Arid land wonder tree spurs new economic opportunities

Kiambere Mukau

In Kenya’s semi arid regions grappling with climate change, rural communities are turning their attention to growing the drought tolerant melia volkensii (mukau) tree. This fast maturing hardwood tree dubbed the mahogany of the dry lands, has many uses, and its timber is lucrative and in demand.  A hectare of mature melia volkensii trees, can earn a farmer over Kshs3 million (USD $30,000) and harvesting can begin at 10 years in ideal weather conditions.      

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Tapping into sunshine

Futurepump Joshua bananas

There are over 500 million smallholder farmers globally, farming plots of land less than 2 ha in area. Many are struggling to make a living from farming and are looking for ways to increase productivity. Research shows that small farm productivity can be doubled by irrigation. However, many smallholder farmers struggle to irrigate their land. The solution: a sustainable method of irrigation which decouples volumes of irrigation water from volumes of gasoline or diesel fuel consumed - the SF1 solar pump from Futurepump. 

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We will move ahead, leaders say in Marrakech climate conference

47 developing countries commit to 100% renewable energy

COP22 ended last week in high optimism that leaders will continue to invest in initiatives and actions that help avert the global warming crisis. This includes starting to review 'nationally determined contributions' this time by 2020 and investing in more renewable projects. Developing countries pledged to switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 while developed countries reiterated their commitment to funding these initiatives.

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Zipline launches medical drones in Rwanda- Solving the guess work issue

Keller Rinaudo, Zipline CEO and HE Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda

Zipline, a robotics company based in California, recently launched the use of medical drones to transport bloods to remote hospitals in the Western province of Rwanda, that have challenges with lack of proper infrastructure and quick access to medical supplies. The launch at Kabgayi hospital, in the Southern Province of Rwanda was in the presence of HE Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda.

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Pico-hydro a new source of energy in Rwanda

In Rwanda, a ‘Pico-hydro’ refers to a power system with a capacity less than 50kW. Their advantage over other power systems is their cost-effectiveness and simplicity, and come in different designs, planning and installation processes. It is an economical source of power that has proven useful in delivering clean energy to some of the world’s poorest and most remote places.

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Solar milling machine to ease grinding systems

Whether they are consumed as grains or flour they are always products in high demand in Africa - these being cereals such maize, sorghum, millet and wheat. One of the issues with these widely consumed crops is when people want to grind them and consume them as flour, with most remote areas lacking access to electricity and therefore use expensive fossil fuel to run milling machines. 

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Earthen floors can really make it in Rwanda!

Better housing is one of the key indicators of the economic development, but most developing countries still have a challenge to secure clean homes for their habitants. Dirt floors are often responsible up to 80 percent of diseases. In most cases, parasites live in soil in form of feces and bacteria that can be contagious by either absorption or a simple contact. EarthEnable has introduced a solution to all those problems.

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Croton plant offers some hope for biofuel enthusiasts

The Croton tree, which is commonly known as Mukinduri in Eastern and Central part of Kenya, is now a good known source of biofuels and that is being practiced. It grows in a challenging environment and unlike jatropha and palm, it won't bring food and fuel competition. It has no chemical additives and burns cleaner than traditional diesel fuel, with no sulfuric content. It can save our environment from carbon emissions and help in better land usage.

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Using lean data to improve the solar power sector

Many companies use traditional methods to measure the impact of solar power investments such as quoting the many dollars invested, number of people using their kits and areas covered by their product, which are inadequate tools for measuring social impact for solar power investments if we have to get it right. Traditional approaches of gathering data are not only expensive, take time to give results and complicated to use, but are also not helpful in terms of boosting solar power funding. The lean data approach proposed by Acumen could, not only bridge solar power funding gaps in developing worlds, but will also help companies to understand emerging markets.  

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