Solar powered irrigation for food security in arid areas

Kenya Arid and Semi Arid lands comprise of 70 percent of total country land although they host only about 20 percent of population. These arid and semi arid areas are affected with massive food shortage, water shortage and drought, with up to 5 million people affected every year. Only 5 percent have access to electricity through the national grid. While irrigation could help, diesel and petrol powered pumps are not economically feasible. Solar power pumps, which have been proved to be cost effective in such areas due to low maintenance and operation cost can help.

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Tapping into sunshine

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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Solar pumping for irrigation: Improving livelihoods and sustainability

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization that helps countries move to more sustainable energy options. The Agency also provides a focal point for governments from around the world to work together and share information on clean tech best practice. IRENA recently released a policy brief Solar Pumping for Irrigation: Improving livelihoods and sustainability, this brief forms part of a broader agenda focused on renewable energy opportunities in the agriculture and water sector. 

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Seebeck’s Amazing Discovery Bears Fruit in Africa

Clean tech companies are nowadays coming up with innovative products to address the global energy and climate challenge, and most African countries are among the beneficiaries though there are still extra miles to go to reach the set targets. Cleanleap has interacted with Powerspot about a prototype that they recently designed and manufactured to help provide access to electricity. What has been the feedback about their prototype in Africa? Is it reliable? Find out more details in this article.

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Watered By Sunlight

Less than 2 per cent of the Kenya's agriculture is irrigated, largely due to the prohibitive cost of equipment and diesel. This leaves farmers extremely vulnerable to drought and puts the country’s food security at great risk. The Sunflower water pump hits all the right environmental notes - running on clean and renewable energy. It retails at around USD 400 which, in comparison to its diesel-fuelled counterparts - costing roughly USD 2,800 - is a near night and day difference. Furthermore, as there are no fuel costs, the initial investment can be recouped in 1-2 years. As such, Sunflower presents a compelling economic case.

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Ambient water on Mars?

Keith White is the founder and CEO of Ambient Water, an atmospheric water generation technology company providing solutions that produce water from the humidity in the air. Its flagship systems include the Ambient Water 400, which is capable of producing up to 1,500 liters of clean water per day. Angela McClowry from Cleanleap, recently interviewed Keith to discuss atmospheric water generation and its role in a cleanleap.

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Sustainable Steps in Sierra Leone

Orphfund is a small hardworking NGO where 100% of funds given go directly to their projects within Africa and Asia. Their focus is on helping children who are in the most need, orphans with no-one to care for them. They do this by building and developing Children's Villages which offer housing, schooling, water, sanitation, and training facilities. Working in areas like Sierra Leone Orphfund employ a number of cleanleap technologies to provide basic services like water and sanitation, through to solar power used to teach the children computers and sewing, through to farming to generate food and income.

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Integrated planning and working together: Water lessons from Vietnam

Chris French manages GHD’s Water Technology Group in the Melbourne office. As a Principal Water Engineer and Project Director, Chris has led or contributed to a wide range of water, sanitation and hydropower projects in Australia, China, Lao PDR and Vietnam. Lindsey Beck recently interviewed Chris to discuss water and its role in a cleanleap.

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Do large dams still fit in the sub-Sahara energy and water agenda?

Huge dams have been touted as effective in providing drinking and irrigation water, all cheaply and sustainably. Recent studies reveal otherwise as most of these projects in sub-Sahara turn out to be more costly than planned. A recent study has quantified claims that large dams also lead to more malaria being spread in the sub-Saharan, thus adding more weight to concerns on whether these projects should be pursued actively in favor of the alternatives.   

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Solar Hot Water for Emerging Economies

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. 

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