Global Goals: Developing Connectivity to Schools and Communities in Africa via Solar Powered Pumpmakers
By Fred Sagwe, Kisii, Kenya: EdTech Educator, MIE Expert, TeachSDGs Ambassador
Communities worldwide need access to an open, trusted global internet. Through such forums as The Mozilla Learning Network and #TeachSDGs, and the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise know as the Global Goals, by the United Nations in September 2015, we were given a clear framework to increase our development efforts as well as reinforce our commitment to bringing the benefits of a globally connected internet to everyone. We all have seen the internet as a critical enabler for sustainable development and believe that access to it will help accelerate the achievement of all the SDGs as the Internet has boundless potentials.
Here is our story of the impact of the internet in the achievement of SDGs in our community. As you will see, we have been able to especially move the needle on one SDG in particular: SDG4 which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Using Technology to Connect to the SDGs
In the past two years and through the use of new age technologies, many schools around the world have been able to connect to the global goals. The World's Largest Lesson introduces the Sustainable Development Goals to children and young people globally and unites them in action to do their part in helping to achieve these extraordinary things by the year 2030.
A Certificate of Participation is offered for participating in the World’s Largest Lesson and supporting the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Classrooms can download, read, and share an included SDG Letter with their community and other major stakeholders. More, the SDG in Action app has been developed to highlight and spread the messaging of the Sustainable Development Goals---the world’s “to-do list” to end poverty, reduce inequalities, and tackle climate change.
Internet Connectivity in Africa
The Internet is one of the most important enablers of social development and education. While Internet services have advanced considerably in the rest of the world, access to the Internet remains very limited in Africa, especially in the rural communities. According to a recent report by Kamaleon, Africa accounts for only 9.3% of the total internet users in the World despite being the second-largest continent, after Asia, in size and population. Africa has a population of approximately 1.2 billion people which represents 16.2% of the total world population. As of June 2016, the number of internet users was reported at 340.8 million with an average penetration rate of 28.7%. Brookings Institution’s recent report dubbed “Foresight Africa” notes that internet usage in the continent is still limited by a lower penetration rate and high costs of data as compared to other continents.
It’s no secret that many parts of the world lack water, electricity, and internet. At least in 10% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to clean water and 17% of the world lacks access to electricity. Even the Internet, seen as “an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights” by the UN is accessible for just 40% of the globe. However, there are solutions that can help. In this article, Solar-Powered Device Could Deliver Clean Water, Electricity, And Internet To Africa, innovations to solve these urgent problems are described.
Pumpmakers Platform – Globally Connected
Imagine what it would be like if remote regions were to be able to connect to the world via WiFi Internet, have access to a charging station for lights, radios, mobile phones and tablets, and have WATER. But, that’s not all. At the same time as accomplishing these remarkable tasks, groundwater data could also be logged and transmitted together with weather data and live pictures of the region. The Pumpmakers Solar Water Pump "PM Life Station" makes this – and more – possible! Pumpmakers focuses on solar pump systems for the supply of rural and urban areas with access to water, Internet, power, and light. Here is how:
NIGERIA Solar Pump System for Magami Village
In the Village Centre in Nigeria, there was a nearby pump, but it was a hand pump and didn't pump much water or even function all the time. So, the people used to fetch water from a drying up stream about 20 minutes walk away. The newly installed solar driven PM Life Station, with a capacity of up to 16,000 litres of water being pumped out from a depth of 30m each day, now has opened the door to a brighter future for some 4,000 local people. Additionally, there are proposed sites for solar water pump “PM Life Stations” in Tabaka Boys High School. To fund this, the community is working with a Project Funding Request and Indiegogo Crowd Funding initiatives. To follow the journey of the classrooms at Tabaka Boys High School and their work to help their community and the world through the SDGs, visit https://www.facebook.com/tabakaboyshighschool/.
A sound knowledge of the global goals, Taking Action on the Goals, and Social Media Action shall help to make this real and show the impact of the internet in the achievement of SDGs, especially moving the needle on one SDG in particular: SDG4 which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Together, let's tackle and combat climate change, reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce poverty, use clean tech to provide clean water, electricity, internet, and connectivity to Africa and other parts of the world. Through partnership and education, we together can do this.
Tags: United Nations Global Goals SDGs global internet Pumpmakers The Mozilla Learning Network #TeachSDGs Nobel Prize
Fred Sagwe is an EdTech Educator and ICT Integrator/Computer Science
teacher in Kisii, Kenya. He is a TED-Ed Innovator, Microsoft Innovative Educator
Expert, Digital Institute Summit Ambassador, UNESCO
ASPnet Patron, and TeachSDGs Ambassador. You can learn more about Fred and his work with teaching the SDGs by following him on Twitter at @fsagwe.