AfriGadget Water Gadget

africa, international, technology

Have you ever heard of an Elephant Pump? Today, I found out that an Elephant Pump is a low-cost well pump based on a type used in China over 2,000 years ago. It can be made with local materials and is powered through a contraption that looks much like a bicycle.

How did I figure this out? A friend sent me a link to the awesome website AfriGadget. This site is dedicated to showcasing the ingenuity of Africans. Reusing products like old keyboards, plastic bottles, and other assorted items to devise bottle openers, shoe-shine stands, bamboo bikes, and even a biodiesel conversion kit. They bring the word sustainability to a whole new level.

Also, they have a whole section on sanitation and water – how to build “keyhole” gardens, directions for a VIP (Ventilated Pit Latrine), Homemade Water Filters, Kick Start Pumps, and more. AfriGadget really should team up with Akvopedia, another open-source water and sanitation destination.

How to Make a Homemade Water Filter (from AfriGadget)

Over at kikuyumoja’s realm, JKE makes a water filter using little more than a couple of plastic containers, a ceramic element and loads of ingenuity.
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Above Photo: AfriGadget

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Akvopedia: Open Source for Water Technology

drinking water, general, international, investments, outreach, photos, sanitation, sustainability, technology, water availability, water treatment

The new website Akvopedia shares knowledge of water and sanitation technology, open source style, to ensure these resources are available to more people worldwide.

Open Source: (in computing) Of, or relating to a product which is licensed to permit modifications and redistribution [for free] of its source code.
Wiktionary

Linux, the One Laptop Per Child (XO laptop) project, the Mozilla web browser, Creative Commons, Peer-to-Peer networks, Open Office, and Wikipedia are multi-faceted examples of open-source technology. The open-source realm relies on a philosophy of sorts – so that freedom and sharing of a specific (or any) knowledge will allow for that specific, underlying body of knowledge to be improved upon in infinite ways.

Wikipedia, one famous example of interactive knowledge sharing, has a striking factual accuracy compared to that of Encyclopedia Britannica. Now the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) strives to create a similar clearinghouse for water and sanitation technology through the recent unveiling of Akvopedia.

Akvo = means water in Esperanto (theoretical universal language developed in the late 1800’s)


Thomas Bjelkeman, founder of Akvo. Photo courtesy Akvo on flickr.

Akvopedia features portals to discuss, share, update, and refine knowledge about:

water
sanitation, pumping and transportation, storage, treatment, and use of water
sanitation
toilets, collection, transportation, treatment, and use of products
organizations
NGOs, governmental organizations, research organizations, funding organizations, and commercial companies
approaches
project management, individual and collective, and supporting approaches

The website has reviews and specifications for building water and sanitation infrastructure from:

And the website provides a virtual setting for NGOs or others with water or sanitation project ideas to find funding. In short, Akvopedia provides access to open-source water and sanitation technology. This website will empower communities and promote localized development of water systems throughout the world by providing the knowledge, funding, and resources necessary.

Thank you Akvopedia!

With your support, Akvo can speed up the pace of water and sanitation development in some of the poorest parts of the world. Small Non-Governmental Organisations can act themselves. They can use new tools, share knowledge, specify projects, find funds and make things happen. They can be heroes. Akvo is creating an open resource, forging relationships with everyone around the world who shares this vision. We’d love to have you involved.

www.akvo.org