In the following video, which is unfortunately only available in Kiswahili, he takes it out for a test ride on an empty field:
Going by the info provided in the video, the “microlight” approach looks like the right way to go as it also strips the aircraft of unnecessary components. His aircraft may still be a bit too heavy though due to the lack of available and affordable light-weight materials in Kenya. Would bamboo be an alternative?
Avid readers will also notice that once again the landing gear is the weak spot and that this “natural” runway may not be the best testing ground.
The spirit though is all that matters and we salute him for his continuous efforts!
p.s.: Gabriel, if you are reading this, please register for the upcoming Maker Faire Africa which will take place in Lagos, Nigeria, later on this year. Good luck!
Kenya-based video journalist Ruud Elmendorp recently compiled this report on the Women of Minyore, who live on a dump site near Nakuru, Kenya and make art out of various plastic waste:
“‘Here is where I come every morning to collect plastics from the garbage.’ Lucy Wambui is 50 and with a stick she grubs through the garbage in the Gioto Dumping Site in Nakuru in central Kenya. It is early morning and the stench of the waste already abhors. Lucy stays here with 30 other women forming the Minyore Women’s Group that sustains itself by selling art works made from garbage. ‘It’s not healthy living here, but we have nowhere else to go.’“
‘Gioto’ in the local Kikuyu language means garbage, and the dumping site is situated one mile outside the industrial town of Nakuru, the number four city in Kenya. Echoes of morning mist and smoke from fires mix above the garbage that lingers on the foot of the Menengai Hills. The women of Minyore are wading through the waste, looking for polythene bags and plastic soda bottles. Their name is derived from the Kikuyu word for plastic bag. Most of the women ended up here after their husbands left them behind because of drug abuse, alcoholism or having died from Aids.
The ladies collect plastic bags to make baskets and other art works for sale. Lucy Wambui is among the women and she holds a dozen of plastic bags. Some blue, black or printed in the affordable colors of a local supermarket. ‘We don’t like working here,’ she says. ‘But we are not educated and don’t have jobs. That’s the reason why we came here.’
‘When I came here I started thinking what work I could do,’ she says. ‘So I joined the women weaving baskets and making jewelry from plastic.’
Just outside the house a group of women is seated on a hill top weaving. Lucy picks some strands of plastic and joins them. ‘These baskets are very popular,’ she says while weaving. ‘They are used by mothers to go to the market, or on Sunday to carry a Bible to church. There is nowhere you can’t go with them.’ The products the women make vary from baskets, wallets, ladies bags and bracelets. They offer them on the dumping site on certain days in the week. ‘The best is to sell to tourists because then you can get a better price,’ admits Lucy. She is showing an improvised shop next to her house. A group of tourists with white legs shamelessly protruding from their shorts are admiring the products. Most of them are sent by tourist agencies and churches. ‘They come every Wednesday and that’s good for us,’ says Lucy. If she is lucky she can make 20 Euro per day. ‘When there are no tourists it can be much less.’
This self-help women’s group may just be one out of the many out there who are struggling to survive and trying to have an income based on urban waste. And while the various waste fractions suggest the introduction of a pyrolysis system or any other concept for urban waste handling, it is just remarkable how these women have managed to create a business where others just see waste. “Waste = Food”? Yes.
“Safety First!”, you may think while watching the following video, but if the cheap (Chinese) polyethylene (?) extension cables just break too often due to rough handling and their low quality, chances are that someone will come up with an alternative. Like this young man in Kenya:
(no subtitles available on this one, sorry)
A young man from Kiandutu slums in Thika had always wanted to be an electrical engineer, but lack of fees denied him a chance to further his studies. And yet this has not dampen his resolve to put his mark on the world of electrical engineering.For starters, he has devised a way of making wooden extension cables, which as NTV’s Jane Ngoiri reports, is causing quite a stir in his neighbourhood. (src)
A max current set by the fuse and wooden frames that may easily burn or conduct electricity while wet probably aren’t the best conditions for this hardware hack, but hey: there’s obviously a demand for such an extension cable.
Imagineering is what it’s all about – wouldn’t you have wanted to build your own helicopter from scratch when you were 17 years old?
Joseph Omwoyo, a young Kenyan form-four student in Western Kenya, did just that and built his own version, using locally available materials. It doesn’t fly, nor does it look like it will ever take off – but what really matters is that a young boy with limited resources still had the energy to fulfill his dream:
“…Omwoyo says he got the idea while in Form One when he, together with his colleagues, toured the Kisumu Airport, and – during the short time there – the idea of making a chopper stuck to his mind”.
We’re sure that Kenya isn’t the only place where people are trying to build their own aircrafts, BUT! this certainly reminds us of the Kahawa West Aircraft story back in October 2010.
For Joseph, the helicopter may be his own escape from reality, or in his words: “Emargence Door Exit”. Touché!
Update: the original video has been removed by NTVKenya, so we can only hope it will be uploaded again in the next few days.
We’re currently fighting a bug that has affected our server [Update: Fixed! :-)], hence the long delay in updating this wonderful blog. Also, we recommend subscribing to this blog (because the bug doesn’t show up on our feed), so if you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to the AfriGadget RSS feed. Thank you!
“Apply Nairobi ingenuity and waterproof your house!”
Talking about reusable materials, here’s another popular reuse: a football / soccer ball made using old plastic bags, newspapers and sisal string. Demonstrated by the kids at The Nest Home, a children’s home in Limuru, Kenya:
It’s cheap, it works, it wins! 🙂
We actually prefer these creative toys as the kids learn how to MAKE things – instead of just buying cheap Chinese toys.
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