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Published:July 3rd, 2007 05:28 EST
Energy For the Poor, Real or No Deal

Energy For the Poor, Real or No Deal

By SOP newswire

Greetings from Egypt

I will get a grant from an American organization to do field study on my new system for water purification that built on new appropriate technology and designed to be use by the rural poor in the developing countries, the study will be done with the cooperation of the Arab Healthy Water Association AHWA, an abstract about the project has published in the AHWA magazine and the booklet of its international conference this year please visit

As the grant I will get is a small one I am looking forward to get support through your great organization.

Thank you and best regards

Ahmed Ismail Megahed

Winner of the AOI organization prize


Using impractical, complex for applicable, expensive technologies are not possible to be socially acceptable in rural areas where majority of poor live on what they earn on a daily basic and have no cash reserves to pay for the cost of these technologies.

new appropriate alternative technologies that must be simple, practical,affordable,accesable, have the possibility to contribute in improving life in these communities, if they have the possibility to deliver environmentally acceptable and sustainable long term solutions:-

a new affordable, low cost technology for solar water heater possible to contribute in reducing rely on biomass, while a simple new affordable technology for making a new water treatment system which possible to operate and maintain by rural communities and individual households is possible to make a great difference and speed achievement of reducing infant and child mortality in these communities

New affordable technologies for the poor:-

A-ENERGY FOR THE POOR: - water flow rate control solar water heater

Project that got the AOI organization prize

A-Energy for the poor: -

Water flow rate control solar water heater, project that got the AOI organization prize

Problems associated with using available technology and need for alternative technology: -

The principal problems associated with using solar water heater by needy people who live in rural communities are: -

-High price, heavy weight, and the design, which is not possible to meet with the circumstances and style of life in these communities

This project is using new affordable technology which we called it water flow rate control system to manufacture a solar water heater which has a new design that possible to meet with the style of life and requirements of the needy people who live in remote areas

Advantages of the new system: -

1-     User has the possibility to control on water flow rate in the system; he can increase or reduce the rate according to availability of solar radiation in the region he lives in to get a satisfied water temperature without need for electricity

2-     User has the possibility to concentrate the collected amount of thermal solar energy in most small suitable amount of water reducing need for storage (=less weight, less cost)

3-     In the new system hot water is to be storage in a separate tank where not possible to mix with the cold water while in the natural circulation system solar water heater cold water automatically enters at the bottom of the storage tank (even after sunset when useful heat gain achieves zero) reducing water temperature inside it, just user withdraw hot water from the top of the tank

4-     The new system provided with an indicator to indicate time user in need to get his satisfied amount of hot water and amount of hot water in the storage tank, so helping user to control on water consumption

5-     User possible to withdraw hot water even in the case that supplying water to the system stopped

6-     Low cost, practical, storage tank possible to install on any suitable place on a lower level than the collectors, self installable using small diameter low cost plastic hose instead of using expensive metal pipes, possible to assemble by user

B-water for the poor: -

The problem: -

Water is necessary for survival above all other resources on earth and yet one billion men, women and children do not have safe water to drink and therefore cannot live a healthy life, in many poor village in the developing countries, people have to rely on water that easiest reach through shallow groundwater wells, usually less than 10 feet deep, or mud holes used by both animals and humans, even when stream or river nearby, these water sources are frequently polluted with animal and human waste, in some remote areas in Africa people are forced to collect water from rivers which run dry for much of the year meaning they must dig holes , sometimes up to three meters deep to find water , which may contain the corpse of dead rates or snakes

According to UNICEF 21 percent of children in developing countries are severely water deprived, almost one fifth of all children lack even the bare minimum of safe water they need to live, children in many of the developing countries often must drink the same water animals use to bath and urinate in risking disease and death with every sip.

-Arsenic is one of the most common pollutants in ground water world wide, countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam, million of people use arsenic contaminated drinking water, long- term exposure to arsenic via drinking water causes cancer of the skin, lungs, urinary bladder, and kidney, as well as other skin changes, in the same time the world health organization estimates that, most water projects in developing countries no longer work

 Results: -most of the victims are young children they are in particular at high risk especially if they are poor and malnourished, they are more likely than adults to die from diarrhea because they become dehydrated more quickly, when little children drink contaminated water parasites thrive in their tiny, defenseless bodies, keeping them weak and sick until they give up and die, others develop diarrhea and dysentery they can no longer even absorb the few nutrients from their meager food, so they die of famine, while the recommendations for mothers to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by formula feeding may lead to increase infant mortality if formula is prepared from contaminated water, this year 2,2 million of innocent children will die because of drinking contaminated water 80% of them in the first two years of their life 42000 a week , 6000 a day, 4 every minute, one every fifteen seconds, and  according to some estimates, arsenic in drinking water will cause 200000- 270000 deaths from cancer in Bangladesh only, sick children lack the energy to learn and week young men lack the drive to work hard , so poverty continues , time is running and the urgent need for action is quite clear

Solutions: - in fact technologies to solve the problem are available, a variety of physical and chemical treatment methods to improve the microbial quality of water available but most effective are usually impractical, too expensive and complex for application in poor communities, for example its clear that even if proven successful and manageable at local level arsenic mitigation treatment may be difficult to replicate or sustain beyond the emergency phase, most will require monthly purchase of chemicals and  regular testing of the filtered water to ensure quality, , so local availability and price  may be crucial monitoring of household, the question how many filters we need to provide safe drinking water to all of those people scattered in west Bengal where many families affected by arsenic, is it possible to supply thousands of filters free of cost and provide funds to maintain them?,   treatment  using  chemicals requires to use a dropper and liter measure both being uncommon devices in most homes and  revealed a tendency for women to use excessive dosage, so creating a new health hazard ,boiling or heating water with fuel is effective in destroying all classes of water borne pathogens but  a major disadvantage of boiling water is its consumption of energy as its estimated that I kilogram of wood is needed to boil 1 liter of water, solar still isn`t affordable , slow , unless the unit is very large the chance of getting enough water of the unit will be small, simple technologies for  water treatments as sand filtration and ultraviolet water disinfect ion or chlorine tables are few , adequate in some but not all cases, chlorine tables not locally available in many developing countries , have to be imported and expensive for long term use, while sodis solar disinfections requires, favorable climatic conditions, one of the reasons why more than 1000 million people still have no access to safe drinking water in developing countries is the lack of widespread knowledge on affordable water treatment methods operated and maintained by rural communities and individual households

This project: -is to use appropriate low cost technology to manufacture a new practical affordable accessible, socially acceptable system to be use at household level to treat all kinds of polluted water, its to be use in rural communities where the vast majority of the worlds poor live, the new point of use system is, reliable, independent, long term solution for safe drinking water, has the potential to be expanded or replicable easily maintained, cost effective, doesn`t require electricity, chemicals, pumps or water pressure we made every attempt to make the designs and  operation as simple as possible, user has the possibility to adjust, follow up and control on the performance of the system to meet with his requirements ,the system designed to keep on its super performance even in case that it may be wrong adjusted by user,  as usable life,  cost and  connect together we designed a long usable life  high capacity super performance system and we kept the cost affordable ,to keep the unit operating properly we  provide the system by automatic cleaning for contaminants , doesn`t require changes in human behavior and  depends on high community participation as the system is  possible to be, operate  and maintain by the users themselves , so sustainability becomes possible 

Water for the Poor: -

-We used appropriate technology and scientific bases to make an affordable system and to make sustainability possible 

 -I have invented and successfully experimented a (hand made) simple (very important) device in a cost of one dollar per about 40 units to be use in the system instead of using the (available) parts in the market in a cost of 40 dollars per the 2 units necessary for the system 

-We optimized the performance of the system to reduce the necessary cost for certain water production  

-We increased the financial viability of the system as it designed to be use for multipurpose  

-We examined carefully other attempts to solve the problem, we used as possible as the benefits available in the exist technologies, we solved many problems associated with using these technologies by rural poor and we added new simple technology to achieve the goals.  

-Most parts and may be all the parts are designed to be simple easy to make manually by the rural poor using locally available materials and simple tools.

-We put in mind that people in these communities particularly women have no time (some projects failed because of the arguments between husbands and wives about who to have the responsibility to operate the system) so we designed an easy to understand full automatic system with easy quick simple automatic maintenance, in the same time user has the possibility to control (adjust) so simply on the performance of the system according to the purpose of use.  

-Depending on the same idea we offered many options (designs) that possible to suite different needs and circumstances in these communities.

-Instead of persuading the people in these communities to accept the technology, we have invented a multipurpose, reliable, long usable life, multi advantage system that possible to alleviate many of their special problems and able to provide them by a chance to improve their health, social, and economic conditions.

-We put in mind that this system must not only be socially acceptable, but also to be attractive enough to be sure that those people will pay willingly to get it, in the same time we related all designs with the social realities and we built the project on deep adequate understanding of conditions and users need with great respect to traditions, abilities and protocols of people in these communities    

C-Titles of the project HOPE

A business with social mission

The project that got the Arab Council for Development prize-Saudi prince Talal Ben Abd El Azez 

This project is a business with social mission to help solving the problem of unemployment and poverty

Idea of the project: -

-We noticed that some tempered high quality auto glasses, which most of time are of more than a hundred dollars cost, are turn into a useless environmentally harmful material just the glass broke

-These precious brightening pieces of broken auto glass are also available in many attractive colors as yellow, green, brown.

-The question was is it possible to use this free precious material to make a unique handmade art form?  If that possible and because the material is already available free, it will be a great job creation project that possible to make a great difference in the life of the needy people

-After 3 months of hard expensive attempts we managed to design 2 designs of a very attractive vibrant art form, both were the key of success of the project and met with tremendous response from craft markets.

- In 1999 our product is to get a prize from Arab council for development, so the project became ready to expand.

-We provided the skill training; support and raw materials to about 15 individual all are unemployed helping them to use their natural creative to increase their income

-In a short time those 15 individual themselves became not just producers but also trainers for this new very competitive product that never available before in the market, so the project became a continuous source of employment to provide live hood security to many of the unemployed individuals giving them HOPE to earn a living through small business

Problems and solutions: -

-We put in mind to design and manufacture a top quality competitive product, so we used only the high quality pieces of glass, as a result only about less than 5 percent of the glass pieces are possible to be use in our unique product, it was necessary to search about a sustainable source for this material, we used the family company for selling auto glass, my 25 years experience in this field and the relationship with other auto glass sellers to solve the problem

-We examined several kinds of adhesives to select a high quality water resistant one

-Also we used high quality mirrors and frames

-As a result many of our precious hand crafted pieces exported to some Arab countries, also the product met with the interest of many tourists