People who live in the mountain barangays have a lot of challenges going for them. First and foremost, there is the great distance from where they are located to the nearest center of commerce and trade which is usually in or the city. And that distance is one of the contributing factors why they have difficulty in attaining even their basic needs. One of those needs is water.
The Philippines, being an archipelago with islands of varied topography and geographical make-up, features a lot of scenic landscapes that sometimes can only be found in the mountains. If you have travelled enough to these places, you will notice that not only is the trek difficult, it is also barraged with wild vegetation, rocky cliffs or slippery slopes making the journey x-times more arduous. In some areas, the ascent and descent are even hazardous. How then do these people get the water they need?
Enter the ram pump.
It’s a hydraulic pump which uses the force of the water, in this case the force of the river current, to push water up into the mountains (a more technical description here). Now people who live in the mountain barangays need not break their backs or endanger themselves looking for water as water is readily available with the ram pump. It has certainly made lives easier. Notably, this technology has been around for a long time. Too bad though, like some other ingenious inventions, the ram pump has never been given enough credit for making a difference in the everyday lives of people.
It’s baffling how some inventions fail to achieve a tipping point. The hydraulic ram pump – which has been around for a couple of centuries. falls into this category. The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI) is determined to see the ram pump finally come into its own. Using the power of a river’s flow to literally push water uphill without any other energy input, it’s proving to be a boon for poor villagers living in mountainous regions.
The ram pump can save both hours of back-breaking work carrying water and cash where expensive water pumps are replaced. AIDFI has introduced the ram pump to over 170 upland villages, and has plans to spread the benefits far and wide among poor communities.
– World Challenge 2010
Now we can make a difference.
We can vote for the Philippine entry for the World Challenge.
[The] World Challenge 2010 is a competition organised by BBC World News Limited (“BBC World News”) aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. [BBC is looking for] social entrepreneurs who are making a difference without costing the earth.
– From the World Challenge Website.
This year, the ram pump from the Philippines was selected as one of the 12 finalists of BBC’s World Challenge along with the various projects and inventions from the following countries: Denmark, Tanzania, Peru, Kenya, Zambia, Guatemala, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Rwanda and Malawi.
Just click here to cast your votes. We can also invite our friends to vote for our country’s entry on or before the deadline: November 12, 2010.
While we are not discounting the various efforts of other countries, it is but proper to show our Pinoy pride. Vote now! 😀
Image courtesy of www.akvo.org.