Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Solar Water Purification System Testing Today!

Drinking Water – it’s a problem.
Africa Windmill Project is working on a sustainable, affordable solution for rural villages in Malawi….We TESTED bore-hole wells that are in some villages and the open wells that we find in our villages, this is what we found:
The Malawians we are working with do not have access to healthy water or sanitation so we began working in the US to develop a solar water purification system. This system needed to be similar to the windmill in that it will be able to be made out of locally available and known materials, and will be simple to construct and operate.

Adam & Derek finished setting up the system last night so today is Test 1. At 8 am the temperature was 82 degrees (aim 165) and water level was ¼ inch below the tape. If all goes according to plan water will transfer to pasteurized water bucket (orange) as soon as the water temperature heats up to proper temperatures.

Disease causing organisms such as worms, protozoa cysts, bacteria (cholera, giardia, e.coli, shigella, and salmonella) and other viruses (hepatitis A, rotavirus) are killed by exposure to heat in a process called pasteurization. Water is a critical issue facing the global population. The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of all diseases are caused by infected / contaminated water. Therefore pasteurization (destroying of disease causing organisms) is critical. Although we have begun with irrigation in these villages, the need for everyone to have healthy, clean drinking water is at the forefront of our thoughts and plans. Although it is hard to understand in the US, Malawians are not aware that their water can make them sick (diarrhea). By beginning with agriculture and working into drinking water we are finding that the villagers are readily accepting our recommendations (such as, not dipping each households bucket into the water source). We know that with nutritious food, enough of it and healthy water, systemic change will occur in Malawi.

Also, not to be remiss, I want to mention that we are in the midst of a fundraiser to purchase a field vehicle for our Malawi staff. We are so close, thanks to a donor who agreed to match the remainder of our need! Today we are at $7,615 (which is AWESOME!) but we still have $3,692.50 left to go before June 1st. Please consider sharing this post or the previous one about the vehicle with your “peeps”. We are so grateful for your support! (They are too!)

Rural areas of Malawi have very low access to healthy water (40%) and sanitation (1%). (source). Africa Windmill Project enables You to effect change in these children's lives. Please Partner with us.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Butternut squash sales

The Mziza Farming Club have started harvesting butternut squash from their vegetable gardens. We are selling marketing the crop at the open vegetable market in Lilongwe. The price ranges from MK50-MK80, depending on which vendor we deal with.

Farmers have so far harvest a crop worth MK6,400. Many vendors at the market have asked us where we source the squash, and they are eager to find other scarce vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet onions, and spinach.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Latest Water Pumps

We've been running at full steam putting these pumps in at Mziza. We have 11 pumps installed, hoping to reach 15 by Friday, 30 by the 15th of May. The farmers have come out day after day to help and learn to put up the pumps.

Word is spreading about the project; several times we've been stopped on the road out to the village by a farmers who want water pumps in their own gardens. This is a sign that we are being successful.

The club members are excited to get started using the pumps. We have been talking with them about how the pump is going to help them. They are hopeful that they will be able to produce a vegetable crop that will exceed their nutritional needs, and provide an income that will help them avoid selling their maize crop at low prices.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Your Help: It matters!

Africa Windmill Project is raising money for a truck. This will enable us to reach more remote villages and get supplies to the villages we are working with. We have currently raised $4,125 for the truck and need $15,000. Every dollar will go towards the truck enabling staff to provide training to the remote villagers in need.

Here is a link to our new video showing some of the latest from Africa Windmill Project and details on the truck.

Thank you
John Drake
Africa Windmill Project