Lighting up the enclave of Oecusse
“The solar light is great,” says Lusia Cusi from the village of Oemolo. “There’s no smoke, it provides good lighting, we use it to walk at night like a flashlight, and the children use it to study.”
“It’s very important for people like us living in rural areas because now we don’t have to buy kerosene,” says Julio Ton Coa from Maquelab, who has reduced his weekly spending on lighting from $10 to zero.
Lighting in Oecusse is a dire problem. Few people have access to electricity and 92% of households rely on fuel-powered (mainly kerosene) lamps for light because there is no other option. Aside from the negative health effects of the smoke from kerosene lamps, the cost of kerosene in Timor-Leste’s rural areas, like Oecusse, is also double the cost in urban areas, further marginalizing the poorest communities.
Between December 2010 and April 2011, our local partner FEEO distributed 992 d-light solar lanterns to 18 sukos (tribal districts) in Oecusse: 745 S10 d-lights and 247 of the larger S250 d-lights, which also charge mobile phones. And this is only for the first phase of the distribution -- another 2339 lights are currently being distributed.
People in Oecusse immediately saw the tremendous benefits from switching to solar lights from their current lighting option. Prior to the introduction of solar lights, 94.5% of respondents reported using kerosene lamps for lighting, and after the introduction of solar lights, this method of lighting has been largely replaced by solar lighting. On average, over $13 has been saved per month, accounting for a 94% reduction in the expenditure on lighting. More households reported conducting income generating activities after dark such as weaving tais (traditional cloth), mats, baskets and rope.
The TEM Lab in East Java
The Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) team has completed their five week assessment of Kopernik projects funded by ExxonMobil. The team was immersed 24/7 in the routine of interviews, data entry, and analysis to monitor and evaluate the impact of Kopernik technologies and business processes on women and their communities.
The TEM Lab focused on the impact and feedback on two pieces of technology: water filters and biomass stoves. The team has yet to submit their final analysis, but they have already made some interesting observations, some of which include:
There has not been any negative feedback in relation to the functionality of the water filters and everyone seems to like this product; it is easy to use and has a very visible impact on the water quality.
Some users suggested that the aesthetics of the water filters could be improved by using materials other than plastic and perhaps adding some more colour options.
Users of the biomass stove have noticed that they are using less fuel and there is less smoke compared to their traditional stoves.
Some feedback shows that most women would like to be able to add more wood without having to interrupt their cooking, and that extra effort and time is required to chop and stockpile the wood for fuel.
Overall, after some preliminary analysis and extensive interviews, the TEM Lab team are beginning to see patterns in their research which appear to show savings in energy, time, and money due to the introduction of these products.
Many of the TEM Lab team members have blogged about their experience and observations of Bojonegoro--to read the full blogs please click here.
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Meet the team: Gordon Little
In a nutshell: Gordon is presently completing a Masters degree at NYU in energy and environmental policy, having arrived in New York after a somewhat circuitous route from Australia that includes periods working in Frankfurt and Honolulu. It is an exciting time to be studying energy. A growing consciousness about environmental pollution is spurring new forms of green electricity generation, while simultaneous technological innovation is expanding our access to reams of fossil fuels in new places. Predicting the future will be extremely challenging.
How did Kopernik enter your life? I first came across Kopernik by chance over a year ago while browsing the web looking for innovative new companies working in energy technology. The Kopernik business model intrigued me, as did the opportunity to work with a start-up organization promoting innovation with both social and environmental purposes. Having been engaged with Kopernik from almost its inception, it has been great to be part of the organization's growth.
What role do you play in the Kopernik team? I spend a lot of my time trying to foster...read more
Tech of the month: Nazava water filter
With the tagline “Clean water for everyone” the Nazava filter is able to effectively filter water from a variety of sources and deliver water that is 100% safe for human consumption. The filter has a smart design and is very affordable proving to be cheaper than the popular alternatives of buying or boiling water.
The filter has two water containers (both 13.5 litres) stacked on top of each other and one ceramic water filter candle in the middle. Water is placed in the first container and, aided by gravity, passes through the candle filter to the second container ready for drinking. The filter candle core contains activated carbon that absorbs harmful chemicals and odours. It also has a pore size of 0.4 micron so that harmful bacteria cannot pass through. Tests show that one candle can deliver 7000 litres of sterile water, which equals three years of drinking water for an average household.
A lot of positive feedback on the Nazava water filters has been received recently as part of the research currently being conducted in Bojonegoro by the TEM Lab team from Thunderbird Business School. To view details of projects involving this technology please click here.
Inventor Story: Guido van Hofwegen
The man behind the Nazava water filter, the tech featured this month, is Netherlands born Guido van Hofwegen. After observing the difficulties of many in finding clean drinking water in Indonesia, Guido’s vision was to find a simple affordable solution to ensure clean water for everyone. In December 2009, Guido established Nazava. Today Nazava operates from six different locations throughout Indonesia and has sold a total of 20,000 ceramic water filters. Nazava offers a delivery service and has introduced 12 different product lines to ensure different needs are met and its impact maximized.
Guido relocated with his wife to Banda Aceh, Indonesia from The Netherlands in 2007 to work with NGOs operating there after the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake. It was during this time he witnessed the issues in accessing clean water and was determined to change things around. Guido researched ceramic water filters used in a water project in Bangladesh and visited a factory in Brazil that produced water filters. After observing the communities’ interest in a filter sample he brought back to Banda Aceh, he founded Nazava and started manufacturing water filter technology on the ground in Indonesia.
Nazava water filters have changed the lives of many ensuring tap, well, and river water can all be filtered to clean water that is 100% safe for human consumption. To read the full story by Cindy Nawilis on Guido van Hofwegen please click here.