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 many water-related challenges. Over the past six years, our project has become a multidisciplinary initiative let by 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, and more.

This year, due to COVID-19, we are not able to go to Longido, so we have a dedicated team of students will be taking some award-winning student innovations the past year into production and adoption, in order for them to have real and lasting impact.

The Background

We are taking five previous projects forward into production this year:

The Moshi Inje Stove system creates safe cooking environments for traditional Maasai homes. Indoor air pollution from cooking, has made lower respiratory infection the second highest cause of death in children in Tanzania. The Moshi Inje stove, designed in collaboration with local women, can be installed without altering the home, uses less fuel, minimizes smoke, and safely contains heat. See the project here: Moshi Inje Stove

The Tamkaa Kiln is a solution to unsustainable, unhealthy charcoal making practices currently employed in the region. Tamkaa tackles these problems by using carbonization to convert animal waste into charcoal. This project also provides entrepreneurial opportunities for women in the community. See the project here: Tamkaa Kiln

The 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. Like the kiln, it provides economic opportunities to local women. See the project here: Mzinga Hive

The Chujio Water Filter is a low-cost ceramic filter that effectively removes bacteria and viruses from water. Water consumed in households in the region is almost always untreated surface water, and waterborne diseases are the #1 cause of child mortality in the region.  This easy to use and maintain filter will be financially accessible to a large proportion of the population. See the project here: Chujio Filter

The Safrani project is an agricultural initiative to identify a cash crop for the region.  The local population currently engages in little agricultural activity, due to lack of water. This project will 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 test site will be a community garden that was built by students in previous years.

The Rollout

Because we cannot make our trip to Tanzania this year, making face-to-face contact with the community impossible, high quality distance communication with community, suppliers, and local decision makers has become crucial. Funds will be used to acquire low-bandwidth augmented reality communications technology that includes 3d manipulation capability to enable us to continue working with the community in Longido. An augmented reality context is being developed to this end with the Carleton Department of Computer Science. We will be acquiring VR headsets for both Carleton and the community we are working with. These headsets will remain available for student to use in future years. 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

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. In addition, these five projects have great potential to create positive impact in the Longido community in several areas, including health, energy, development opportunities, and women’s entrepreneurship. All of these projects are uniquely scalable, adaptable to other contexts facing the same issues in both neighbouring regions and other parts of the world.

Other Comments

Kennedy and Eric – Mzinga Hive 

Eric, now working towards his Master of Eco-Social Design at the University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy, completed his degree in Industrial Design in April 2020. Kennedy is a fourth-year Marketing and International Business student at Carleton. They have been working together on this project since September 2019.

Rikesh and Tatum – Moshi Inje Stove: Tatum Dietrich graduated in April from Carleton University’s Industrial Design program. The stove won the Enactus Scotiabank Climate Change Challenge – Best Project Idea Award, and was recently awarded the 1st place award of excellence at the 2020 ACIDO Rocket Awards, won the Enactus Scotiabank Climate Challenge Best Idea award, and is currently being featured in the best 100 global student designs in Dubai.  Rikesh Mistry is a fourth-year Entrepreneurship student at the Carleton’s Sprott School of Business.

Allison and Kaj – Ceramic water Filter: Allison, a fourth-year Management student, and Kaj, a 2020 industrial design graduate started working on this project in 2019. Although Kaj has graduated, he is continuing to devote his energy and passion filter project. This project has received the 2020 ACIDO rocket award for Design for Manufacturing.

Maria and Stacey – Tamkaa Kiln: Maria is a fourth-year Accounting student, joining the project this fall to support the delivery process of the Tamkaa Kiln to the Maasai community in Longido District Tanzania. Stacey is a multidisciplinary industrial and service designer, currently living and studying in Italy, working to produce products and services that create meaningful impacts and value for others. This project won 1st Place at the 2019 ACIDO Rocket awards.

Josée and Professor Farah Hosseinian – Saffron Project: Josée is a third-year International Business student and will be working with Food Sciences professor, Farah Hosseinian to bring the saffron project to life in Longido, Tanzania.

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