WireBridges Over Dangerous Rivers
The terrain of Nepal is mountainous and crossed by deep river canyons. During the monsoon season, crossing the swollen rivers without a bridge is dangerous and sometimes impossible.
Until government and donor-funded suspended bridges became widely available, WireBridges solved this problem by spanning river gorges with a human powered carriage system. These wheeled carriages traveled on wire strung between anchor towers installed on each side of a river. The carriage was easily propelled by rope in the hands of passengers or bystanders. Each carriage held two seated passengers--or many more hanger-ons.
WireBridges set new construction, performance, safety and affordability standards. Most parts were locally fabricated. The heaviest individual part was about 110 KG. The total weight of all parts was less than a ton. Thus a bridge was transported easily and constructed rapidly. The carriages could be operated by villagers of all ages.
38 WireBridges were designed and installed in Nepal from 1998 to 2006, which moved over 3 million passengers without injury. This system linked villagers for education, medical care and commerce.
WireBridges are a completed, legacy project of EcoSystems Nepal, LE's predecessor.
SunLights for Earthquake Relief
In many places, when the sun sets, education stops, commerce stops, medical treatment stops, due to lack of light and electricity. Villagers who can afford it burn kerosene lamps which pollute the air in their houses and require costly fuel. Some families have only the light of the cooking fire.
VillageSolutions (Nepal) developed the SunLight system in partnership with VTS, LE's predecessor. The current Village SunLights system uses 10W solar panels, a deepcycle 12V battery managed by the proprietary charge controller, multi-LED lamps and a mobile phone charger. School children can study at night and their parents can cook and work after dark with no health hazards.
After the 2015 earthquake, working with VillageSolutions, we made and delivered 1000 solar LED lighting systems to displaced families in the tent camps.
Safapani to Remove Arsenic
Arsenic contamination in groundwater is gradually poisoning millions of people around the world.
As Village Tech Solutions (VTS) we began work on an inexpensive home water filter based on electrolysis. SafaPani, meaning "Clean Water" in Nepali, is an inexpensive household water filtering system that can cut arsenic concentrations below the WHO limit of 10ppb. A three-stage SafaPani electrocoagulation process was identified and proven by a Dartmouth 'capstone' engineering team. In the top chamber, a mild DC voltage drives iron from the electrodes into the water. The iron oxidizes and rapidly coagulates into minute rust particles. Arsenic closely resembles the iron oxide molecules so finds itself included in the rust matrix. The contents of the first bucket drain through a second bucket with a sand bed and a perforated bottom. The sand adsorbs the sediments, and the filtered, largely arsenic-free water percolates down into the third (storage) bucket.
We have suspended work on SafaPani in order to focus on Looma Education.