In 2014 the first group of students taking part in the Buckets to Rainbarrels project travelled to Longido, a rural village in Longido, Tanzania, which faces water-related challenges. Over the past six years, our project has become a multidisciplinary and collaborative initiative led by community members in Longido and students from Industrial Design, Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Food Sciences, and Business to address issues including health, agriculture, waste management, children’s recreation infrastructure, and more.

Our student projects have won numerous awards, including 6 Acido Rocket awards, 2 Aga Khan fellowships, The Enactus Scotiabank Climate Challenge Best Idea award, a Red Dot award, Dubai Design Week best projects, the NIBS David Gillingham award, the Carleton Provost’s Scholar Award, and more.

Donations to this campaign will enable students to take their projects forward by funding field work that includes on-the-ground prototype development and testing. Students will gain skills in cross-cultural communication, international development, and community engagement.

These projects support Carleton’s commitment to community engagement, and will result in lasting benefits for our partner community.

The Background

We are working with our partner community on some exciting projects this year:

Moshi Inje Stove system creates safe cooking environments for traditional Maasai homes. Indoor air pollution, from cooking, has made respiratory infection the second highest cause of death in children in Tanzania. The Moshi Inje stove, designed in collaboration with local women,  minimizes carbon emissions from cooking. Part of the project strategy is carbon emissions reduction certification to fund the distribution of the stove.

Tamkaa Kiln is a solution to the unsustainable and unhealthy charcoal making practices in the region. Tamkaa tackles these problems by using carbonization to convert animal waste into charcoal. Students are working the community to create an environmentally friendly ecosystem around the kiln, including the construction of bins to collect waste paper that will then be soaked into a paste to use as a binder for the charcoal, and a community charcoal making facility.

Mzinga Hive is a low-cost, locally manufacturable beehive that makes honey production accessible to local residents. It is culturally adapted, using traditional building materials, and will provide economic opportunities to local women. Students have already overseen the construction of the first prototypes and have had some preliminary success in the installation of colonies in the hives.

Nangidare Cultural Tourism Project is cultural tourism with a twist. Students are working with community to establish an interpretive cultural tourism centre in Longido that focuses heavily on women and cultural reinforcement, creating benefit for both tourists and locals alike.

The Zafarani project is an agricultural initiative to assess whether saffron, a low water use, labor intensive crop that is adapted to the local climate could become a feasible economic opportunity for local women. The infrastructure for the test site was built by students in previous years, and is ready for planting.

The Rollout

Funds will be used for on-the-ground costs for an intensive two week field trip to Tanzania, including:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Drivers
  • Local guides

Students will be staying in the guest house of our NGO partner in the district. Funds will also be used for prototype modification and testing, market data acquisition, patent searches, and related material costs to take our innovations to reality.

The Impact

Together, these student projects have great potential to create positive impact by working collaboratively with the Longido community in several areas, including health, energy, environment, culture, and women’s entrepreneurship. Through the process of community co-creation and co-design of solutions to complex problems of pressing concern to the community, this project also contributes to an increased level of cultural understanding and the building of strong community relationships. In addition, all of these projects are scalable, and adaptable to other contexts facing the same issues in both neighbouring regions and other parts of the world.

Students will gain skills in cross-cultural communication, community engagement, social entrepreneurship, and working in geographically-distributed teams. It will help broaden their world perspective. This project also supports Carleton’s commitment to community engagement.

The projects also provide an opportunity for Carleton students to make a significant impact in our global communities as part of their university experience. This initiative has become a life changing experience for participants from all disciplines over the past six years, resulting in some student participants orienting their careers toward social design and innovation, NGOs and the nonprofit sector. For all students, it is an opportunity for them to not only see, but experience the world through an entirely different lens than traditional international programs.

Other Comments

You can see some of the projects we have collaborated on here:

Moshi Inje Stove:  https://acido.info/moshi-inje-stove/

Tamkaa Kiln: https://acido.info/tamkaa/

Mzinga Beehives: https://www.ericwhyte.com/mzinga-beehive-system/overview?fbclid=IwAR1YnSpJ07GVGXsifjl97zZuFY0zkeqyvmpmvqN8WQurnhZB33LeLE7rzOE

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