Archive for September, 2012

Building bridges between Britain and Bangladesh

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by

One casualty of the worst September storms in decades has been the town of Tadcaster in North Yorkshire. It has been split in two after flooding forced the closure of a major road bridge over the River Wharfe.

The Mayor of Tadcaster, Steve Cobb, said the Wharfe was at its highest level since major floods hit the area in 2000.

He said a number of businesses close to the river had been flooded. “We’re one community but we are split in two today,” Mr Cobb said.

“We are totally dependent on the bridge. It’s a four or five mile trip around without it, just to get to the other side.

“We have a doctor’s on one side, schools on both sides, all sorts of businesses on either side. We’ve got our fingers crossed. We’ve got everything crossed.”

The Mayor of Tadcaster doesn’t know it but he has a lot in common with Kazi Mahmudullah who lives on the other side of the world in Bangladesh, a country which knows all about floods. Every day he has to jostle with hundreds of buses, trucks, cars and other vehicles to get on a ferry to take him across the river Ganges to get to his job in a solar power factory.

Many of the ferries and other boats that cross the huge river are unsafe because they are old and dilapidated so strong currents and high winds can cause accidents. The journey is made more perilous by climate change which means that rivers like the Ganges and the Wharfe now flood far more frequently.

“It takes two to three hours to cross the river,” he says.

“There aren’t many ferries and we have no other alternative than to wait. If there was a bridge then we could cross the river in 15 minutes.”

The Ganges, known locally as the Padma, divides the capital Dhaka from the south of the country, effectively isolating 30 million people.

Building a bridge across the Ganges has been a long held dream of Bangladeshis and it now looks as though it may finally happen.

The BBC have reported that the World Bank are again considering lending the country the $1.2 billion towards the $3 billion needed to complete the bridge. If it goes ahead it will be the biggest infrastructure project in the country’s history.

The bridge would help connect Bangladesh with neighbouring India and Burma on its eastern side. But it would also transform the lives of the 30 million people living in the under-developed south.

It’s to highlight the plight of people like Kazi Mahmudullah that Practical Action is organising a European speaker tour this November featuring the manager of our Pathways from Poverty project in Bangladesh, Nazmul Chowdhury. Nazmul will address the German, UK and European Parliaments before going on to the climate change talks in Doha.

In the meantime Kazi Mahmudullah will continue to have to take his chances on the ferry. Despite being separated by thousands of miles it’s a journey which Steve Cobb could now probably relate to.

SCORE stove success at Kathmandu University

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 by

Today I had the privilege of receiving an email from a very excited University Professor at Kathmandu University in Nepal, Professor Bim Prasad Shrestha, regarding the start of the SCORE stove in their Laboratory.

Prof. Shrestha told me:

“It has been great day for us yesterday, we managed to get resonance in our system and we could make electricity generated from the stove which was first installed by the EWB and the modified by our Engineers….
It has been great moment for our engineers Mr. Bijendra and Mr. Binaya for successfully lighting the LED bulb with the help of wood fired stove and boiling water on the stove simultaneously.”

You don’t often see such excitement in a senior academic in a developing country about a technology for the poor, simply because they are seldom involved in the development of technology to help the poor.

University academics in developing countries generally know very well the problems of the local poor but are powerless to help them.  This isn’t because they can’t help or don’t want to, but mainly because they operate under a permanent situation of shortage of facilities and budget.  They are able only to witness the suffering of their poorest co-citizens.

The special feature of the  SCORE stove is that it can both cook and generate electricity.  It is under development by a consortium of UK Universities and Practical Action.  The University of Kathmandu and research institutions in Bangladesh have become involved in the final phase of development and adaptation of this technology to local needs.

Kathmandu University, with the support of a group of young graduates from Nottingham University,  installed a SCORE stove in their Laboratory.  After several days of work to adapt to local fuels and operating conditions, they managed for the first time to see it operating both to cook and generate electricity.

Cooking on a SCORE stove in Kenya

Successes like this do not happen frequently in universities in developing countries.  I know, because I was previously a lecturer at a University in Peru.  So I share the excitement.   I want to congratulate Professor Shrestha and wish him more success in the future. Partnerships like this, with the active involvement of academics and non-academics from north and south, with effective exchange of knowledge and know-how contribute not only to excitement but to real solutions to help the poor to use technology to challenge their poverty.

Waging peace in Sudan on International Day of Peace

Friday, September 21st, 2012 by

It’s International Day of Peace today.

But I want you to think about a place synonymous with war – not peace.

Sudan.

It’s one of those places to which you just don’t go – “hell on earth” as someone once said to me.

Sudan has witnessed some of the most horrific acts committed by humankind.  Images of genocide and famine are beamed into televisions around the world, and this is what we think of when think of Sudan.

Only last week, demonstrators in Khartoum protested fiercely and furiously outside the US, UK and German embassies in order to express their anger at an American You Tube film which allegedly mocks Islam. In August, a Sudanese police man was shot dead by an armed gang and various government buildings in Darfur were attacked.  Such violence serves to underline the dangers of operating in one of the world’s most volatile places.

In June 2012, I spent two weeks there, primarily to visit Practical Action’s work in Darfur.

On Saturday 23 June, the day of my 25th birthday, I met 9 year old Idris Abdullah. He was tending to his herd of goats as they drank from the water trough, and he was not holding a gun. He was one of the few children without one. The water point was engulfed by herds of thirsty goats and cows and camels, but I could not stop staring at the innocent children gripping guns.

This is the reality of life in Darfur.

Although the conflict, which was primarily an ethnic clash, ended in 2006, the official peace is fragile. Spikes of intense fighting between rebel groups, warring tribes and military forces continue to wreak havoc on the people who make their homes here. I met and spoke with so many women, children and men who must live under the ominous shadow of violence.

One mother, Amel Mahmoud Osman, said to me We always have the fear that something will happen, but in order to survive we have no choice but to overcome it. We pray to God for safety.” And then she recalled watching pregnant women “bleed their babies away” during the heights of the terror of war.

 Another young woman, Sara Abubker Ahmed, remembered the day her friend was blown up by a government bomb:I still smell the blood. For months afterwards I couldn’t eat or drink anything, I felt so sick all the time. The smell of the blood.”

 The words of another young person, Yassir Oman Musa, will haunt me always. “It’s tragic, but everyone in Darfur has a story of loss to tell.”

Yassir’s acceptance of the futility of war is, of course, understandable, but it filled me with a sort of righteous rage. Why should anyone – even if you live in Darfur – have to accept a world dominated by violence?

Practical Action refuses to accept such a world. We have worked in Sudan, and in Darfur, for the last 25 years and continue to work there, employing a team of national staff to help vulnerable and marginalised communities to survive and thrive, against the odds. Working in partnership with local people, we endeavour to provide small-scale, sustainable and appropriate solutions to the daily problems caused by a rapidly changing climate and the chaos of war. We use simple techniques to help communities improve their own food security by planting community forests and improving access to and quality of water through harvesting rainwater.

But as sustainable development work is nearly impossible in the face of conflict, we are also striving to achieve a lasting local peace between traditionally warring neighbours. We use a host of approaches including facilitating mediation meetings, raising awareness about land ownership and demarcation of boundaries, and even producing educational community theatre.

Our efforts to build peace in these fragmented communities are innovative, unique, and most importantly, showing signs of success. Indeed, Yassir told me joyfully “for the first time ever we are hopeful of lasting peace.”

We have a chance to change the story of Darfur for good, to enable Amel, Sara, Yassir and so many others like them to move from war and suffering to peace and prosperity. But the work cannot be completed without further support.

By supporting Practical Action this International Day of Peace, you could give the people of Darfur a chance for a stable, peaceful and secure future, for the first time ever. Children like Idris Abdullah can look after their animals in peace, free of those weapons which are too adult, too ugly for their innocent hands.

 

“Before I was a poor man, but now I am rich.”

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 by

When I was in Sudan, I met a man called Mohamed Mohamed Musa. He was one of the people who had undertaken a seven hour bus journey to travel from Kassala to meet me at the Practical Action offices in Khartoum. I interviewed Mohamed at length, to learn about his life, and how he had worked with Practical Action.

My conversation with Mohamed was a fascinating one, and I wrote about it at the time on my blog Sprouting seeds for success and happiness. I remember being struck by his height. I’m quite small, and Mohamed towered over me. But he was very thin, and his collar bones protruded sharply. I remember noticing his clothes – he wore a ‘jalabya’, a simple long white gown, and an ‘eimma’, a turban – but he was also very proud of his very cool Ray Ban style sunglasses. But mostly I remember Mohamed’s face. It was fascinating, magnificent, the sort that has a whole life etched into it.

Today I received some really sad news from one my colleagues in Sudan.

Mohamed has passed away.

He died on 9 September after falling ill with a parasitic infection which is spread by contact with dirty water.

I am filled with sorrow. Mohamed was 64 – a good age – but at no point in our conversation did he seem weak, or frail, or ready to leave his life. He was passionate about Practical Action, and spoke enthusiastically about his hope that one day he would be able to help other poor people in Sudan in the way that Practical Action had helped him, and his community.

In my notes of our conversation, I scribbled “Mohamed is like hope embodied.” I feel so sad that his life and that hope have been snuffed out so soon.

I’d like to share Mohamed’s words with you, so you too can be inspired by the story of a very hard-working, determined and humble man.

Mohamed

Mohamed’s story

“I was born in 1947. I’m 64. I’ve lived all my life in Tambi. I have two wives and 16 children – nine sons and seven daughters. Some of them are still in school.

My childhood was a happy time. I had six brothers and four daughters. My father was a farmer and he also did some teaching. I left school when I was about 12 and started working with my father, helping with our animals.

I was 26 years old when I married my first wife Mariam, who is now 50. And then I was 44 when I married my second wife, Fatima, who is 37. My marriage to Mariam was arranged. Fatima is a relative, the daughter of my cousin. Her parents died when she was young and so I married her to look after her.

I live with my wife Mariam in Tambi, in a small mud house with four rooms. Fatima doesn’t live with me; she lives in Kassala because I want the children to go to school there.

Every day I wake up at 4am and prepare to go to the mosque to pray. After that I drink some tea and then will travel to the farm to work on the land all day. After I get back to my house at 5pm and we pray again and maybe have some food. In the evening times, I will go to the community centre which has been built by Practical Action. As a community we’ll discuss any issues or concerns, or problems we might have with our farming, or the latest news.

Mariam searches for the firewood for cooking. We cook on an open fire outside in the open, not inside our house. Otherwise it gets too smoky.

It’s our children’s duty to go and collect the water for drinking. We have water that is pumped from Kassala, but we rely on the rainwater to water our crops. We know that climate change is making life more difficult. We now need to plant seeds that don’t require as much rain because the rains don’t come as frequently these days.

Practical Action told me about these new seeds. They actually yield more, and I am able to get more money for my crops at market! I decided to bring these to share with you because I know you are meeting other farmers in Darfur. We can all see the difference between the old and the new seeds.

Before Practical Action came to Tambi, I was always worrying about the future, fighting for tomorrow. Mostly I was worried about food. We never had enough to eat. But I never gave up. We were just farmers, we had no skills, no other jobs. We had no choice, but to continue trying to make a living from farming.

I volunteered to be a ‘lead farmer’ in my village and am part of a network of lead farmers across Kassala called ‘Elgandhl’ (it means ‘sprouting seed’ in English). This means it’s my duty to share farming skills with other farmers in my community. This could be how to build a terrace or how to hoe the soil. I know how to do a small germination test to check the quality of the seeds – you simply put one in a saucepan of water, and watch to see if it will grow. I now know about weeds and pests and how to control them using local techniques (that have been forgotten over the generations) about scaring birds away. Practical Action has informed us of our rights, what we can expect from our government, how we can make ourselves heard.

Practical Action has helped some of the women in my village to set up a women’s farm. Mariam, my wife, is one of these women. If she has time she also comes and helps me with the animals. We now think of the women as equal – we are the same. I know my wife can think as well as I do.

There is not enough time to talk about all that Practical Action does in my village. Practical Action is like a mother to us – we see ourselves as the children of Practical Action. Before I was a poor man, but now I am rich – not with money but with knowledge. Knowledge makes me richer than anything.

We will know what to do long after Practical Action leaves. I am very happy and proud. I am hoping that one day we will be able to do for other poor people in Sudan what Practical Action has done for us.” 

Mohamed will stay in my heart forever. My thoughts are with his family and community in Kassala.

The Singing Wells of Lebihia

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 by

Every time I visit northern Kenya I learn a thing or two. Sometimes the learning is overwhelming. Most times I marvel at how rich their resilient lifestyle and culture is. I have learnt from the paradox of the complex lifestyle clothed in simplicity. Increasingly, I have developed a passion for observing nomadic pastoralists and their way of life. I am sure pastoralist way of life is full of new learning for everyone.

From the scenic environments, the rich fauna and flora, to the rich culture and the people, the images are hard to forget. The beauty of the locals cannot be overemphasised. The hospitable, usually happy people, are hard to part with. Despite the unforgiving environmental harshness, you always want to stay longer.

I was in Mandera in early this month. Exactly a year since I last visited the area. Unlike in my last trip to the vast region when the area was strewn with carcasses of domestic animals due to the now cyclical and prolonged droughts, the weather was friendly. It was cold, very cold as per the locals’ definitions of cold. It was their ‘winter season’ as one Alikhery Mohammed put it. I put winter in inverted commas since the temperatures were about 20-24 degrees Celsius.

The last time I was in Mandera, I was leading a team of 10 international journalists covering the devastating drought. The visit was sponsored by The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA). We not only gave prominence to aspects that were not being highlighted by other agencies (the plight of animals and the need to secure a nucleus herd for each household in order to recoup after the drought) and media houses but also officially launched an emergency program that aimed at ensuring the locals retain a nucleus herd. As with last year the team visited Borehole 11 village in Elwak and selected sites around Mandera County. But this time, I was leading a team of consultants to film, produce and package short films on our projects in the area. The details of our mission are a subject of discussion for another time.

One specific feature caught my attention this time. The singing wells of Lebihia village, Mandera County. It started with the organisation by the herders, their animals’ urge to quench their thirst and the musical approach the locals fulfilled their animals’ needs. From the vast fields, the animals run to the wells from all directions. In response to their shepherds’ commands, they cheer each other as they run towards the water troughs by the rehabilitated shallow wells.

They (animals) converse in low tones as they approach the watering troughs. And with little commotion, they line up and take their positions on both sides of the troughs. Their conversations decrease as they settle to drink their fill. Others wait for their turn to drink too. All the while, the livestock owners and handlers are busy fetching clean water for their animals.

They sing melodious songs (in local dialects) as they pick; roll-down the ropes and bucket to the shallow wells and as they pull the bucketful of water and pour onto the ever decreasing volume of water in the troughs. The rope and bucket technology is one of the appropriate technologies Practical Action has supported in the area. It is affordable and easy to maintain.

The unified voices of the singers are inviting. And as if in agreement, the animals have learnt to – in turns – appreciate the euphonious melodies from their owners and handlers by sprinkling a few millilitres of their share of water and by twisting their tails and raising their heads in an orchestrated manner.

Some spillage is reserved for their herders/handlers who oversee them as they drink from the troughs. Am sure some of the older animals spill some water from their mouths as a sign of their gratitude to their ancestors. The Moooo, Meeeee and HeeeeHoooo sounds surrounding the troughs is enough proof that the animals being watered are not new to the lyrics of the songs. They have learnt to honourably acknowledge the heaps of praise from their owners as they quench their thirst.

“The songs we sing serve two main purposes. We sing to praise our animals: for their beauty, their ability to reproduce regularly and to commend them for their obedience. Additionally we sing to encourage ourselves as we fetch water for our animals,” explained Abdi Hassan, a herder.

And when all the animals have had their share, the herders take turns to cool their systems with the remaining waters in the troughs. It was interesting to witness other owners and herders pour numerous buckets of water on the soloist as he comfortably squatted on one of the troughs as he led the rest on with the song’s lyrics to the climax. ‘It must be a very fulfilling practice,’ I thought. So, where did they learn this, I asked?

“This aspect of our lives is historical. It’s been practised for many years. It is handed over to the next generation with each generational change,” explained Ali Noor, a local.

And when I asked about the future of this unique practice, Noor was quick to say, ‘this is something that is at the core of our lifestyle. It will not die.’

As I put myself to rest that night, I could vividly remember the images at the wells. I tried to find an equivalent in my culture in vain. I scribbled it on my note book and promised myself to ask my kinsmen when I go back home.

Warning signs in Nepal

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 by

With the start of monsoon, fears of the people residing in waterfront areas begin to increase.

Every year the settlements nearby the rivers suffer from significant loss of property and physical displacement, caused by unprecedented flooding.

While settlements in a majority of riverfront areas across the country continue to suffer from monsoon-led natural disasters, a community residing near the Babai River in Balapur is beginning to breathe with a sigh of relief after the installation of an Early Warning System in their village.

Balapur village touches the Babai River in three directions and the river flows approximately 1.5 kilometres away from the village. During the rainy season, the swollen river would enter Balapur from Shanti and Babai settlements.

“It was very difficult to live in this village. The flood drowned my three goats, cows and all the food stored in my home. The flood also washed away my paddy plantation. I could not even protect documents important to me and the materials in my house. The whole village was waterlogged,” says Tihar Bahadur Chaudhary, a local of the village.

The river swept away Sabit Kumar Chaudhary’s home. His four goats, food grains and other physical properties were lost in the flooding. “I could save nothing,” he says.

People in Balapur were compelled to live in uncertainty until Practical Action worked with them to install an Early Warning System in the village. The project has also provided equipment and accessories such as sirens, microphones, lifejackets and boats to help them react to any flooding emergency.

A water gauge reader has been installed in the upper station of Babai at Chepang to help the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology to observe the water level. If they find the water level rising dangerously, they quickly inform the police, media, and rescue officials and the communities via sirens.

As a result, Balapur residents are warned about a flood before it enters the village. The System also allows them to assemble their important documents and other properties and move swiftly to a safe place.

Surrounding communities have also formed disaster management committees at the local level. The committee warns villagers, disseminating information about the flow of a flood, using microphones. The committee also prioritises the safety of pregnant women, disabled people, and children. The committee members are trained in flood awareness and preparedness procedures.

Moreover, there is a separate rescue unit under the disaster management committee, responsible for immediate rescue operations. The system is solely installed with full participation of communities and therefore the community owns the system and maintains it.

Sitapati Tharu says: “If the observer in the upper station finds the water level rising to a crucial level, we can hear the loud sirens in the village. If the siren rings for the first time, we become alert and start packing important documents, property and food and prepare to leave for a safe location. If we again hear the sound of the siren we then immediately move to a safe place.”

The disaster management committee, upon notice of the second siren sound, prepares to shift the pregnant women, disabled and children to the safe areas. As soon as villagers hear the third round of siren sounds, all of them run away, urging their livestock on and carrying other materials to safe places.

Thanks to the project, mitigation infrastructure such as culverts and roads are in place to allow people to move quickly during floods. The project also organises mock drill practices to build capacity of communities. These are rehearsals to make communities aware of how they should be prepared at the time of flooding.

The Early Warning System installed in Balapur has been a proven and highly effective guards against floods and flood-led natural disasters. If the system is promoted by the state in flood prone areas across the country, settlements close to riverfront areas will not face untimely deaths and loss of property.

Systems Reset…

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 by

a new on line education resource has just been launched by the the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

It offers a set of inspirational resources for Design and Technology teachers.

The  material includes a guide for teachers and lots of student activities to increase their knowledge and understanding of a circular economy – a vision for developing new technology and systems by ensuring that at each stage of a product life-cycle materials are recovered to use again.

Practical Action’s education team wrote Activity 6 – Rethinking textile products.

It explores potential systems for eliminating waste from the product life-cycle. Students also develop an awareness of personal values and how these impact on the decisions they make. Following an analysis of their own personal wardrobe, they then go on to develop design proposals for a range of modular and/or multi-functional products aimed at a teenage market.

We found that students from Southam College loved the pilot material…

The project has made me realise how much effort and time is put into making textile products and how much resource is needed. Doing this project has made me think about how I can save resources and my future decisions will definitely be impacted by knowing this’.

 Links to Systems Reset and Practical Action’s Textiles resources

 

Technologies for basic needs

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 by

Siemens Stiftung is a foundation committed to enlarging basic services and social entrepreneurship, promoting education and strengthening culture.   They have used some examples of Practical Action’s work to illustrate the type of technologies that they are suitable for submission for their “empowering people. Award” detailed below.

It is often true that the smallest things can have the greatest impact.  With the “empowering people. Award” the Siemens Foundation has initiated a worldwide competition to identify low tech innovations for basic supply problems in developing countries.

The Foundation is calling on inventors and developers worldwide and inviting them to enter simple, appropriate technical products and solutions in the following categories:

Water & Waste Water
Energy
Waste Management & Recycling
Health
Food & Agriculture
Housing & Construction
Information & Communication Technology

Entries should be submitted online on the project website.  Entries will be professionally evaluated and an international jury will select winners.

Following the competition, the technical innovations will be categorised in a database, which will offer international practitioners in developmental cooperation a speedy and comprehensive overview of operational solutions in the categories defined.

The Foundation will also honour the best entries in an Awards Ceremony which will take place in Summer 2013.

The deadline for entries is 12 pm on 31st December 2012.

For more information visit www.empowering-people-award.org

Flying crap!

Monday, September 10th, 2012 by

You’ve probably heard about flying toilets. Bags people poo into and then throw away hopefully unseen and unnoticed. They create a huge issue in the developing world where the unsafe treatment of sewage is a massive health hazard. The bags can land anywhere – you can imagine!

2.6 billion people around the world don’t have access to decent sanitation.

I’ve just read an article about a new innovation – the poopeebag – a better flying toilet which is biodegradable and contains urea to break down ‘waste’.

I’m quite shocked – I don’t want to be negative about innovation but why invent a better flying toilet with all the issues of disposal, cost, privacy, etc. when many designs for decent loos exist? While I can imagine their use in emergency situations, where populations are on the move, as a long term solution the idea seems to me to be a no-no.

So what does Practical Action do? We help communities get access to the decent toilets they need.

How do we do it?

1. We involve the community in planning the solution – sanitation, loos, crap, pee are some of the most private, sometimes delicate things you can discuss – it’s vital that we get solutions right and so we start with the people who use them. As personal example have any of you ever used a squat loo – what would you think if your new home had one installed without anyone talking to you about the type of loo you prefer?

2. We think about the wider infrastructure and sustainability – we consider waste disposal, other uses of waste such as fertiliser in eco-san loos, or as a source of biogas power, etc.

3. We innovate and explore technological options that work – but in truth with loos it’s often not technical solutions that are the problems but access, finance, knowledge, etc.

4. We consider issues of hygiene education – sometimes people don’t know the importance of cleanliness and hand washing.

5. Where possible we look at solutions holistically – there is a term WASH, which stands for Water, Sanitation And Hygiene. Where possible we believe the best solutions link these together.

I’ve talked before about visiting Zimbabwe not long after the terrible cholera outbreak. Talking with the cholera nurse there brought home to me the importance of getting sanitation right. People die, children die through the impacts of poor sanitation.

So I’m sorry that this blog was started by a shocked reaction to an email report, I am sorry to be negative about innovation – but getting access to decent sanitation doesn’t need to be rocket science it’s all about will.

Remind me to write about our great work on WASH in Kenya – or maybe I should ask one of our team there to!

For now I thought you might like to see this film showing some of our work on sanitation in Zimbabwe.

Access to energy – in the UK?

Monday, September 10th, 2012 by

I have just come across a thought-provoking set of photographs from Save the Children supporting their campaign on child poverty in the UK.  You can find them at http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/what-poverty-means . They are all pictures of children living in east London and each child was asked to write down what poverty means to them.

The picture that stood out for me was of Amira, aged 8.  Amira lists the things she wouldn’t have if she didn’t have electricity and she comments;

 “I feel lucky that we have enough money to pay for electricity because we can enjoy stuff more than when we don’t.”

There are issues with access to energy in all countries of the world, and many of the solutions Practical Action are calling to help the 1.4 billion with no access to energy would translate to those living in energy poverty in the UK.

It struck me how similar Amira’s words are to the words we hear from Practical Action projects across the globe, and how many people living in poverty are so grateful to get basic access to energy.

For example, Mamdhur from Nepal

“Now we have electric lighting, we are very much relieved. We have more time to spend with our children and families, and no longer breathe in the smoke from the kerosene lamp that used to hurt our lungs. It was my dream to have lighting facilities in my village. The dark has turned to light.”

Practical Action can show in many of our projects that, wherever you live:

  • Energy enables people to work their way out of poverty.
  • Energy provides better access to education and other basic services.
  • Energy improves health and wellbeing, especially for women and children.

Please Make Your Point that energy is vital for poverty reduction because it gives people the power to improve their lives at https://practicalaction.org/energyforall