Solar power is about more than lighting your home… Regular access to hot water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning is something that most of us in the Western world take for granted. However, people in rural communities throughout the world struggle to safely and economically heat their water on a regular basis. Solar hot water systems offer a sustainable and low cost solution to this widespread issue, with the potential to bring hot water to those who do not currently have it.
Long Sokhon is a small-scale farmer in Cambodia’s Pursat Province. Like 85% of Cambodians, she makes a modest living off the land. She used to cook for her family of eight over a wood-chip fire by night. Sokhon lived the way most do in rural Cambodia—one of the poorest countries in South East Asia with a population of 15.8 million. Then, she was given the opportunity to have a 2,000 litre slate-grey tank installed in the vegetable patch. Long Sokhon was chosen as part of a biodigester pilot project run by Engineers Without Borders Australia and Live & Learn Environmental Education.
Nick Boerema is the Facilitator for Engineers Without Border’s Sanitation in Challenging Environments project and is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Nick’s role includes providing technical advice on sanitation solutions and facilitating collaborative efforts to promote knowledge dissemination, innovation and adoption of best practice for sanitation in challenging environments. Nick previously worked in Australia as a project engineer for Vast Solar, managing the development and demonstration of low-cost concentrating solar thermal technology for power generation. Cleanleap's Angela McClowry recently interviewed Nick to better understand some of the challenges in sanitation and ways in which we can 'cleanleap' over existing issues.
GravityLight is an innovative off-grid light designed to eliminate dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps, used by over 1.3 billion people who don’t have access to electricity. The product is unique and has created a new category of lighting, which doesn’t have any batteries nor need the sun - all you need is a weight!
Mobile payments, digital financing and innovative financing options are enabling the rapid deployment of renewable energy in Africa. This is good news for a number of reasons – including public health. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that fuels such as wood, dung, coal and other solid fuels - termed as the “killer in the kitchen” causes 1.5 million deaths annually and two thirds of these deaths takes place in sub-Sahara Africa and South-East Asia.
A team of researchers, led by Samuel K. Sia, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, has introduced a new cheap mobile microfluidic chip that can complete an immediate diagnosis of three simultaneous infectious diseases in only 15 minutes! From a single finger prick, the dongle can perform a tri-plexed immunoassay not currently existing in a single test format, the diagnosis includes: HIV antibodies, treponemal-specific antibodies for syphilis, and nontreponemal antibodiesfor an active syphilis infection.
Technology advancements tend to trickle down making life easier. Kenya has made leaps in enhancing their health service delivery to ensure their citizens benefit in the health sector. These advancements include a medley of several innovations, from developing apps, using cloud computing for data collection, to the promotion of smart phones.