Monday, August 31, 2009


[This information has been taken directly from the web site of; and more information may be found at its web site by following the link at the end of this posting.]

Photo from


Co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, is a nonprofit organization that has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation. traces its roots back to the founding of WaterPartners in 1990. In July 2009, WaterPartners merged with H2O Africa, resulting in the launch of works with local partners to deliver innovative solutions for long-term success. Its microfinance-based WaterCredit Initiative is pioneering sustainable giving in the sector


Since its inception in1990, had helped hundreds of communities in Africa, Asia, and Central America gain access to safe water and sanitation. All of the projects we support are self-sustaining, with organizational and financial structures in place to allow communities to independently operate and maintain them. Projects have an active water committee governing the operation of the water system, and users paying a water bill to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the water system.

Below are links to countries where we have active programs. If you have any particular questions about our work, please contact us using the Information Request Form.


Ethiopia. Our program in Tigray, Ethiopia is serving 32,000 people in 76 communities and six schools. Tigray is a region in northern Ethiopia that borders on Sudan. Tigray is often one of the regions that is hardest hit by drought and crop failure.

Ghana. Program activities in Ghana take place in the Volta and Upper East regions, located in the southeast and northern parts of the country, respectively. Activities include community-based water, sanitation, and hygiene education programs.

Kenya. is working in the Kisumu region of Kenya. Located on the equator, Kisumu’s climate is hot all year. Much of Nyanza Province, where is working, is semi-arid and is subject to severe drought. Most people obtain their drinking water from Lake Victoria, seasonal rivers and streams, and hand-dug wells. All of these sources are contaminated. Women and children walk up to six kilometers each day to haul water, a task that can take three hours. Water is not only contaminated at its source but also from the way it is transported and stored.


Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, offers both grant and WaterCredit programs, and is addressing safe water needs in both rural and urban areas. Our urban program focuses on the slums of the capital city, Dhaka. Our rural program is located in Rajshahi and Manikganj Districts.

India.’s program in India provides safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities to the families living in five states - Andhrah Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu. offers both grant and WaterCredit programs in India.

Philippines.’s program in the Philippines began in 2003 with a project in Barangay Villahermosa.

Central America

El Salvador. has completed two rural water and sanitation projects serving over 1,200 people in the communities of Caulote and Las Americas. These communities are located in the department of Cuscatlán, located approximately 20 miles northeast of San Salvador. The new water systems in El Salvador are spring-fed pumped systems.

Guatemala. Our projects in Guatemala are located in the department of Quiché. Quiché is in the Western highlands of the country. Because of the high prevalence of mountain streams in the Guatemalan highlands, all of our water solutions in Guatemala are spring-fed gravity flow systems.

Honduras. has helped more than 40 Honduran communities build their own safe water systems. Our program in Honduras focuses on the Departments of Lempira and Intibuca, in western Honduras. The once heavily forested Departments now suffer from deforestation. This has led to extreme depletion of the local water tables, forcing women and children to walk long distances to collect water for their families.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


[photo from ICT Update]
Orange Farm, South Africa, an informal settlement of approximately 300,000 people who live about 45 km south of Johannesburg. Water and reliable electrical service is not always easily available in Orange Farm, but thanks to one company, mobile phone service is becoming a reality. The company that is making the mobile service a reality is Dabba, a South African telecommunications company. Debba was initially based in Orange Farm and its service makes wireless service much cheaper than it would have been otherwise. Now Orange Farm has affordable telephone service and other rural communities may be able to follow this example.

The full story about Orange Farm and Dabba can be found in an article titled: “The Mesh Potato Network” in Issue 45 of ICT Update, published in October of 2008.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


If you want to find out how A Locally Fabricated Radio Station was made or A plastic waste recycling press was created, or even how to charge mobile phones with bikes and scrap you should surf on over to AFRIGADGET.COM.

[photo from]

"AfriGadget is a website dedicated to showcasing African ingenuity. A team of bloggers and readers contribute their pictures, videos and stories from around the continent. The stories of innovation are inspiring. It is a testament to Africans bending the little they have to their will, using creativity to
overcome life’s challenges."
Afrigadget is also supported by The Grassroots Reporting Project.

"One of our goals at AfriGadget is to find more stories of African ingenuity. The Grassroots Reporting Project is our plan to find, equip and train more AfriGadget reporters in the field throughout Africa.

AfriGadget’s goal is to leverage the power of current and emerging technology such as video cameras, digital cameras, laptops and phones to bring quality content online and eventually on television.

A combination of mobile phones and computers will be assigned to individuals in 10 African countries for the purpose of getting more on-the-ground reporting of stories of African ingenuity to the world. An AfriGadget editor will be in charge of identifying the best candidates for inclusion in the program. This editor will also travel to each country to train and equip the new AfriGadget reporters for the program.

This is possible by creating a network of field reporters who report on stories that meet the following criteria:

•Ingenious innovation that is new, or a repurposing of existing technology in a new way.

•Interesting in the sense that the story captures the imagination of others, inspiring others to see solutions in uncommon ways.

•Practical ideas that solve problems in a demonstrable way.

•Entrepreneurs who are inventing new products or solutions."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Japan Supports Promotion of Bednets to Prevent Malaria in Ghana

[This article by Junko Mitani was posted to the UNICEF web site in September of 2007, but the word still needs to be spread that bed nets do work. The text of this article and the accompanying photo are the property of UNICEF. At the end of the article, there is a link to a short video on the project.]

GUOMONGO VILLAGE, Ghana, 10 September 2007 – Malaria remains the largest single killer of children in Ghana, taking a toll of approximately 20,000 child deaths every year. One in every four deaths of Ghanaian children under the age of five is due to the mosquito-borne disease.

Malaria also continues to be a major contributor to prevailing poverty and low productivity here.

But ongoing support from Japan – including $1 million contributed recently – is helping families in Ghana reduce the spread of malaria and its deadly impact.

Prevention is the key

Apripey Anyongubire, a mother from Gumongo village in the country’s Upper East Region, has suffered the loss of two children to malaria.

“One evening, I realized one of my children had high fever. I took him to a clinic but nobody was there,” she said. “I took him to another clinic but on the way home, he went into convulsions. I rushed to an herbalist but the child died on the way.” Another of her children died of malaria at home after experiencing similar symptoms.

It is not easy for poor parents like Ms. Anyongubire to seek and obtain appropriate medical treatment for their children in a timely manner, especially in rural villages. Prevention is the key to reducing the number of malaria deaths.

Proper use of insecticide-treated bednets, for example, can reduce about 20 per cent of all child deaths.

Community volunteers raise awareness

To spread that message, Ghanaian community health volunteer Robert Azerko makes house visits on a blue bicycle provided by UNICEF. With a focus on reaching pregnant women, he explains the importance of sleeping under a bednet to prevent malaria.

The visits are critical because some people don’t believe malaria is transmitted through mosquitoes. Others don’t like to sleep under the nets because they feel uncomfortable or too hot, or have trouble hanging them up.

Hundreds of volunteers like Mr. Azerko are working to promote appropriate behaviours that will prevent malaria in their communities.

Nets for 400,000 children and women

With more than $3 million in funding from the people and the Government of Japan since 2004, UNICEF supports the Ghana Health Service’s provision of bednets to children and pregnant women.

“Reduction of child mortality is a priority for Japan’s official development aid,” said His Excellency Masamichi Ishikawa, Japan’s Ambassador to Ghana. “The people and the Government of Japan are committed to support Ghana’s efforts in malaria prevention.”

Japan has contributed over $1 million this year to purchase long-lasting bednets that will protect approximately 400,000 young children and women from the disease.

In November, the nets will be distributed as part of the country’s Integrated Maternal and Child Health Campaign, an initiative led by the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service.

Support from development partners

“This campaign will not only provide lifesaving bednets to young Ghanaian children and pregnant women but will also provide oral polio vaccine, vitamin A supplements and deworming medication,” explained UNICEF’s Representative in Ghana, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque.

“Such efforts are supported by a number of partners, including the Government of Japan, DFID [the UK Department for International Development], USAID and other development partners,” she added.

“In the Upper East Region, the use of the nets is between 26 and 29 per cent, which is still low,” said UNICEF Ghana Health Officer Felicia Mahama. “Our main challenge here is communication on the use of bednets.”

UNICEF: Daily Glance Story site

Video on story from Dailymotion

Thursday, August 06, 2009


[Below is a message from the Chair of the Council of Management of the Africa Centre in London's Convent Gardens. A new building is in the works and the Centre has a new website. This message is taken verbatim from their new website.]


Dear Friends,

Welcome to our new Africa Centre website!

The Africa Centre is being renewed to serve its stakeholders better. Since its inaugural launch in 1964, the Centre has played an important role in projecting a positive face of Africa in London, providing a focal point for all forms of cultural and social activities related to Africa through meetings, talks, visual arts exhibitions, cinema, literature, and the performing arts.

As you may be aware, financial difficulties led to the deterioration of the Covent Garden building, ultimately hindering the full and effective use of the facilities and affecting programming. The latter has now been reduced to a minimum and we are currently forging ahead with plans to redevelop the premises and sustain its operations into the future.

The purpose of the present redevelopment is to guarantee a future Africa Centre where the building’s main facilities can effectively serve the Centre’s remit as a topflight contemporary African cultural and creative centre in Europe, whilst at the same time providing income generation that will ensure long-term sustainability. Business of Culture were brought on board to manage the Centre in the interim and to direct and advise on the Development of the Centre and its future organisation. Considerable progress has been made in stabilising the Centre’s operations and finances and in creating a credible foundation to go forward.

Since the redevelopment process started in 2006, we have come a long way. A lot is happening and various project preparation strands are coming to completion. These include the Feasibility Study carried out by a professional team led by Ash Sakula Architects and project managers, Malcolm Reading Consultants; the commercial and business case for the future centre, incorporating the findings of a thoroughly researched cultural demand assessment, carried out by Good Communications and Business of Culture; the fundraising strategy being developed by The Philanthropy Company and the development of a new programming vision for the future Africa Centre. During this transitional period the centre will continue to be involved in small-scale but exciting cultural events that will pave the way forward.

As Chair of the Africa Centre’s Council of Management since 2004, and on behalf of the Trustees, I would like to reiterate our determination that the Centre’s role be continued and enhanced in the future, free from the uncertainties of the past twenty years. We are committed to realising the potential of King Street site, which has been one of the main strengths of the Centre in its forty-year history and, and offers an unrivalled 'shop window' for Africa in central London.

This new website forms an essential part of our series of initiatives intended to incubate the new Africa Centre in people’s minds, and to reflect the dynamism and excitement of the redevelopment process on an ongoing basis. I encourage you to visit the site regularly for updates on progress made, as well as for details of upcoming programming activities and initiatives.

Best Wishes

Oliver Tunde Andrews


The Africa Centre