Throughout most of the Western world, the generalization that underdeveloped countries lack access to water is unanimously understood. In response, multiple governmental and nongovernmental organizations have taken on the feat of permanently eliminating this issue. The issue being that water is currently obtained in most villages by an individual tossing a container into a deep hole, and pulling out the collected water. Most commonly, the solution would include aid workers digging a well in a densely populated village, and attaching some rendition of a lever-action pump to the enclosed top surface. Unfortunately, this approach dwells a number of problems, including its financial setback, efficiency, functionality, feasibility, lifetime, and overall social impact. Taking this into consideration, and also from the inspiration of William Kamkwamba, the project consists of developing an entirely sustainable and simple, wind-driven water extraction system. More specifically, the product is a windmill that uses mechanical energy to drive a spool containing a string of cups holding water out of a well and into a separate reservoir for easy and unlimited access. Except for two elements, the system is composed of natural resources found throughout Africa, the primary area of focus. The setup incorporates bamboo, sisal (rope), plywood, two steel bearings, and a steel rod.
In essence, the overall mission of the project is to develop the most primitive, and simple example of a water extraction system using tested engineering constraints to prove that the intended concept works. With the concept proven, the overarching idea would be to distribute a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) manual listing critical information such as blade length to weights ratios, windmill height, energy output needed, etc. This will promote ingenuity and innovation, allowing for individuals to be entirely creative and self-dependent, instead of relying on outside relief organizations. The creation of such a product will supply villages with malleable instructions, which will save young women and the elderly the struggle and time of attaining water from both the bucket-extraction mechanism and inefficient pumps, and equip villages with the ability to formulate a good that can be maintained and improved upon based off the capacity and potential of the village itself rather than a foreign group.
To add: project was worked on full-time during the summer of 2014 and will be continued to be worked on this coming this winter.
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