For the price of Kshs. 30 /= (EUR 0.27 or USD 0.35) you’ll manage to pick up this kerosine lamp from a kiosk in Kibera, Kenya:
Certainly a great visual update to the famous tin can paraffin lamp which sells for a slightly higher price and requires additional soldering. Kerosine (or paraffin) lamps are the alternative to modern solar LED lights, and also to the (otherwise great) daylight indoor illumination via filled water bottles (invented by Alfredo Mozer in Brazil in 2002).
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!
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.
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“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.
Anyone remembers David Mayer de Rothschild’s Plastiki, “a 60 feet (18 m) catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products” that successfully conquered the Pacific Ocean last year?
Well, it seems this young man from Lamu (Kenya) had a similar idea and is in the process of building his own plastic bottle boat. Our reader Arthur Buliva from Kenya just sent us these pictures with the following explanation:
I was in Lamu recently and came across this man who was making a boat out of plastic bottles and old slippers. He was not yet finished with it yet but I took the few photos of the product that I could.
He says that he collects plastic water bottles that the tourists throw on the beach. He also wakes up early in the morning to collect bottles washed ashore from the sea. With these he has constructed the (in his own words, “first in its kind”) boat.
He water-proofs it by sealing the gaps with used slippers collected in the very same way. Then boils tar in order to glue the components all together.
Kenya believe it? 🙂
(all images kindly shared by Arthur Buliva under a CC-SA licence – thx!)
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