Mapping South-South Cooperation Solutions in Africa

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Thursday, 28 February 2019 06:28

Problem: Energy poverty is a huge problem across Africa and renewable energy has a part to play however there are challenges. In crime ridden areas across Africa traditional solar PV solutions have failed. The solar panels are typically stolen within a few months of deployment. The problem is so bad that the Gauteng provincial government was prepared to dismiss solar power as a possible electricity solution for schools and community centres.

Solution: Think of a Turtle moving around, and hiding in its shell when needed. Similarly, the SolarTurtle climbs out of its shell, moves to where the demand for energy is, and then feeds on the rays of the sun to supply the demand – quickly and securely. SolarTurtle has a range of solar energy platforms for community electrification with a special focus on schools. From our flag ship solar containers that fold-away by the press of a button (like a turtle into its shell), to light weight portable kiosks that fold-away and store in-doors for safety. These micro-franchises allow community members to become Turtlepreneurs and address energy poverty at the source of the problem. Our secure energy platforms can also be used for banking, clinics, disaster recovery, cold storage etc. Anywhere you need energy quickly and securely.

Goals and Objectives: The innovation designed for unparalleled security and maximum portability and targets poor and rural communities by introducing a unique solar battery charging station (AKA Solar energy kiosk). Furthermore, our software package manages our franchise and makes training and monitoring easy.

Implementation: The SolarTurtle is an innovation in the form of a micro “electricity dispenser” inspired by traders in Johannesburg who used shipping containers as safe trading spaces and women setting up flip-up kiosk outside schools to sell food and drinks to kids. The SolarTurtle kiosks house solar panels that fold out during the day and retract securely at night, charging powerbank batteries during the day. By using powerbank technology, the storage medium also becomes the distribution medium as customers swap out flat power banks for a full one and continue with their day.

These solar kiosks are assembled off-site then deployed by simply offloading the units and unfolding the panels towards the sun. A unique software package manages the training, monitoring and impact tracking of these small community enterprises

Achievements The Solar Turtle was announced the winner of the inaugural the 2018 Nation Builder Social Innovation Challenge and the 2017 Inventors’ Garage competition.

  1. Stellenbosch Idea Competition winner, 2013
  2. WWF Climate Solver accolade, 2014
  3. Siemens, empowering people award winner, 2016
  4. SEED Award for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development winner, 2016
  5. Africa Prize, Royal Academy of Engineering short listed, 2017
  6. Africa Utility Week, Most Innovative Technology of the Year winner, 2017
  7. SA Innovation Summit, Inventors Garage Award winner, 2017
  8. SAB Social Innovation Award, Grant winner, 2017
  9. Design foundation, Design With Purpose Award, 2017
  10. Chivas the Venture award, finalist, 2018
  11. Nation Builder award (Mergon group), winner, 2018

Impact:

  1. Energy poverty – reliable energy source anywhere in the country without delay
  2. Environmental crisis – green source of energy will be used
  3. Unemployment crisis – electricity creates direct and indirect employment. Indirect employment relate to local enterprises like sewing and crafting that becomes viable due to electricity
  4. Education – learners have lights and can charge their phones and school ICT devices
  5. Robust and secure – solar systems will no longer be vandalised
  6. Affordable clean energy – No need for paraffin lamps releasing harmful smoke and no fire hazard
  7. Women empowerment – We aim to train and recruit women to operate the turtles. If you want to take a care of a country take care of its caregivers
  8. Skills transfer – Not only will the women be renewable energy experts after the training, but the value of entrepreneurship will be instilled. The idea is to change South Africa’s culture to a more proactive one
  9. Localisation – use local skills and products in assembling SolarTurtles

Impact to date:

  • European Commission – R1200k ($86k)
    • Renewable Energy for Women Empowerment Project (REWEP)
    • Deployment of 10 energy kiosks in rural Lesotho (2018-2019)
  • Royal Academy of Engineering - R320k ($25k), Research Grant
    • Develop automatic fold away system for future drop-and-go solar containers
    • Pilot for Home of Compassion, Delft, Cape Town, June 2018
    • Power for community centre and HIV clinic
    • Collaboration with Liverpool university, mechanical design
  • SolarTurtle Pilot (4kW system)
    • Deployed at rural school in Elliotdale, SA (Jun 2015)
    • Funded by SANEDI, TIA, Stellenbosch University
    • Already self sustaining and employing 3 people
  • Technology demo (2kW system)
    • Deployed at rural school in Cofimvaba, SA (Nov 2015)
    • Funded by Department of Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University
    • Powering the school with a special focus on ICT (power for e-learning tablets)
  • School power Gauteng
    • New retractable design for powering a school in high crime area
    • Feb 2016 for Palm ridge extension 9, SA.
    • Funded by EnergyNet UK
  • Nedbank solar banking branch (4kW system)
    • Design and build a bank branch using SolarTurtle technology
    • Deployed in rural Eastern Cape, SA (Sep 2017)

Partners:  

South African National Energy Development Institute

Budget:

$1,2mil scale-up funding needed to establish HQs in Lesotho, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries.

Contact details: Head Office
Address:  Mountain Whisper, Church Str, Kylemore, Stellenbosch

Contact person: James van der Walt
Phone: +27 82 478 2478
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact person: Lungelwa Tyali
Phone: +27723219070
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019 03:30

Problem: The sources of dissolved oxygen in an aqua pond are 4% of the water poured in, 7% mixed in from the surface water, and mainly 89% from the photosynthesis of algae. The growth of a quality bloom is a mystery and it varies from pond to pond. The use of organic and inorganic fertilizers and water exchange does not guarantee a quality bloom. If the source water is polluted there is no immediate remedy. If the algal bloom comprises of green algae and blue-green algae, then it does not readily support live food like zooplankton since the cell walls are made of cellulose and it is not easily digestible by the marine animals. Since the algae are not consumed it persists in the system and one day it will die and crash creating Dissolved oxygen problems.

Solution: ' NUALGI Aqua' is a novel research product that can grow diatom algae on almost any water substrate be it the Sea, high saline water, fresh water, sewage water, effluent water etc.

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen due to photosynthesis.

Implementation: Nualgi Aqua was invented by Mr. T Sampath Kumar of Bangalore, India in 2004.

'Nualgi Aqua' contains trace, special and appropriate nutrients that can deliver in a biologically available form. Upon application to the water body in the presence of macronutrients like N, P, K and sunlight, phytoplankton predominately in the form of diatoms, bloom and is soon converted to live food like zooplankton which is attractive to fishes and prawns. The live food boosts fishing and marine resources.

Nualgi Aqua can be used for the following purposes:

  • For growing phytoplankton in the seas to absorb global carbon dioxide and reduce greenhouse gases thereby solving global warming problem.
  • For preventing growth of toxic algal species called Red Tides in the sea.
  • For generation of plankton and live food in aquaculture ponds to boost the growth of prawns and fishes.
  • For treating sewage, polluted and effluent waters by growing diatoms and reducing cod, bod, color, bad odour and growth of toxic algae in ponds and lakes. 
  • For reclaiming and bringing life to lakes, rivers, and water bodies that are polluted by sewage and other pollutants and those in a state of eutrophication.
  • For preventing wild growth of waterweeds, water hyacinth, green algae and blue green algae and other waste plants in lakes, rivers, ponds and other water bodies.
  • Avoiding mass fish kill due to oxygen depletion, growth of toxic algae in ponds and lakes.
  • Removing and crashing out of green and blue green algae from water bodies without affecting the fishes, water animals and portability of the water.

Achievements: The 2015 trials in Queensland, Australia strongly indicate that the use of Nualgi Aqua is a simple, yet effective pathway to manage nutrients and control Blue Green Algae growth.

Contact details:
Address: 651, 11th Main road, V Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560 041
Contact person: Sampath Kumar Thothathri, CEO
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 91-80-26591524, 26595314 

Friday, 22 February 2019 05:16

Problem: Open fire cooking is inefficient, requiring large amounts of wood or charcoal. The huge demand for woodfuel for cooking has led to large scale deforestation across the globe, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Household Air Pollution (HAP) is a major contributor to illness and death in the developing world. Inhaling cook smoke can lead to pneumonia, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, COPD, and lung cancer.

Solution: The ACE 1 is a smokeless biomass cookstove, which burns any type of biomass both cleanly and smoke-free indoors or outdoors and drastically decreases exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM2.5), the primary components of HAP, during cooking. Many households in the developing world also rely on kerosene candles for lighting, which further increases HAP; the ACE 1 includes an LED lamp attachment which provides clean, safe lighting.

Goals and Objectives: The ACE 1 is capable of mitigating many of the problems associated with biomass cooking, as well as offering additional benefits by generating free solar electricity.

Implementation: The solution is developed by the African Clean Energy, a startup founded in Lesotho by Father and son team Stephen and Ruben Walker in 2011 to provide off-grid household energy solutions to people in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.  

The ACE 1 symbiotically combines clean biomass combustion and solar electricity to create an integrated solution addressing customers’ energy needs in a cost-effective way. The product decreases fuel use by 50-85% and it can burn any type of solid biomass, which opens up more fuel alternatives such as agricultural residue or even dried cow dung. It also comes distributed with a 10V/10W solar panel to support device charging and lighting, which for low-income households is a significant financial benefit since basic electricity expenses constitute the bulk of their monthly energy cost. This novel blend of thermal and electric energy generation makes the ACE 1 a unique energy product in its category, as it combines the health, social and environmental benefits of a cookstove with the business model of a solar home system. ACE has sold 26,000 units to date.

How the ACE 1 works:

  • A fan blows oxygen into the chamber through holes at both the bottom and the top. This drives the fire to increase in temperature until it reaches approximately 1000°C. These conditions cause the biomass to gasify.
  • Then the hot gas floats up to the top, meeting more oxygen and combusting completely.
  • The stove will produce as much as 5kW worth of energy, and the outside temperature, though warm after continued use, does not become hot enough to cause injury.
  • When fully charged, the battery will power the fan for over 20 hours of cooking. The battery can also be used to charge a mobile device or run LED lighting and can be boosted using a solar panel.

The ACE 1 has DC and USB ports for phone charging, allowing people without access to grid electricity to charge their phones for free, reducing their costs and increasing their access to ICTs. These ports can also be used to power an LED light included with the stove. Providing basic nano-grid electricity to those who live off the grid not only has benefits at the household level, but also at the level of national development policy. In some cases (such as inaccessible or low-population areas) off-grid solutions like the ACE 1 may be preferable to extending the grid, due to the burden which maintaining electrical infrastructure places on developing countries.

The newest ACE 1 model (to be launched in 2019) includes a microprocessor, enabling it to connect and communicate with smartphones. Concurrently, ACE has developed the Android ACE app, and the combination of the two upgrades the ACE 1 to a ‘smart’ product with new capabilities such as live maintenance alerting or usage data logging. This will make it possible to monitor and record ACE 1 impact, and create unprecedented transparency into the energy consumption habits of poor consumers living off-grid, on whom little data is currently available. This advancement, paired with an upgrade in ACE's current self-reported data collection practices, will allow the company to quantify with precision the environmental and social impact of the ACE 1, as well as well as improve its customer relationship management.

Achievements: The economic impact of the product is impressive. The solution reduces fuel use of about 70 percent, saves 50 percent of costs, and drastically improves the lives of women and children, who do the majority of the cooking.

Based on data collected with 3,000 households in Lesotho, customers interviewed experience an 83% average reduction in monthly energy expenses, 95% of them have stopped purchasing paraffin, and 59% say they no longer need to spend any money on energy.

Budget: The ACE 1 is priced at $100+, but the target market cannot afford to purchase it up front. The ACE 1 is sold on a Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) model, by which customers purchase it with a 6-9 months microloan, and then pay back the investment using the savings made on monthly energy costs. With this model, ACE is likely one of the only companies in the world that can give $2-a-day people access to a $100+ product.

Contact details:
Address:  
PO Box 12355 Maseru 100, Lesotho Plot 24 Ha Thetsane,
Maseru, Lesotho
Contact person: Ruben Walker
Commercial Director and Co-founder
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Problem: The Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis has been decimating 300 fruit species in India and in 65 other countries in Asia, Africa and is considered to be the most destructive, invasive and widespread of all fruit flies.

Solution: Israeli innovative pest management company Biofeed Ltd. is the only company with an effective solution to the most damaging fruit fly species. It’s FreeDome solution acts as the Fruit fly ‘Iron Dome’ and protects the fruit from infestation by attracting the pest away from the fruit, using specific lures, into a mass attract-feed-control station.

Biofeed’s solution is ‘green’ no-spray, environmentally friendly solution against the Oriental fruit fly, and additional fruit fly species.  

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to provide a season-long continuous and effective pest control, reduce infestation by 95% compared with current control strategies, and reduce spraying almost completely.

Implementation: The solution is developed by Biofeed, an ag-tech company in Israel which is a global leader in fruit fly control. The unique and innovative solution is developed with support of Grand Challenges Israel grant  from the Israel Innovation Authority and the Foreign Ministry’s international development agency, MASHAV.

The solution is based on Biofeed's patented Gravity Controlled Fluid Release (GCFR) technology that takes advantage of gravity, contrary to the common evaporation principle of most familiar attraction devices, and is thus very stable and highly effective. 

Biofeed’s devices, hung on trees, contain an organic customized mix of food, feeding stimulants and control delivered by a fluid release platform. Attracted by the odor, the fly takes a sip and soon dies – without any chemicals reaching the fruit, air, soil, farmer or non-target insects.

The launch of Biofeed’s first-in-class attractant for female Oriental fruit flies, has resulted from 15 years of development of the core platform and more than three years of development and testing in Israel and India.

The Biofeed platform is effective with as few as 10 units per hectare and for a period of a full seasons, before the dispenser needs replacing.

Achievements: Mango farmers on 3 Indian states (Tamil-Nadu, Andra-Pradesh, Karnataka) and 3 African countries (Togo, Senegal, Ethiopia) saw an overall decrease of fruit-fly infestation from 95% percent to less than 5%. Mango fruit was exported from Senegal to EU with zero spraying and zero infestation.

Contact details:
Address: Biofeed, Kfar Truman, Israel
Contact person: Dotan Peleg
Phone: 972-3-9742021
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 06:02

Problem: Agriculture pest identification and monitoring.

Solution: Is an integrated pest management (IPM) tool, the traps are effective in monitoring and mass trapping when used in the recommended quantity. Also being an Informative & educative tool to researchers, the traps are an eco-friendly alternative that help in organic cultivation. The bright yellow traps are the most effective and cheaper solution for whiteflies, aphids, leaf miners, thrips, jassids, leaf hoppers, tea mosquito, moth and beetles.

Goal: To support farmers in Identifying & monitoring their crop pests.

Objectives: To Identify, determine when insects first emergence, their relative numbers, where they are coming from, their population density. The above data helps farmer to use proper control measures.

Implementation: These products are very easy to use and we recommend to use at the rate of 10 sheets per acre (50 sheets per hectare) and the size of the sheet should not be less than 20cm x 29cm. A single trap is effective for 735 sq. ft area; traps in an average of 7333 insects within 5 days to 15 days of exposure.

Achievements/Impact: Farmers effectively are using in their farm fields of more than 50 crops of varieties like paddy, wheat, corn, barley, sorghum ,millets, pigeon pea, cowpea, Bengal gram, green gram, soya beans, groundnut, sunflower, mustard, sesame, almond, caster, cotton, tea, coffee, cardamom, black pepper, tobacco, garlic, mango, banana, grape, apple, pineapple, pomegranate, watermelon, guava, cashew, chilli, capsicum, tomato, brinjal, onion, pumpkin, cucumber and okra. Almost used by 500 thousand farmers serving 800 thousand acres.

Impact for farmers by avoiding up to 4 times of pesticides sprays, time savings from sprayings, money savings from avoiding pesticides sprays, farmers health is benefited with reduced risk of pesticidal exposure.

Impact on produce is residue free, pest free and export qualified.

Impact on Environment is an eco-friendly product, safe to non-target organisms and Recyclable.

Partners: APEDA, ADITI, ECOSERT, UPASI, TRA.

Budget: Rs.450/- per acre.

Contact details:
Address: #68A, 6th Main, 3rd Phase, Peenya, Bangalore - 560 058
Contact person: Dr. S Kannan (Head R&D)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 9535288849

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 12:47

Problem: The housing shortage situation has forced India to increase the bricks and cement production. The procedure of conventional brick production involves topsoil removal from fertile land at the end of every agricultural season. The consequences of the activities are releasing a large amount of GHG emissions, degrading the soil, and also threatening the farmers from losing their fertile land.

Solution: These challenging issues are being addressed by a new approach for brick production, which uses fly ash, a by-product from thermal power plants, instead of topsoil from a fertile productive land.

Goals and Objectives:  The solution aims at creating a low carbon economy that can contribute in alleviating poverty by increasing job availability and reducing environmental impacts at the same time.

Implementation: The inspiring green business initiative was spearheaded by Development Alternatives (DA), a research based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in 2014. Fly ash brick offers a simple low-tech solution to make more sustainable and eco-friendly bricks. The technology has been developed by TARA, a social enterprise that is part of a wider NGO group – Development Alternatives. Compared to standard brick production, fly ash bricks provide several advantages, as:

  1. being more sustainable and reducing impact to the environment;
  2. having uniform shape, size and colour like cement, which reduces plastering requirement;
  3. being lighter in weight, dense composition, and durable.
  4. cheaper and convenient to produce and use

This simple and low-tech technology introduced by TARA is basically a press machine to produce fly ash bricks. Generally, the machine consists of a raw material mixing chamber, mixture conveyor, moulds for the brick, a hydraulic system, and an electronic control panel. The operation of the fly ash brick machine is simple. The first step is to mix all of the materials, consisting of sixty-two per cent of fly ash, twenty-five per cent of quarry dust, eight per cent of hydrated lime, and five per cent of gypsum. All materials are mixed together with water to achieve the desired mixture consistency. After mixing, the conveyor transports the mixture into the moulds to have it pressed by the machine and make it compact. The last step in the process is to let them dry under the sun and water-cure for seven to fourteen days.

With this machine, the workers could produce the bricks faster and easier. One machine can produce up to 1450 fly ash bricks per hour depending on the type of machine. In addition to environmental benefits, various social benefits are also associated with the commissioning of new fly ash units, as the establishment of new units creates new employment opportunities especially for women.

Achievements:

The use of fly ash brick offers an opportunity for a productive use of waste, while preventing emissions and creating jobs for the local community. DA has been working in several states of the country towards the development of fly-ash brick industry, including Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Delhi, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Haryana. According to DA’s recent report, the state of Bihar produces approximately eighteen billion traditional bricks per year using approximately six thousand kilns produced from Fixed Chimney Kilns (FCKs), which are resource- and energy-intensive, as the predominant technology in the state.

Contact details:
Dr. Soumen Maity, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +91 11 26544122
Website: www.tara.in, www.devalt.org

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 08:48

Problem: The effect of deforestation is obvious everywhere in Uganda and African at large.

What once was the forested “Pearl of Africa” is quickly becoming as denuded of forests as Ethiopia and Kenya and the rest of East Africa, where harvesting of firewood for making charcoal is illegal.

Charcoal is their main source of fuel of the quickly growing urban population of Uganda.  An estimated at 0.85 million tons of charcoal is consumes annually in urban Uganda, each household taking a share of one ton annually.  In aggregate, this is the same charcoal consumption of the whole of Europe.

This is simply unsustainable, and the problem is only getting worse.

Solution: Green Charcoal is a technique that uses discarded palm kernels to extract the true value of an otherwise wasted resource such as palm kernels, rice husks, coffee husks, and maize cobs.

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to solve the problem of fuel scarcity for Uganda, where 90% of energy comes from biomass and only 1% from electricity, by replacing both wood charcoal and firewood with charcoal briquette and non-carbonized briquette respectively.

Implementation: The solution is developed by Green Charcoal, a briquette manufacturing company in Uganda.

The principal product comes from milling the husks themselves where it creates a more efficient and heat-radiating briquette. It also sources other abundant, otherwise discarded agricultural waste such as coffee husks, maize (corn) cob and rice husks to make a briquette.

The carbonized briquette is dried using environmentally sustainable solar driers and packed in affordable 25kg packs.

Since briquettes are created from compressing combustible materials, they are denser, harder, and more compact. They have high specific density (1200kg/m3) and bulk density (800kg/m3) compared to 60 to 180 kg/m3 of loose biomass. Thus, they offer a more concentrated form of energy than firewood or charcoal.

The remaining nuts are milled to get cold pressed vegetable fats and palm kernel cake. It solves many problems with its circular economy approach to business, but its main focus is on solving the problem of fuel scarcity for local populations.

Achievements: In order to make one tonne of charcoal, 88 medium sized trees have to be cut down.

In the last three years, we have sold over 800 tonnes of briquette saving over 70,000 trees from being cut down to provide charcoal and firewood.

Partners: Fledge, Etifor, Ecostar, University of Padova and Ministry of Water & Environment, Uganda 

Contact details:
Address: P. O. Box 708, Tororo, Uganda.
Contact person: Geoffrey Okoth Yoga.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +256 776824072 / +256 752933309

Monday, 11 February 2019 07:42

ProblemExperts in Egypt warn of water scarcity as a result of Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the River Nile. On the other hand, Egypt is facing water shortage due to climatic changes and increasing population.

SolutionThe Machine of Soil and Water Management for Rice Crop Cultivation (SWMR), a solution in the form of a machine that ploughs fields in a manner that saves about half the amount of water usually used for irrigation, and a quarter of fertilizers used in cultivation.

Goals and ObjectivesSWMR aims to save water for irrigation and fertilizers used in rice cultivation.

ImplementationSWMR is designed by Mohamed ElSayedElHagarey, a researcher at the Desert Research Center in Cairo (Egypt). A specially imported unit, which sows rice seedlings mechanically, is mounted on the machine. The machine’s Egyptian inventor was granted the prestigious WatSave Award for Young Professionals from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) during the Second World Irrigation Forum in Thailand. The innovative types of SWMR machines are beingrecorded under patent No. (28832).

The basic cylinder is the heart of the machine with many circular projections around. The projections carved cross section of trenches in the soil.

The machine makes ‛V’ shaped lines into the soil, at a depth and width of 20cm, and sows rice seedlings automatically. This operation maintains the water level necessary for rice to grow in the V-shaped troughs, which is less than the water used in conventional agriculture that requires the entire plot of land to be completely submerged. 

The machine costs about US$5000, but needs further development to make it ready for commercial production.

AchievementsThe machine was tested in a field in Kafr el-Sheikh governorate, which is known for rice crop cultivation in Egypt, with good results. It reduced the amount of water used by half, and the crop yield increased by 4.6 per cent. 

Contact details:
Address:1MthafAlMatria St. AlMatria, Cairo, Egypt
Contact person: Mr. Mohamed ElSayedElHagarey
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +0201063031920

Monday, 11 February 2019 07:19

ProblemMarine breeding centerbreed baby fish — fingerlings — in seawater pools and, like seeds, sell them to farmers who raise them and sell them in turn to their clients (fish markets). The marine breeding centers commonly pump water from the sea, use it for fish breeding purposes and then return the water back into the surf. This pumping happens on average five times a day, with a 500 percent daily water exchange rate.

Solution:Now, an Israeli company is trying to revamp that growing process.Latimeria’s Aquaculture System uses unique Recirculating system combined withartificial seawater to upend fish breeding.

Goals and Objectives:The solution is aiming to change all of this by avoiding the use of seawater, it recirculates the water between the fish tank and a set of mechanical and biological filters to keep it clean.

Implementation:Latimeria, an Israeli startup, desalinates drinking or agricultural water — using off-the-shelf desalinating technology — and then adds regular marine salt to re-salinate the liquidto create cheaper, healthier, environmentally safer way to raise fingerlings. This water is then placed in special polypropylene tanks called “water rings,” in which the fingerlings are bred and raised.

The new system enables breeders to grow their fingerlings in salt water at any location, away from the sea, and helps better control the growth environment by minimizing the risk of introducing pathogens and the total consumption of energy and water. The water rings are modular and independent from central systems, so they allow the easy scaling up of operations. 

AchievementsLatimeria's breeding center uses twice as less energy compared to a traditional breeding centerThe working procedures are very much like the other breeding centers, yet maintaining a very high biosecurity level. Breeders using the system would need to produce just around 3 million fingerlings a year compared to somewhere around 6 million at a regular marine breeding center.

Contact details:
Address: Kibbutz Ein Shemer, Israel
Phone: (+972) 54-4675097
Fax: (+972) 72-2449212
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 08:35

Problem: The excessive waste created from Plastic bags is hazardous, since they take from 500-1000 years to biodegrade. Even though there are alternative solutions, but plastic bags are the hardest to recycle, plus the core of the problem comes from the consumer who needs to be aware of the harmful effects.

Solution: To produce fashionable bags and other accessory products from upcycled plastic bags and sustainably sourced materials.

Implementation: In 2013, the idea started as a final semester university project for Rania Rafie and Yara Yassien, the solution’s founders. Initially, they used to do the upcycling process themselves and arrange with workshops to sew the bags and finalize them. Afterword’s, they partnered with “Roh El Shabab”, which is a community development NGO, training youth women from the Zabaleen community (garbage collectors) in the upcycling process. In 2015, the founder established the Up-Fuse a social enterprise.

The process:

  • Women from Roh El Shabab buy the used plastic bags from the Garbage city, Manshyet Naser.
  • The plastic bags go through a cleaning and sanitizing process.
  • Then, they are compressed and turned into a new material – Sabi” – which is taken from Roh El Shabab.
  • After that the bags are taken to Up-Fuse’s workshop to cut and sew.
  • The bags do not dye to avoid dyes’ harmful environmental impact, that is why each bag produced is only made one of a kind.
up fuse egypt

Each Up-Fuse tote bag is made using 30 plastic bags. Up-Fuse also creates wallets, laptop cases and camera straps using the trash.

The solution provides income to 5 underprivileged families and encouraging local artisans and designers to work with eco-friendly materials. All materials used is either environmentally friendly, organically made, or locally produced. Up-fuse is also keen to spread awareness through its products about plastic bags overconsumption, providing consumers with alternative solutions of eco-friendly products.

Achievements: Up until now, the solution has recycled 50000 plastic bags. In 2017, won the WeMena Competition. It is a business competition that is designed to engage female entrepreneurs in the MENA region and encourage their participation in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Partners: “Roh El Shabab” a community development NGO in Manshyet Naser.

Contact details: 
Address: 
South-South Development Academy
6th Ibn Maysser st., off Mahmoud Azmy st., Zamalek
Tel: (02) 2737 5086/7/8/9
Fax: (02) 27375084
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.ssdaegypt.org
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw1l5nPlOlBE5B3zR5XzwWQ/videos

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:40

In rural areas in Egypt, there has been a marked shift from the use of agriculture residues and dung cakes for cooking, baking and water heating to the use of kerosene and LPG cylinders (butane gas). About 55% of households use LPG cylinder; about 69% use kerosene and about 17% use agricultural residues.

The recent surveys carried out in 1700 households in rural areas of Assuit Governorate and 1500 households in Fayoum have indicated that in average 2-3 LPG cylinders and 20-25 liters of kerosene is used per month for cooking and water heating in each household.  The amount of agricultural residues used is about 50 bundles (about 150 kg) per household each month for cooking and baking.

Solution: Densification (briquetting) is one of the means of combating the environmental problems related to the uncontrolled burning of crop residues. Densification is a physical process whereby materials such as biomass are compacted under high pressure into a uniform shape (i.e. briquettes or pellets). The density of the material increases enormously; from bulk densities of 100-200 kg per m3 to massive densities of around 1.2 kg/l. Densification introduces large benefits for logistics (transport and storage), use of the biomass (e.g. in hearths or fixed bed gasifiers), and hygienisation (seeds and insects are killed in the process). Due to the somewhat lower moisture content in comparison to the raw material, the calorific value may be somewhat higher (16-17 MJ/kg). The main drawback is the energy use of the process (around 100 kWhe/tonne).

Hence, the use of anaerobic digestion, which is the process of microbiological decomposition of (wet) biomass into methane and carbon dioxide (biogas). It takes place in strict absence of oxygen and usually requires a (very) watery environment. Although anaerobic digestion can be used for a range of applications (e.g. wastewater treatment, processing of municipal organic wastes), the most relevant for rural areas is digestion of animal dung. Such digester systems are available for use in households (upward from several heads of livestock), but also for larger communities (dozens of heads of livestock) and farms (hundreds to thousands of heads). The digested effluent is a very suitable (and valuable) fertilizer for agriculture. The gas produced can either be used directly for cooking or water heating or, in larger plants, for electricity generation.

The briquettes can be stored and distributed as a household fuel. Based on order-of magnitude estimates of investments and operational costs, the production costs per tons of briquettes are estimated at 140-160 LE/t.

Goals and objectives: In 2012, the Bioenergy for Sustainable Rural Development Project has been established through the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency – EEAA/ Ministry of Environment, in coordination with the Ministry of Petroleum, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Ministry of Local Development, with the objective of i) promoting sustainable rural development in Egypt and environmentally sound management of agricultural and solid waste, ii) removing technical, institutional, media, financial and other market barriers of increasing the use of biomass energy, iii) reducing the negative environmental impacts associated with the use of fossil and waste.

Implementation: The project received partial funding from the GEF, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program and the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs.

The project supports poor villages at the two levels; individual - for each family and community level - through cooperation with NGOs. Geographically, the project has focused on the villages of Al-Mazaty in Fayoum Governorate and Awlad Elias in Assiut Governorate. As Assuit and Fayoum have the lowest human development index in Egypt and the highest unemployment.

In the first phase, the project built 100 units in Assuit and Fayoum. All units of the 1st stage are fully financed by the project to disseminate the idea and make real and concrete project/ units for the eyes of the farmers to believe and see benefits. They are distributed widely in the two selected villages in the targeted governorates. They fully attracted the beneficiaries and their neighbors as potential beneficiaries. During the installation of the units, a group of engineers and masons are trained in the field are capable to provide the same service to find one of the main factors of the market, namely, the service providers.

In the second phase, the project built 1300 units in all Egyptian governorates. The units are partially financed by the beneficiaries themselves as a second step towards the maturity of market. The beneficiaries are requested to provide his animal waste as well as digging a pit and providing a list of material; bricks, sand and two helpers in unskilled workers. During this phase more than 20 start-up companies were registered after training their engineers and masons to be real entrepreneurs capable to provide the service professionally and meet the market requirements.

Achievements:

  • The Bioenergy Development Fund (BDF) successfully established and launched.
  • Developed and adopted product standards and quality control mechanisms with other initiatives coordinating financial and fiscal incentive mechanisms to facilitate sustainable development of bioenergy technologies.
  • Developed an adequate legal and regulatory framework for technical standards, quality control and business relations between the commercial or semi-commercial bioenergy service providers and their customers.
  • Enhanced capacity of the local supply chain to market and deliver sustainable rural bioenergy products and services.
  • Provided an alternative cost-effective energy source to rural population compared to competing energy sources.
  • The local environment is improved (parasites are sterilized during the biomass fermentation process, so health conditions are improved particularly poor farmers and their families).
  • The project enhanced awareness of the general public through programs and articles in public media and workshops.

Partners: The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Egyptian Government, UNDP, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, in coordination with the Ministry of Petroleum, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Ministry of Local Development.

Contact details: 
Mailing Address: South-South Development Academy: 6th Ibn Maysser st., off Mahmoud Azmy st., Zamalek
Tel: +20 2737 5086/7/8/9
Fax: +20 27375084 ext. 127
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, 23 September 2018 12:56

Solution: Community Eco-paper product is an environmentally friendly technology of making paper using plants refuses by rural communities in Egypt.

Goals and objectives: In Egypt, economically disadvantaged urban and rural dwellers suffer from a severe lack of employment opportunities both in urban and rural areas. While the negative impacts of unemployment weigh heavy on Egyptian society, the country also faces significant environmental problems, some of which are attributable to the disposal of plant waste. Farmers, unable to rid themselves of plant refuse such as rice straw, banana stalks and river flowers, resort to burning these goods, which contributes to the overwhelming problem of pollution. Overall, there has been little effort to reform this practice because village communities lack environmental awareness and knowledge of alternative uses for agricultural refuse. Therefore, the projects of developing papermaking centers are to address, in a creative and integrated way, the issue of unemployment and environmental pollution from agricultural waste.

Implementation: In 2005, El Nafeza (Window) center, an Egyptian non-profit foundation, came up with Community Eco-paper, reviving the traditional of making paper using plants refuses, sun and natural colors.

The process of making papers through the agriculture wastes in El Nafeza:

  • Firstly, they get the rice straw from the farmers then it left in water for two days, after that they boil the rice straw from two to three hours.
  • Secondly, they lay the rice straw in the machine for the chopping.

Finally, the paper left on the wall till it dry, the paper can be left white or colored.

El-Nafeza innovative approach engage people in the development of their communities, introducing creative ways of dealing with the environment and unemployment. This happened through empowering marginalized groups (especially women and disabled young people) through creating untraditional job opportunities in the field of arty handmade paper. Also, through raising the level of environmental awareness about the efficient use of the recycled agricultural refuse through conducting workshops in the communities suffering from agricultural waste issues (such as farmers who burn the rice straw). El Nafeza is considered as the first center in Egypt and the Middle East in training paper makers as a professional job.

Achievements:

  • El Nafeza succeeded in setting reasonable products prices, so that they can cover their costs and also meet the demand. This happened through El Nafeza’s proving more training workshops for schools, corporate team building outings, Embassies community days, which are another important sources of income for El Nafeza.
  • El Nafeza has trained hundreds of people since its beginning who wished to learn about the technique of paper making and trained them in silk screen printing on paper to produce beautiful and very fine stationery items.
  • As of July 2018, there are about 15 workers working in the workshop, 80% of which are deaf and mute.
  • To be able to expand and grow, El Nafeza is working on a large scale, which including its presence in shops, hotels locally and also its presence in a lot of different workshops allover Egypt.
  • El Nafeza is currently export its products to Germany (Boesner Company) and Canada (Saltmatters.com).
  • was selected as a finalist in the BBC World Challenge 2011 

Contact details:  
Mailing Address: South-South Development Academy: 6th Ibn Maysser st., off Mahmoud Azmy st., Zamalek
Tel: (02) 2737 5086/7/8/9
Fax: (02) 27375084
Website: www.elnafeza.com
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw1l5nPlOlBE5B3zR5XzwWQ/videos

el nafeza

 

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