Friday, 3 October 2008

News from AID Foundation

AID Foundation won an Ashden Award in 2007 for their work on ramp pumps to supply water to villages in the Philippines. Auke Idzenga, who accepted the award at the June 2007 ceremony in London updates us on their latest news:

Arrival of machines from Taiwan. As a result of the continued efforts of the Ashden Awards to help AID Foundation Incorporated (AIDFI) scale up its work on the hydraulic ram pump, a company with an office in London sponsored machines that were high on our wish list. The machines are a big lathe, a roller bender and a plasma cutter. These machines will help AIDFI save a lot of money because all metal jobs related to even the big ram pumps can now be done in-house. At the same time AIDFI can use these machines for some outside jobs to support its self-reliant way of operation. The machines will allow the quantity and quality of production to be increased, focusing on ram pumps and some hydro power machines. There is a huge increase in demand for the ram pumps.
Training of new installation teams. Since the Philippines consists of many islands, and the demand for ram pumps keep on increasing, there is a need for installation teams on all the big islands. AIDFI has, since last year, been working hard to set up two new installation teams: one in Mindanao and one in Cebu. The Mindanao team (a mix of Muslim and Christian youths) has been trained in the workshop of AIDFI and as a second step two technicians from AIDFI are training the team with actual ram pump projects right now in Mindanao. Also an engineer from Cebu is staying with AIDFI for a long period to be trained completely in all aspects of ram pump installation, operation and maintenance.

The Afghan ram pump story has moved on. In October 2007 three ram pump installations were set up in Northern Afghanistan, and the latest information is that are all used for their purpose of watering the newly established fruit and nut tree plantations on the slopes of the mountains along the rivers. These ram pumps have triggered a tremendous interest. After a lot of communications and planning, Mercy Corps (an American-British relief agency, active in Afghanistan) has sent three Afghans to the Philippines to be trained in designing, fabricating and installing ram pump systems. The training period is six weeks and will end in October 2008. Two of the team are shop owners, who are already involved in manufacturing and installation of hydro power systems. For them, the ram pump is an ideal extension of their hydro power activities. The third is an engineer of Mercy Corps and will be in charge of identifying sites and designing ram systems. The two shop owners will, after the completion of the training, be given a lifetime license to manufacture the AIDFI ram pump in Afghanistan.

There are also plans in the making for AIDFI to transfer the technology to Colombia.

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