We continue to work toward development of a solar pump that will be feasible for large-scale application. In the past year, we have increased practicality by switching from pentane to water as the working fluid, increased output from 10 to 15 watts/square meter (3 to 5 Btu/square feet), and developed a solar collector (pictured here) which is about a third of the cost of a vacuum tube collector, resulting in considerable overall cost reduction.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Increasing WaSH development is a necessary step small farmers and villages must take on their way out of poverty. iDE takes an unsubsidized, demand-driven approach toward increasing the use of appropriate water and sanitation technologies throughout the developing world. Ceramic water purifiers, treadle pumps, and rope pumps all provide poor farmers with access to sanitary water; decreasing the presence of water-related illnesses, and providing them with potential income generating opportunities.
In 2010, iDE Cambodia introduced the Easy Latrine (pictured here), which sells for US$35, a significant improvement over the US$150 latrines currently offered by many non-governmental organizations (the average rural Cambodian's annual income is US $135). iDE also conducted a social marketing campaign to stimulate demand for the product. The Sanitation Marketing Project reached the 10,000 latrines sold landmark in just over one year; this number represents more latrines than had been sold in the project area in the previous four years. The Easy Latrine has been recognized internationally, winning the International Design Excellence Award and recently being inducted to the World Toilet Organization's Hall of Fame.
Participatory Market Chain Approach
Originally developed in Peru in 2003 and applied in several other countries, the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) has been proven effective in involving the private sector in market processes with a pro-poor orientation. The PMCA process aims to foster collaboration between farmers and traders, buyers, and intermediaries, providing efficient means of marketing good quality produce for good prices. IDE is implementing the PMCA process in Cambodia, Nepal, and Vietnam through our participation in DFID's Research Into Use program.
As they access new technologies which enable them to grow new crops, our customers are frequently challenged by the lack of information on proper growing methods. As part of the Rural Prosperity Initiative, iDE, in collaboration with Wageningen University, developed a simple "Water Wheel" calculator based on local conditions to assist poor farmers in determining optimal water requirements for vegetable crops. These wheels will allow farmers to minimize waste and increase yield since crops will be receiving optimal amounts of water during all stages of growth.
A separate Drip Planner Chart (DPC) based on FAO planning guidelines is being developed in Ethiopia. It consists of two disks: one with crop and climatological data for calculating irrigation requirements, and a second containing soil-specific information for calculating maximum allowable irrigation intervals.