Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Last night May 2, 2011 HydroHarvest was among 14 teams awarded in MIT Global Challenge Competition. This competition attracted 43 teams with different innovative ideas in the areas of health and medical, education and training, energy and the environment, water and sanitation, finance and entrepreneurship, agriculture and processing, mobile devices and communications, housing and transportation and emergency and disaster relief. These teams presented bright ideas to be implemented in different countries around the world. HydroHarvest was awarded $5,000 that will be used in implementing the pilot project of the HydroHarvest at Maranyundo Girls School in Nyamata, Rwanda.
HydroHarvest is also the winner of this year's MIT Tau Beta Pi (TBP) Services and Engineering Fellowship equivalent to other $5,000, which is the highest award of this category. The MIT TBP's Fellowship Program is for MIT students seeking to pursue a service engineering project during this coming summer. The purpose of this program is to support students who seek to apply their engineering and technological understanding to better society, both domestic and abroad. Successful fellows should be prepared to guide a student-led project that can leave behind lasting, sustainable benefits for a community. The work may be arranged with non-governmental or inter-governmental organizations and other community-conscious groups.
The innovation of HydroHarvest relies on the application of rainwater harvesting system to integrate the water resources management system at institution level (especially boarding schools and other institutions in Rwanda) and allow them to save money from their water bills (currently high) and firewood purchased to heat water for drinking. The rainwater system provided by HydroHarvest is equipped with a water treatment system that brings the rainwater to a drinkable quality without boiling. In addition, HydroHarvest has translated a guide manual for rainwater harvesting system in Kinyarwanda in order to facilitate better understanding of maintenance and repair of the rainwater harvesting systems provided. Based on the economic analysis done using the data gathered from Maranyundo Girls School, HydroHarvest found that within 3 years the school will have saved the money equivalent to the down-payment or upfront costs of the installed rainwater harvesting system. Schools as Maranyundo will be saving an estimate of $200 per month from water bills and firewood purchase totalizing savings of 1,600$ annually. Finally, this HydroHarvest model is reproducible and the pilot at Maranyundo Girls School will prove necessary information in order to display similar systems within Schools managed by Benebikira Sisters and other schools, health clinics, and institutions in Rwanda.
HydroHarvest Team is grateful to you, our tireless Supporters who have been with ours through this Journey of MIT Global Challenge Competition. We will keep you updated on the progress of our venture in Rwanda.