With one 5 liter bag of chlorine, and a device that costs $3 to build, you can clean 100,000 liters of water.
Here at Maker Faire Africa is Killian Deku, a Ghanaian working in the IDDS program, has created a ball valve chlorine doser with the help of his team mates from India, the US and Tanzania. Their only real costs were the ball valve and the time taken to create the bamboo structure that holds it. The one variable cost is the bag of chlorine used to cleanse the water.
We’ve got a lot of plastic trash all over Africa, especially in the cities. A team from IDDS (Amit Gandhi from the US, and Mark Driordan from the UK) decided to create a way to add value to waste plastic by using a low-cost process to transform it into something useful: plastic sheets. From these sheets can be made a number of other products. On display they had shoes, bags, pencil cases and folders.
The sheets can be made from 3ply to 40ply in thickness, and the cost of assembly is minimal.
Bernard Kiwia is from Arusha, Tanzania. He’s here at Maker Faire Africa as part of the IDDS group that has been building innovative devices for the last couple weeks in Kumasi, Ghana. Today he’s showing his device that he created from an old bicycle and some welded rods. It’s powered by someone sitting in a chair.
It cost Bernard about $45 to create the bicycle powered hacksaw and one day to fabricate.
Bernard’s been a bicycle mechanic for 3 years, and has been teaching students in Tanzania to fix them for the last couple. He was invited to IDDS and met a Guatemalan attendee that had some very interesting designs using bicycles. After seeing those, he realized that he could make similar tools and devices for the needs of people in Arusha.
Dr. Cedrick Ngalande is an inventor. He’s been working on inventing new ways for everyday rural Africans to create enough electricity to power items like mobile phones or other small electrical devices. In the past, he’s been on AfriGadget for his yeast + sugar rotary electricity generator.
Today he has announced a new project called Green Erg, which harnesses (literally) a person’s movement energy to create electricity.
“This is basically a dynamo which is being driven as a result of friction between the ground and the blocks. The small yellowish blocks (these are covered by rubber in the real commercial product) rotate as you pull it. They are designed to rotate even on bumpy run even roads. We have tested it on moist lawn and have worked. It is very smooth so much that you basically don’t feel any disturbance as
you move along.
At normal walking speeds we have gotten more than 2 watts which is more than enough for running cell phones or radios. I envision that people will attach this to themselves and walk with it – or even attach it to an ox-cart, a skating board, bike, etc.”
Not all inventiveness is utilitarian (or, business can be fun and fun can mean more business…).
Such is the case with this video by Eric Kabera – the maker of the genocide film “100 days” and inventor of Hillywood – Rwanda’s version of Hollywood. In it he interviews Alphonse Maniriho, an unschooled young 23 year old with an idea: take the classic “Black Mamba” bicycle and completely customize it.
Being a smart young businessman, Alphonse uses his unique bicycle to his advantage, getting extra business from young men who want to ride with him so they can listen to the beats along the way.
A quick list of customizations:
A watch, set in an old shoe polish can
Lights, that flicker in the front and back at night
Radio, for his passengers to listen to
A little background on what being a taxi man is in East and Central Africa is probably important for most who haven’t been to Africa. They have a seat on the back of the bicycle and use that to take passengers around. In East Africa they also go by the term “boda boda” (because they originated around the border of Uganda and Kenya).
Bonus: at about the 8:30 minute mark there are some nice videos of the wooden bikes used around Africa.
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