From Albania to Zambia, people across the globe love gardening. For some, it is a way to wind down and to enjoy some spare time, while for others, it is the difference between having food on the table and going hungry. Gardening is even popular within teeming cities like Nairobi, where residents have come up with novel solutions to squeeze gardens in to the most unlikely urban locations. Let’s find out what is involved.
Food, shelter and clothing are basic needs for the humankind; but, without an adequate standard of living, these core principles are hard to achieve. With less than ten percent of Africans living in decent housing in urban areas, the need for affordable, sustainable technology for housing has never been greater. Most African governments have backed the concept of prefabricated housing and realize that it is an ideal solution to close the gap of housing problems in their countries
Scientists have discovered that the caterpillars residing in hives and that eat the wax from which bees make honey combs, could actually eat away polyethylene plastic!
Earlier this year Kenya imposed a ban on the production, importation, distribution and usage of the non-biodegradable plastic bags which are used in most industrial sectors for packaging of finished commodities and carrying consumables from retail outlets. The ban progressively takes effect in September this year, when consumers and manufacturers will be faced with the somewhat harsh reality of absence of plastic bags from the market, yet an alternative has not been offered.
Is Kenya about to lead not only Africa, but the world, in terms of smart cities and combining the Internet of Things (IoT) and LEDs to make smarter, more environmentally friendly, communities? It may well happen. Kenya, as part of Africa, often gets lumped in with the general impression of lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of technology and innovation, but that’s set to change as the country leads the race to utilize new technology-rich ecosystems.
John A. Conklin is the president and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies, Inc., located in Maryland, USA. Conklin is overseeing the development of one of the world’s leading electricity-generating technologies for glass and flexible plastic that has the promise to turn tall towers and skyscrapers into power generators. Angela McClowry from Cleanleap, recently interviewed John to discuss clean solar PV panels and their role in a cleanleap.
Africa will need bold measures in order to avert a looming health and environmental crisis - which is the result of air pollution according to a recent OECD report. The report also shows that outdoor and indoor pollution in Africa are causing more death and carry more estimated costs than unsafe water and sanitation and childhood malnutrition. The report says that most of this pollution comes from energy generation, open fires in household operations and imported used equipment.
Around the world, arable land or land that is suitable for agriculture is dwindling. The rural-to-urban migration and growing cities of the world have constricted the capacity of the rural populations to provide food, for both urban and rural populations. At the same time, our overall world population is increasing. How do we feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050? In Kenya, a US-based not-for-profit social enterprise called CAN YA LOVE (pronounced as Kenya Love), is working with a consortium of local partners, to erect pillar gardens in urban areas such as slums, community land spaces and in schools.
As the global population progresses towards 8.5 billion by 2030, the amount of urban solid waste is budding even faster than the rate of urbanization. In Kenya, solid waste is a precursor to several environmental and health challenges, ranging from clogged drainage and sewers, waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera and diarrhea, increased upper respiratory diseases from open burning of the garbage, to malaria. Collection and disposal systems are inefficient and are not environmentally-friendly.
As the world population increases and modern amenities become available to developing countries, the desires and needs of these emerging economies are logically changing. In particular, air conditioning and ventilation have become essential for both domestic and commercial use throughout the developing world. However, we understand that this sudden upsurge in cooling needs has both financial and environmental costs.