Over the past month, some nice project updates have caught our eye.

Francois Laureys of IICD has been showing what it takes to make a large project with many logistical considerations work on the ground. You need a powerful combination of cleverly simple technology and passionate people that are determined to make things happen. His recent updates on the Mobiles Against Malaria project in Bamako, Mali gives a platform to some key local individuals driving progress.


Photo: Boubacar Alidji, coordinator of the Yirimadjo Community Committees Photo credit: François Laureys. See full update in Akvo RSR here.

Rik Haanen of Connect International is working as an advisor at SHIPO in Njombe, Tanzania. He’s been peppering his updates on this Health and Hygiene Education project with images of localised flyers and posters used to educate people about hygiene and inform them how they can get organised to improve their sanitation facilities.


Photo: Example of Revolving fund poster Photo credit: SHIPO. See full update in Akvo RSR here.

“What I like about Akvo is that it’s really easy to use,” Rik told me. “At the moment the way it works is that Connect International, the partner organisation in Holland, puts a project on the Akvo site. Through the site, funds are generated for the project. Once there are enough funds, SHIPO starts implementing the project. And from time to time we update the project on the Akvo site to show our sponsors the progress. The next step is to train local staff from SHIPO to do updates themselves.”

Abdurahman Ahmed of Stichting Daryeel has had us on the edge of our seats with his regular accounts of progress on the ground-breaking Winddrinker project – winner of the TEDxAmsterdam Ideas Worth Doing 2010 award – currently being tested in Somaliland. The Winddrinker will turn salt water into clean drinking water using only wind energy.


Photo: A crane from the Berbera port is being used to place the heavy gearbox at the top of the tower. See full Akvo RSR update here.

The team have been attempting to place a 200kg gearbox at the top of an 18m windmill tower with limited equipment and in high winds. It’s a bit of a cliffhanger as unless you check the Winddrinker facebook page, you don’t know if they succeeded yet. (Nudge to Abdurahman – time for a new project update on Akvo RSR!)

Jo Pratt is communications manager at Akvo, based in London.