Zimbabwe

Project Mission: 
Our international project connects our members to the Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Northeastern Zimbabwe. This partnership was established in 2015 after one of our members traveled to the community as part of a local Pittsburgh organization, The Nyadire Connection. Since then, our chapter has worked with the community to identify their most pressing needs. The first major challenge that the community faced was safe transit at night. From dusk to dawn the community and the region as a whole gets extremely dark, making travel to and from homes and schools hazardous. Our chapter designed and worked with an in-country contractor on a Decentralized Solar Street Lighting system. While this project reached completion, with installation finished in September 2017, we again worked with the community to identify their next most pressing need. In the time between our initial visit and today, the Zimbabwean government has cordoned off regions of the country where trees can no longer be cut down in an effort to combat deforestation. This poses a major logistical threat to the Nyadire Primary School, which relies on firewood to cook meals for their students. For this reason, the next critical project for the community is relieving their dependence on firewood. Our next step after identifying the next project was an alternatives analysis. After considering many alternatives, such as LP gas, ethanol gel and solar power, we came to the conclusion that biogas would be the best alternative for the primary school. Currently, we are researching and brainstorming considerations for the implementation of a biogas system for the primary school to replace the use of firewood. Although we are researching measurements and materials, we also are taking into consideration the human impact of this project. Over the last trip to Nyadire, in January 2019, we discussed the changes that will be made with the community members that will be impacted by the switch from firewood to biogas. For example, we discussed these changes with the cooks of the kitchen, the Headmaster of the primary school, as well as others. We are planning to install the system in the spring of 2020, as we have to not only prepare for the physical implementation of the project, but the impact on the daily lives of many people within the community.

Progress:
Stakeholder Diagram
Feedback on Avonworth Student Presentation
Presentation at Energy Week Best In-Person Presentation ($250)
Topic group research
Energy Alternatives, Efficient Waste Conversion, Biogas and Latrine System
Waste calculation
Lawrence Foundation Grant Application
Request For Proposal
Impact CMU presentation: Most innovative ($200)

Goals:
Send RFPs to potential contractors
Explore economic opportunities in implementation
Fundraise and grant writing
Maintain connections with Avonworth

Members:
Cathy Fang
Christina Ou
Evan Schinderwolf
Megan Henriksen
Melina Driscoll
Sophie Yeh
Ashley Burbano
Jeevika Ghosh
Greta Markey
Katherine Nie
Cara Yi
Dylan Pollak
Kiran OFarrell

Join Our Project:

  • Melina Driscoll (msdrisco)
  • Cathy Fang (mengyinf)
  • Sophie Yeh (lyeh1)
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