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And they win! Akvo partner AIDFI, led by Dutch water engineer Auke Idzenga, wins the 2010 edition of the BBC World Challenge 2010. Two weeks ago, I wrote in detail about their nomination. A total of 167,000 people around the world cast their online vote on the 12 finalists, bringing AIDFI to the top. In total, AIDFI left 800 competitors from 70 countries behind them, winning $20,000 (US) in prize money, a BBC documentary on their work, and coverage in Newsweek. Congratulations guys!

Above: Auke Idzenga of AIDFI receives a prize cheque for $20,000 from Malcolm Brinded, Executive Director van Upstream International Business Shell, and BBC presenter Zeinab Badawi.

In a packed room in Felix Meritis in Amsterdam, the award was handed over by BBC presenter Zeinab Badawi and Shell Executive Director Malcolm Brinded. A nice keynote speech was delivered by Erik Solheim, Norway’s environment and foreign aid minister.

Two runner-up projects will each be awarded $10,000 by Shell. The first runner-up is Pass It On, a Peruvian initiative from Sierra Productiva, a federation of small–scale subsistence farmers teaching organic techniques to dramatically improve production from both livestock and crops. Second runner-up is A Class Apart, a project from Guatemala with the aim of building a school from recycled waste such as car tyres and bottles.

Support an AIDFI project through Akvo

It’s possible to support a new AIDFI project here on online, which will transfer the hydraulic ram technology from the Philippines to Colombia. It will be money well spent.