Jul 7, 2011

Exciting News from Our Reuss Fellow in the Philippines

Dear friends, colleagues and supporters,

It's been 6 months since I left with my family to work in the Philippines with Green Empowerment to scale up our renewable energy and water projects in rural villages. We are now in the final round of evaluations for a $1.5 million proposal that would provide 22,000 people in 50 villages access to clean drinking water-- using an ingenious ram pump technology that requires no fuel input! But the main donor - the US Agency for International Development (USAID) requires a private sector donor to cover part of the material costs.

Will you please approach your company to help sponsor a water tank? We need 1 - 50 water tanks at only $660 each.

In villages, it is the responsibility of women and children to fetch water 2-3 times a day, walking up to a kilometer or more carrying 40lb buckets. This prevents them from going to school and is literally-- back breaking work. Our program will install ram pumps, storage tanks, and provide a communal tap. Our in-country NGO partner is the BBC World Challenge winner AIDFI, who has installed 170 ram pumps throughout the Philippines and other countries.

I need to submit the final proposal by July 15. 

Here is an overview of the different sponsorship amounts:

  • 1 complete installed ram pump system to bring portable water to a village of 300 people = $13,000 
  • 1 ferrocement water tank (10,000 liters) so women and children do not have to carry water from a far away well = $660 

The proposal targets 50 ram pump installations total over the next 3 years. 

I'd be happy to speak with others at your company if they are interested and need more information, Dexter.Gauntlett@greenempowerment.org. Please help us make this exciting program a reality.


Dexter Gauntlett

Jul 5, 2011

More on the Winning Design for the River Tubine

A parts list, and plans:

Uses only inexpensive and standard components:

1. Small trailer axle ball bearing (really barrel). The stress of rolling this machine would be no threat for these bearings, as they are intended to carry a much heavier load.

2. Standard steel tubing and flange.

3. A bicycle wheel acts as a 28 inch low cost pulley.

4. Wooden lateral wings to make a Venturi flow control.

Designer will complete the first prototype in their shop, and then travel to Columbia to help for the initial installation, fine tuning, and tech training-- TBD.

A team of engineers from our in-country partner APROTEC will work with the community to install the equipment and do follow up tests and monitoring for at least 1 year.

Jun 2, 2011

Political and military delays

A complex situation has developed in the last months in the communities of Datalnay & Dlumay and several others in the area.

Unfortunately, a local military battalion has apparently interpreted the recent empowerment of the communities – starting alphabetization classes, installing technical equipment for electricity, working with regional and national non-profits to improve their living conditions – as a signal that the communities are sympathizers of the armed rebel groups active in the island.   At various times since November 2010, soldiers in full battle gear have harassed, detained, and interrogated men, women, and children, including a group of 30 school children doing outdoor activities and tree-planting on part of the micro-hydro system.

Since mid March, to ensure their safety and on the advice of the community leaders and even of the parents, all of the remaining local non-profit staff had to evacuate the area. The teachers heartbreakingly padlocked the school and declared a temporary suspension of classes with the promise to the community of working out their return.

Even usual farming activities have been disrupted. 

Complaints have been filed by the local non-profits, who are working with local authorities to normalize the situation.

Needless to say, the final work on the electrification and agricultural processing facilities, and the inauguration ceremony, have been put on hold until the situation improves.

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