Oven] making business for women and feeding orphans.

This is another of Maxwell Kinyanjuils inventions and it’s called [http://reskqu.blogspot.com/2008/12/kinyanjui-jiko.html the Kinyanjui Jiko]. Maxwell is a household name in Kenya, founder of [http://www.woodlands2000trust.org/ Woodlands 2000 Trust], he is associated with plantations, experiments with trees for fuel, furniture and new designs of fuel efficient stoves including the Kenya ceramic jiko!  Because of the deplorable state of our forests, Kenya is well known for efforts in improving fuel efficiency through  [http://www.hedon.info/BP15:ImprovedStoveProgrammesInKenya stove inmovations ]- many of which can probably be attributed to Maxwell Kinyanjui.  – the man gets two gold stars from me! I went to see Maxwell at his Kitengela Arborretum near Athi River just outside of Nairobi. He laughed when he heard that I was the proud owener of a clone. Yes, his inventions are sold only in Nakumatt and Uchumi. In good spirit he was pleased that the oven has been replicated with some modifications … all good business for the jua kali sector.

I bought one and was just amazed that this stove uses such a ridiculously small amount of charcoal. It is great for baking and slow cooking of vegetables and meat but not so good for traditional nyama choma. A well known Nairobi chef told me that he uses it to perfectly finish meat that has been braised on the traditional bbq. As a food loving vegetarian, I find it is brilliant for slow cooked vegetables –mixture of onions, garlic, potatoes, pumpkin, beetroot, aubergines, chopped on a tray and sprinkled with some salt, rosemary or other herbs, and olive oil  …absolutely spectacular results at a very low cost. Bread and cakes have so far eluded me.

Want one? Order it here

Musaki Enterprises Ltd.
Po Box 23058, Nairobi
Lower Kabete
000804
Phone: 0724690352 or 0713564768
Email: teddykinyanjui@hotmail.com or musakitrade@yahoo.com



[[Category:Gadgets]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/05/11/what-do-you-see/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

I have a talk that I give when people ask me to speak on AfriGadget at conferences that is called, “What do you see?”. It’s a visual and interactive quiz where I take the audience through different images of AfriGadget and ask them what they’re looking at. It’s a lot of fun, and it proves to everyone why it’s so hard for people in the West to come up with contextually relevant life hacks in Africa.

Below are some images from an old family friend who has spent his life working in rural Southern Sudan and Kenya. Under each image you’ll see why it’s interesting. By the way, I too missed the relevance of the flip flops at first glance…

<center>
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3523198638/ Image: Old flip flops made into door hinges]
</center>
Making use of available resources for a hinge. I really like the way that Ben has used these old slippers and shoe for the hinge of his small kiosk/shop at Butere. <center>
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3523198114/ Image: Home made African chair]
</center>
This old chair at Mahanga in Western Province shows the ingenuity of the local carpenters in making use of available resources, with the carton and stuffing from sisal and wood shavings. <center>
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3523199180/ Image: Bottles and plants in Kenya]
</center>
Using available containers in a nursery for medicinal plants in Asembo area of Western Kenya. <center>
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3523199506/ Image: Fanta bottle pipe]
</center>
Making use of a Fanta bottle to channel water from the rainwater downpipe to a storage container in Nairobi.

A special thanks to Roger Sharland of [http://reap-eastafrica.org/ REAP East Africa] for sending in the pictures.




[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:appropriate technology]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:photos]]
[[Category:sudan]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Environment]]
[[Category:Materials]]
[[Category:Metal]]
[[Category:Recycle & Reuse]]
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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/05/05/climatise-en-mali/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/kikuyumoja/ JKE]}}

Our good friend Forsty sent in the following picture of a “climatised” bus he took in [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mopti Mopti], Mali the other day:

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE 04mopti164.jpg|500px|04Mopti164]]

While it may not be the perfect example of an AfriGadget, it still helps to illustrate how people make do with what is available.

For some folks this may just be an unroadworthy vehicle, for others it’s a comfortable bus that will take you from A to B. Hey, and did we mention it’s air-conditioned? [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE icon_smile.gif|:-)]]




[[Category:air-condition]]
[[Category:bus]]
[[Category:mali]]
[[Category:Transportation]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/04/28/car-batteries-and-leds-in-mali/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[http://buildafrica.org/2009/04/28/led-lights-and-12vcell-phone-charging-mali/ Matt Berg] has put together a wonderful photo montage on how LEDs and 12v batteries are changing the face of connectivity and cheap lighting in Mali. Reproduced here with his permission are the images from the (large) [http://www.buildafrica.org/files/12V_Mali.pdf PDF].

<blockquote>
“The mass market solution (LED + small rechargeable battery + 1 W solar panel) that will really make a difference will be Chinese and at a price that will encourage extremely fast adoption rates.”
</blockquote>

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/12v_mali_page_1.jpg Image: 12v_mali_page_1]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/12v_mali_page_2.jpg Image: 12v_mali_page_2]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/12v_mali_page_3.jpg Image: 12v_mali_page_3]

<blockquote>
“Used car batteries you can see are the “power lines” in a lot of African villages that form the basis of distributed power distribution.”
</blockquote>

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/12v_mali_page_4.jpg Image: 12v_mali_page_4]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/12v_mali_page_5.jpg Image: 12v_mali_page_5]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/12v_mali_page_6.jpg Image: 12v_mali_page_6]

[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/12v_mali_page_7.jpg Image: 12v_mali_page_7]




[[Category:12v]]
[[Category:battery]]
[[Category:china]]
[[Category:led]]
[[Category:lighting]]
[[Category:mali]]
[[Category:power]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Energy]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/04/27/toyota-cowrolla/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

Few things make Monday really special. Here’s a photo posted by Alen Wekesa on Twitter. Alen describes himself as a sassy Kenyan who loves advertising, music and the arts. iPhone, Twitter, Facebook junkie. Soon to be millionaire with a big heart for charity. Reliable. He is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but I’m not sure where he took this photo. Enjoy! (Sorry for the dud link earlier folks, here’s trying again)

[http://content.ytmnd.com/content/6/6/7/667418272d32dd9f256e60b55f337438.jpg [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE 667418272d32dd9f256e60b55f337438.jpg|589px]]]

Follow Alen on Twitter @iAlen




[[Category:Add new tag]]
[[Category:Cowrolla]]
[[Category:ialen]]
[[Category:Tanzania]]
[[Category:Toyota]]
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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/04/14/maker-faire-africa-ghana-aug-13-15/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ Maker Faire Africa] (MFA) is a new event celebrating the ''innovation'', ''ingenuity'' and ''invention'' within Africa – happening August 13-15 of this year in Accra, Ghana.

<center>[http://www.makerfaireafrica.com/ [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE mfa-banner-3k.jpg|Maker Faire Africa in Ghana]]]</center>

We came at this event from a specific angle – we mixed the types of individuals who show up on [http://www.afrigadget.com/ AfriGadget] and [http://timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com/ Timbuktu Chronicles], and the ethos of the greater [http://makezine.com/ MAKE] community, all with the blessings of the good folks at [http://makerfaire.com/ Maker Faire]. The dates were chosen to coincide with Amy Smith’s and MIT’s [http://www.iddsummit.org/ International Development and Design Summit] (IDDS), which will run for 3 weeks before MFA, also in Ghana.

As Emeka puts it:

<blockquote>
The aim of a Maker Faire-like event is to create a space on the continent where Afrigadget-type innovations, inventions and initiatives can be sought, identified, brought to life, supported, amplified, propagated, etc. Maker Faire Africa asks the question, “What happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from Mali with those from Ghana and Kenya, and add resources to the mix?”
</blockquote> How You can Support MFA

[http://makerfaireafrica.com/badges [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE grababadge.jpg|get a Maker Faire Africa badge!]]]First off, '''help spread the word'''! Let people know where and when it will be. Share the link to the site, [http://makerfaireafrica.com/badges/ grab a badge], blog it.

Second, '''help us find [http://makerfaireafrica.com/become-a-sponsor/ sponsors]'''. If you know an organization or individual who would like to support this amazing event, put us in touch with them. It could be monetary, or it could be donating some cool gadgets, gear, tools or devices for people to hack on while there. (''example idea: we’d love to get some [http://mindstorms.lego.com/ LEGO Mindstorm] kits for the local high schools'').

Third, '''come'''. If you have the time and ability, we’d love to have you, your ideas and your gadgets at MFA.

=== The Team ===

In my role as founder of AfriGadget, I’m part of the organizing team to put together Maker Faire Africa, joined by my an excellent group of people including:

* '''Emeka Okafor''' of [http://timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com/ Timbuktu Chronicles] and the Director of [http://www.tedafrica.org/pages/view/id/49 TED Africa]
* '''Erik Hersman, '''Founder of [http://www.afrigadget.com/ AfriGadget]
* '''Lars Hasselblad Torres, '''Director MIT [http://web.mit.edu/ideas/www/ IDEAS Competition ]
* '''Mark Grimes, '''Founder [http://ned.com/ Ned.com] and Founder [http://nedspace.com/ NedSpace]
* '''Nii Simmonds ''' of [http://nubiancheetah.blogspot.com/ Nubian Cheetah]

Want to get involved yourself? [http://makerfaireafrica.com/about/contact/ Get in touch]!




[[Category:accra]]
[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:ghana]]
[[Category:Make]]
[[Category:Maker Faire]]
[[Category:Maker Faire Africa]]
[[Category:MFA]]
[[Category:Timbuktu Chronicles]]
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{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/04/01/ancient-fishing-rafts-in-lake-baringo/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

[http://www.peoplesofkenya.freeuk.com/pix/g7p4.jpg Image: Il Chamus boy]

Il Chamus boy


The Il Chamus or [http://www.peoplesofkenya.freeuk.com/g7p4.htm Njemps] tribe still exist as they did thousands of years ago fishing in the spectacular lake Baringo using a hand made rafts made of reeds….not a new invention but still something very innovative and obviously successful otherwise it would have been abandoned centuries ago.  They are unique people, though linguistically related to the Masai and Samburu, they have broken from tradition and also fish which is taboo among the Maasai tribes who will not even touch let alone eat fish.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3641/3291418591_6b76000260_m.jpg Image: Il Chamus (Njemps) Fisherman in traditional reed boat]

Il Chamus (Njemps) Fisherman in traditional reed boat


The raft is made from reeds called ''ambatch'' harvested from the shores of the lake and it takes only a day to build one. The balsa wood reeds are strung together and tied using sisal fibres and paddles are traditionally made from planks of hand sized planks of wood. Today most fishermen used plastic pieces cut from used jerry cans. The rafts last for over a year and though they look flimsy and unstable, they are well adapted to the lake which is very flat and calm. How but how they escape from the hundreds of hippos is anyones guess.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3196/3291418577_a0c22ee012_m.jpg Image: Boat made of reeds]

Boat made of reeds


Living on the islands in the middle of Lake Bogoria boats are critical or the survival of the Il Chamus. Each boat seems to be one man outfit and men have carved out territories on the lake in which they fish. Each fisherman works in the early morning hours and using line and nets, he catches a variety of small carps and lungfish for home and sale to passing people. In a day one man can catch only a handful of fish and will earn about US $1.50 through sales. The Il Chamus are one of a handful of tribes left in the world that use this kind of traditional method of fishing.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3333/3299589227_4a57cb62ec.jpg?v=0 Image: Fish smoker L Baringo]

Fish smoker L Baringo


To preserve fish they are smoked in traditional smoking houses. Fish are laid on top of the wire mesh and smouldering charcoal from wood of various indigenous species of trees are placed in the entrance.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3624/3299590361_f73d7f1205.jpg?v=0 Image: Njemps village]

Njemps village on an island in Lake Baringo


Il Chamus are agro pastoralists and still live a very basic lives. They move their livestock from islands to mainland – but their rafts can carry goats and sheep but not cattle so they simply drive cows into the water forcing them to swim across the lake, which is 8 m deep. The herd is guided them from rafts.

If you live in Kenya and haven’t been out to Lake Baringo – you are missing an amazing piece of living pre-history.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3218/3291418581_b887398d93_m.jpg Image: Sunrise on Lake Baringo]

Sunrise on Lake Baringo


[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3657/3291418585_7c30a5c3c2_m.jpg Image: Fish Eagle making a kill]

Fish Eagle making a kill


There’s hardly any information available online on this amazing tribe – if you have any or know where to find more information please let me know.




[[Category:Il Chamus]]
[[Category:Lake Baringo]]
[[Category:Njemps]]
[[Category:Traditional reed boat]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Transportation]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/03/28/an-oven-made-from-a-blockbuster-drop-box/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

The following story came in from [http://varasca.wordpress.com/ Luca Varaschini] (by way of [http://el-oso.net/blog/ David Sasaki]) who was born and raised in Robertsport, Liberia where his father was a doctor. He now lives in Milan, Italy, but was in Robertsport a couple weeks ago for the first time since he left as a child.

<blockquote>
During my first week back in Liberia I had been invited to Hawa’s birthday party, on Sembehun Beach, not far for Robertsport, so I passed some time with the ladies while they were preparing western-style food for everyone: rice, beef stake, pasta and potato salad. Then they started stirring what would have to be two cakes for the dessert, and I started wondering how they’d be able to bake them, since the only cooking apparels in the big warehouse were these coal pits on the ground.<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
[http://www.afrigadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/blockbuster-oven-liberia.jpg [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE blockbuster-oven-liberia.jpg|500px]]]<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
They showed me the oven, a big metal cabinet against the far wall; looks like a refrigerator on legs, to allow a coal pit to fit under the bottom, but when I get near it, I see it’s a '''Blockbuster Quick Drop Booth'''! The front, where the slit had been closed, faces the wall and the back door is to access the oven; inside are several fridge trays, on which they lay the pans. The door is then locked with a simple bolt and sealed all around with wet cloths.<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
The cake was fabulous.
</blockquote>

[Editor's note: ''I'm find myself incredibly curious trying to figure out where they found this... How did a Blockbuster drop box get to Liberia?'']




[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:bake]]
[[Category:blockbuster]]
[[Category:cook]]
[[Category:cooking]]
[[Category:drop box]]
[[Category:liberia]]
[[Category:oven]]
[[Category:video]]
[[Category:Food]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/03/25/repurpose-converted-shipping-containers/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/afromusing/ Juliana Rotich]}}

[[Shipping containers as pre-fab offices]]

Spotted in Nandihills, Kenya January 2009.
I saw one just like this in Bungoma, but was not quick enough with the camera to get a good shot. Turns out [http://www.ke.zain.com/en/ Zain], a major mobile phone service operator is using these as pre-fab offices in rural areas.

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/afropicmusing/3227698855/ Image: Converted shipping container to Mobile Office]

Spotted in Nairobi, January 2008
At Lagoon, a bar/nyama choma (roast meat) joint.

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/afropicmusing/2348943270/ Image: Shipping Container/Office]

Got more in your archives? If so, please comment.



[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Materials]]






{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/03/17/zipper-heads/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

While visiting a [[rural community]] in the dry bushlands of Elementata I met some Turkana women who were absolutely captivating

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3122/3306424730_e7067953ef.jpg?v=0 Image: Turkana mama]

Turkana mama
[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3626/3305594361_16d086f8f1.jpg?v=0 Image: Turkana woman]

Turkana woman
[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3505/3306424958_143f989d58.jpg?v=0 Image: Turkana girl]

Turkana girl
[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3343/3305594085_9c0b5cf381.jpg?v=0 Image: Dancing Turkana woman]

Dancing Turkana woman


Did you notice the creative head dresses? Zippers may have been invented in USA but nobody would have imagined they’d be used for head dresses.  I was so awed by the outfits that I forgot to ask where they got all those zippers from – I can’t get rid of the image of all the village men wondering about with gaping flies.




[[Category:Add new tag]]
[[Category:Great Rift Valley]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:Soysambu]]
[[Category:traditional hair]]
[[Category:Turkana]]
[[Category:Zipper]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Gadgets]]
[[Category:Materials]]
[[Category:Recycle & Reuse]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/03/13/liberias-blackboard-blogger/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[http://www.afrigadget.com/?attachment_id=2226 Image: Liberias Blackboard Blogger]

Alfred Sirleaf is an analog blogger. He take runs the “Daily News”, a news hut by the side of a major road in the middle of Monrovia. He started it a number of years ago, stating that he wanted to get news into the hands of those who couldn’t afford newspapers, in the language that they could understand.

Alfred serves as a reminder to the rest of us, that simple is often better, just because it works. The lack of electricity never throws him off. The lack of funding means he’s creative in ways that he recruits people from around the city and country to report news to him. He uses his cell phone as the major point of connection between him and the 10,000 (he says) that read his blackboard daily.

[http://vimeo.com/3602427 Liberia’s Blackboard Blogger] from [http://vimeo.com/whiteafrican WhiteAfrican] on [http://vimeo.com/ Vimeo].

Not all Liberians who read his news are literate, so he makes use of symbols. Whether it’s a UN or military helmet, a poster of a soccer player or a bottle of colored water to denote gas prices, he is determined to get the message out in any way that he can.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/?attachment_id=2228 Image: Liberia - Daily News props]

Advertising works here too. It’s $5 to be on the bottom level, $10 to be on the sideboard and $25 on the main section. He doesn’t get a lot of advertising, and but he manages to scrape by.

His plans for the future include decentralizing his work, this means opening up identical locations in other parts of Monrovia, and in a few of the larger cities around the country. I don’t put it past Alfred either, he’s a scrappy entrepreneur on a mission to bring information and news to ordinary Liberians. He’s succeeded thus far, and I would put my money on him growing it even further.

[http://www.afrigadget.com/?attachment_id=2229 Image: Alfred Sirleaf talking to a news reader]

(Also, read the [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/04/world/africa/04liberia.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ei=5070&en=98d324f111b52f91&ex=1155355200&emc=eta1 NYT piece] on him from 3 years ago)

(''note: title for this post stolen shamelessly from [http://www.rebeccablood.net/archive/2006/08/alfred_sirleaf_liberias_blackb.html Rebecca’s Pocket]''. I also first posted this at [http://whiteafrican.com/2009/03/12/the-blackboard-blogger-of-monrovia WhiteAfrican], because I couldn’t decide if it was an AfriGadget story or not…)




[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:information]]
[[Category:liberia]]
[[Category:liberian]]
[[Category:monrovia]]
[[Category:News]]
[[Category:newspaper]]
[[Category:Communication]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:News]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/03/08/global-peace-village-or-a-scrap-yard/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/frerieke/ Frerieke]}}

Community members accuse him of being involved with witchcraft, the local government forbids him to showcase his work …the Zimbabwean artist, Dexter Nyamainashe has been collecting scrap to create art for six years now. Dexter collects all his created art objects together in his one masterpiece: The “global village of peace”.

This inspiring artist-activist goes against all odds to follow his passion. Dexter sees beauty in what most of us would just call ordinary ‘scrap’. Dexter, an inspiring man we can all learn something from…

Please find the original story and more information about Dexter and his work [http://tashanda-africa.blogspot.com/2009/02/meet-dexter-nyamainashe-truly-gifted.html here on the Tashanda blog]

[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_X2huguWxj1c/SaYn28xhWWI/AAAAAAAAAk0/zGERMJiWhSk/s1600/Zimbabwe%2B273.JPG [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE Zimbabwe%2B273.JPG|608px]]]




[[Category:art]]
[[Category:peace]]
[[Category:recycle]]
[[Category:reuse]]
[[Category:scrap]]
[[Category:village]]
[[Category:zimbabwe]]
[[Category:Recycle & Reuse]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/03/03/the-beesness-of-honey/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3575/3305576363_10be75559b.jpg?v=0 Image: Bee keeping logo]


: You know it’s a great jua kali project when you see the logo


Honey is one of the most valuable products of the drylands of Africa. It can be obtained by following a little bird called a honey guide to a bees nest in a tree, whereupon one raids the hive. Or bees can be farmed…in most places a bee keeper simply hollows out logs to make perfectly acceptable hives for local consumption. for commercial purposes however, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langstroth_hive Langstroth hives] are universally thought to be superior to the traditional log hives found in Africa – the box shape make them easy to stack and move around,  and the movable frames guide bees to build combs in an organized manner making comb extraction easy.  These hives also have a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_excluder queen excluder], a mesh grid, usually made of wire or plastic, sized such that worker bees can pass through but the bigger queens cant. This keeps the queen from laying eggs in the honey combs called supers leading to cleaner honey. There are so many NGO’s, GOs and religious Orgs introducing these bright yellow langstroth hives across the Kenyan landscape.They don’t always catch on though – in rural areas people still prefer the logs…

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3325/3306356326_098de68aec.jpg?v=0 Image: Traditional hive]

Traditional hive


Traditional log hives are hollowed out logs usually cut from specific tree species with the permission of the local chief. They are hung high in trees and the inside is rubbed with leaves of plants that attract bees – a practice that has been going on for eons. The bees enter the hives through a tiny hole and build their combs willy nilly throughout the space, it’s inefficient and the honey is of a lower quality as the larvae are all mixed up with the honey combs. Not very good for a business approach… or should I say Beesness?.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3462/3305525809_79c0f72f9f.jpg?v=0 Image: Langstroth hive in Baringo Kenya]

Langstroth hive in Baringo Kenya


Logic would suggest that the Langstroth hives which produce cleaner honey and they save trees should be favoured right? Wrong! These modern hives are produced by experts in cities and cost a good $100 – far beyond the reach of anyone living in rural Kenya. It’s also rumoured that these hives are easily broken into by honey badgers, over heat in the dry climate of north Kenya driving bees away, and are expensive to maintain. On a personal note, I for one, find them extremely ugly too.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3467/3306356228_bdb744e7c6.jpg?v=0 Image: Modified traditional hive]

Modified traditional hive


One bee keeping cooperative in Bogoria has figured out a cunning way of modifying traditional log hives to produce more honey. A bee excluder is made using coffee mesh.

Symon demonstrated how beeswax tracks are laid down to guide the bees where to build their combs in neat lines. Cost? One third of the Langstroth hive.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3345/3306356100_031b456b94.jpg?v=0 Image: Bucket of raw honey]

Bucket of raw honey


The honey is collected at night by naked men (yes totally naked …) they say that this prevents one from getting bees stuck in your clothing… I asked about the possibility of getting stung in sensitive places, they said the bees were far too civilized for that…but yes, people had fallen from the trees and been found comatose and butt naked at the tree base…

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3516/3306356062_3a13f93291.jpg?v=0 Image: Honey extractor]

Honey extractor


Raw honey with comb is sold to the local cooperative where wax is separated from honey. The machine is another jua kali item bought in a workshop in Nairobi.

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3465/3305525131_1190ff235c.jpg?v=0 Image: Home made bee smoker]

Home made bee smoker


Bees are smoked out of the hive using a home made smoker.

Production by 40 bee keepers was 8 tons last year, each Kg of raw honey was bought by the cooperative for Ksh 80 ($1), and sold on raw at Ksh 100, or processed and honey sold at Ksh 600 per kg ($8).

8 tons of raw honey were collected in 2008 – this is valued at Ksh640,000 for the 40 bee keepers in the business.

The wax is not wasted but converted into candles which sell for Ksh 10 each ($ 0.12).

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3580/3306355946_4440401f78.jpg?v=0 Image: Candle making gadget]

Candle making gadget


Using a jua kali gadget for making candles, comprising a string, a piece of conduit pipe and two beer caps….ingenious!

[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3660/3305525161_1c65ee2e23.jpg?v=0 Image: Bees wax candle]

Bees wax candle


Producing the sweetest smelling cheapest candles I’ve ever used. They claim they burn much longer than paraffin candles. Besides they smell delicious

'''Some sweet facts'''

* The dry lands of Kenya are the important honey producing districts in Kenya – the semi arid climate, diversity of flowering plants and easy access to fresh water makes it perfect for bees. Kenya is the fourth largest producer of honey in Africa 22,000 tons, China is the worlds largest producer at 299,000 tons (USA produces 70,000 tons) (figures for 2005).
* The group in Baringo produced 8 tons of honey last year.
[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3431/3306355902_76e864502d.jpg?v=0 Image: Bee keeping motto]

I love their motto for hard work - "never expect magic from no where".
* Kenya is a world center of bee diversity with over 3,000 species (about 10% of the worlds total number of species)
* Only 150 species or thereabouts produce honey in Kenya.
* Contrary to popular belief, most bee species are harmless… they have no stings
* The Kalenjin people immunize themselves to bees by purposely stinging babies with bees
* In many pats of Africa, honey is an important component of dowry or bride price – a kilogram being made as part payment for the bride – symbolic of the sweetness of sex – or so I’m told [ IMAGE_LINK_HERE icon_wink.gif|;)]]
* Bees pollinate most of the crops that we eat
* Bee keeping is most productive in natural habitats, and is a one of the few forms of resource extraction that does not destroy the environment.

'''The sour facts'''

* Bees in USA and Europe are disappearing fast – a condition described as [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder colony collapse disorder] (ie. Nobody knows why it’s happening). Africa is unaffected so far making honey production a very sweet deal.




[[Category:bees]]
[[Category:colony collapse]]
[[Category:Great Rift Valley]]
[[Category:honey]], [http://www.afrigadget.com/tag/l-bogoria/ L. Bogoria]
[[Category:Langdorth hive]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Environment]]
[[Category:Food]]
[[Category:Gadgets]]
[[Category:How-To]]
[[Category:Jua Kali]]
[[Category:Wildlife]]
[[Category:Wood]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/02/27/mwalimu-cow-chomping-prickly-pears-into-control/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

Cows are playing an important role in land restoration in Baringo by eating up the invasive prickly pear cactus a nasty invasive plant that is destroying the drylands. It’s not obvious at all for cows to eat this thorny cactus, but Murry Roberts and his wife Elizabeth Meyerhoff told me about an amazing project that their organization, [http://www.raetrust.org/ RAE] (Rehabilitation of Arid Environments) has been working on. A few years ago they discovered that a local farmer had a bull that not only '''ate''' the nasty exotic thorny ugly, plant, but also '''taught''' other cows to go for it too.

[http://www.idrc.ca/uploads/user-S/102571689252982_full.jpg Image: Mwalimu cow eating prickly pear]


: Mwalimu cow eating prickly pear


This is very surprising because any self respecting cow, a sheep or a goat will not touch the nasty prickly pear. The farmer had aptly named his cow '''Mwalimu''' (Mwa-lee-moo  means Teacher in Kiswahili) because it taught other cows to eat the prickly pear .

[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/44/Opuntia_ficus-indica_%28Indian_Fig%29_at_Secunderabad%2C_AP_W_IMG_6674.jpg/180px-Opuntia_ficus-indica_%28Indian_Fig%29_at_Secunderabad%2C_AP_W_IMG_6674.jpg Image: Prickly pear]

Prickly pear
[hthttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b1/Prickly_pear_seller.jpg/250px-Prickly_pear_seller.jpg Image: Prickly pear Tunas for sale in Morocco]

Prickly pear Tunas for sale in Morocco


Prickly pear (''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opuntia_ficus-indica Opuntia ficus indica]'') is origninally from Mexico and is an economically important species of cactus – the red/purple fruit known as tuna’s are much sought after in many parts of the world. It has been cultivated in many parts of Africa as a hedge, but has become a serious pest because it spreads rapidly degrading ranch lands, and is very difficult to control. As a result, ''Opuntia'' eating cows are hugely important in the drylands of Kenya.

'''How did this farmer get his cow to eat Opuntia?''' During the drought of 1999 – 2000 grassy fields were reduced to bare earth and cows had nothing left to eat were dying of starvation leading to widespread famine. The story goes that one farmer persuaded his bull to eat the leaves after he had burned off the thorns. Opuntia are 80% water and if one can get past the thorns, the [http://www.dietbites.com/Foods-Nutrition-Index/prickly-pear.html plant is quite nutritious] . The other starving cows watched the bull and then followed suit thus saving the herd and the farmer who has never looked back. The thorns are burnt off using wood from another nasty invasive species, ''Prosopis juliflora'' – making this an eco-friendly project all round.

As part of [http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-5449-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html RAE’s rehabilitation of Baringo’s drylands], and to make multiply the value of '''mwalimu bull to other farmers '''RAE bought the bull and during droughts, ''Mwalimu'' goes from one homestead to another teaching herds of cattle how to eat ''Opuntia'', thereby saving hundreds of cattle and people from starvation. For Mwalimu it’s a job that saved his life – he is too valuable to be turned into beef burgers!

The cutting and use of ''Opuntia'' and ''Prosopis'' is also important in controlling these invasive species which have been planted as live fences, but which are fast becoming weeds in the degraded Baringo lowlands. Apart from prickly pear eating cows RAE also restore grasslands and eliminate soil erosion in an innovative project that has huge application across the drylands of Africa. We met women who were doubling their money by buying and fattening cows on restored grasslands in a 3 month period!

For more information, check it out here [http://www.raetrust.org/act_land_rec.htm RAE Trust
]

You can also contribute to the good work of RAE by helping us spread the word and share this great innovation through your blog, facebook, twitter, digg, or stumble. Thanks!




[[Category:Baringo]]
[[Category:kenya]]
[[Category:Mwalimu Cow]]
[[Category:Opuntia]]
[[Category:prickly pear]]
[[Category:RAE]]
[[Category:rehabilitation]]
[[Category:restoration]]
[[Category:Community]]
[[Category:Environment]]
[[Category:Food]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:Wildlife]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/02/23/toy-tractor-from-recycled-plastic/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/afromusing/ Juliana Rotich]}}

Taken in the Rift Valley province of Kenya, this picture shows two young boys with their toy tractor. Notice the use of discarded plastic and a few nails. Simply ingenious, simply Afrigadget!

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/54879137@N00/3304319528 Image: ToyTractor]

This picture was submitted by [http://bankelele.blogspot.com/ Bankelele], one of Kenya’s top bloggers. Thank you very much Bankelele.

If you would like to submit images, please tag them with [http://flickr.com/groups/afrigadget/ ‘afrigadget’] in flickr.



[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:Materials]]
[[Category:Toys]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/02/20/a-tribute-to-sodis/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/kikuyumoja/ JKE]}}

'''Solar water disinfection (SODIS)''' has been around for quite some time now and with approx. over 340.000 users [http://www.sodis.ch/Text2002/T-Contacts.htm#Africa in Africa] alone, this low budget water disinfection “technology” is a smart approach that deserves to be mentioned on AfriGadget.

In areas where piped drinking water just isn’t available or of questionable quality, solar water disinfection is a cheap and effective method for decentralized water treatment as it can be applied at household level. It is a simple method that’s easy to teach and is designed for small scale production.

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE sodis1.jpg|490px|sodis1]]
([http://www.sodis.ch/Text2002/T-Projects.htm source] )

SODIS uses solar radiation to destroy pathogenic microorganisms which cause water borne diseases:

<blockquote>
''Sunlight is treating the contaminated water through two synergetic mechanisms: '''Radiation''' in the spectrum of '''UV-A''' (wavelength 320-400nm) and '''increased water temperature'''. If the water temperature raises above 50°C, the disinfection process is three times faster. ([http://www.sodis.ch/Text2002/T-TheMethod.htm source])''
</blockquote>

The [http://www.who.int/ World Health Organization] (WHO) even [http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/gdwq3rev/en/index.html recommends] SODIS as a viable method for household water treatment and safe storage.

All you will need are clean & transparent PET bottles, fill them up with water and expose them to '''direct sunlight for at least 6 hours''' . Many people also put them on a corrugated roof (to increase temperature) and saturate the oxygen content inside the bottles prior to the sun treatment by filling them up three quarters, shaking them for 20 seconds with a closed cap on and then fill them up completely.

[ Image: sodis3]
([http://www.sodis.ch/Text2002/T-EducationMaterials.htm source])

SODIS may also replace the boiling of water which often requires vast amounts of firewood or other natural resources, so it not only helps people obtain safer drinking water (conventional filter candles are expensive and not always available) but also helps to preserve the local environment.

SODIS obviously can’t substitute really clean drinking water, and it often also '''requires pre-treatment in case the water turbidity is too high''' . Users can easily reduce the turbidity though by letting the bottles stand for a while until the particles settle to the ground and then also filter it through a folded cloth.

The best aspect about SODIS though – despite of it’s low budget approach – is that consumers are directly in charge of their drinking water and have a working method that enables them to treat their own drinking water.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) also published a very informative [http://www.sodis.ch/ website on SODIS] and provides more details about the technology as well as [http://www.sodis.ch/Text2002/T-Projects.htm case studies] from around the world.




[[Category:disinfection]]
[[Category:filter]]
[[Category:PET]]
[[Category:SODIS]]
[[Category:solar]]
[[Category:treatment]]
[[Category:UV-A]]
[[Category:Water]]
[[Category:Health]]
[[Category:Water]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/02/12/harnessing-personal-movement-for-power-in-rural-africa/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

Dr. Cedrick Ngalande is an inventor. He’s been working on inventing new ways for everyday rural Africans to create enough electricity to power items like mobile phones or other small electrical devices. In the past, he’s been on AfriGadget for his [http://www.afrigadget.com/2008/01/17/dr-ngalandes-sugar-and-yeast-power-generator/ yeast + sugar rotary electricity generator].

Today he has announced a new project called [http://greenergllc.com/ Green Erg], which harnesses (literally) a person’s movement energy to create electricity.

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3274667903/ Image: Harnessing Personal Movement for Power in Rural Africa]

<blockquote>
“This is basically a dynamo which is being driven as a result of friction between the ground and the blocks. The small yellowish blocks (these are covered by rubber in the real commercial product) rotate as you pull it. They are designed to rotate even on bumpy run even roads. We have tested it on moist lawn and have worked. It is very smooth so much that you basically don’t feel any disturbance as<br>
you move along.<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
At normal walking speeds we have gotten more than 2 watts which is more than enough for running cell phones or radios. I envision that people will attach this to themselves and walk with it – or even attach it to an ox-cart, a skating board, bike, etc.”
</blockquote>

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3275493600/ Image: africa-energy-device2]




[[Category:africa]]
[[Category:african]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:electricity]]
[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]
[[Category:invention]]
[[Category:malawi]]
[[Category:power]]
[[Category:AfriGadget]]
[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:Innovator Series]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/02/09/scratch-and-sniff-the-rat-de-mining-squad/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/paula/ Paula Kahumbu]}}

I know, 2008 was the year of the rat – so I’m a year late….guilty as charged,  but then again, things are ‘never late in Africa’ are they?

I heard about this extraordinary use of rats years ago and am hoping that sharing it today will bring a smile to many faces. Although Mozambique’s civil war ended nearly two decades ago, unexploded ordinance continues to be a major cause of injury and death. But now they have a solution. Rats! Local giant rats are being trained and employed to assist in mine detection.

[http://cellar.org/2005/minerat.jpg Image: De-mining rat]

De-mining rat


The rats are attached to little red harnesses and guided down the length of a 100-square-meter field by their trainer. When the rat hits on a suspected mine, it stops, sniffs and starts to scratch. These rats are not only huggable, but they are smart (unlike some African politicians who are neither smart nor huggable), they work fast – two can cover 200 sq m per day – an area that takes a human 2 weeks.  And are too light to detonate the mines they’re sniffing so don’t worry, they do not go BOOM…splat!

The project to train rats started in Tanzania as a collaboration between Belgians and Tanzanians at Sokoine University through an organization called APOPO. They call the rats [http://www.herorat.org/ HeroRATS and their website] is full of information, history, heroRAT worship and yes, you can even [http://www.herorat.org/en/adopt adopt a HeroRat] for 5 Euro per month, chose between Allan, Chosen One, Kim or Ziko.

[http://www.herorat.org/sites/herorat/themes/herorat/images/adoptrat.jpg Image: Adopt a HeroRat]

Adopt a HeroRat for 5 Euro per month


and by the way when I said “giant rat” I meant, “GIANT rat”!

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE reward2.JPG|496px|Giant rat]]

After finding a mine, the giant Gambian rat is rewarded with a banana


Rats have the amazing record of being able to [http://maic.jmu.edu/journal/9.2/RD/verhagen/verhagen.htm detect mines 95% of the time]. If only all our politicians would work this hard and for a banana….. I keep hoping against hope…

For more scientific information, read this article in the [http://maic.jmu.edu/journal/9.2/RD/verhagen/verhagen.htm Journal of Mine Action]




[[Category:de mining]]
[[Category:giant gambian rats]]
[[Category:Mozambique]]
[[Category:rats]]
[[Category:Ingenuity]]

 



{{attrib afrigadget | url=http://www.afrigadget.com/2009/02/02/a-ugandan-housewifes-homemade-mobile-phone-charger/| author=[http://www.afrigadget.com/author/hash-2/ Erik Hersman]}}

[ IMAGE_LINK_HERE women-uganda-phone-600x347.png|600px]]

<blockquote>
She uses ordinary size D batteries that are readily available in the village to power radios and torches. She wraped five (5) batteries together, then removed the plug from the phone charger and attached the bare wires to the + and – terminals of the batteries.
</blockquote>

Mrs. Muyonjo is a housewife in a remote village of Ivukula in Iganga district, Eastern Uganda. She had a bad experience with a local mobile phone charger, so decided to hack her own solution in response. Read the full story on the [http://www.wougnet.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=317&Itemid=1 Women of Uganda Network’s] site.




[[Category:cell]]
[[Category:charger]]
[[Category:housewife]]
[[Category:mobile]]
[[Category:mobile phone]]
[[Category:power]]
[[Category:uganda]]
[[Category:woman]]
[[Category:Communication]]
[[Category:Energy]]
[[Category:Gadgets]]


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