Rainwater Storing Gojo Is A Stroke Of Genius

A traditional Ethiopian Gojo. Image courtesy of easterntravelandtour.com

The traditional Ethiopian Gojo is a circular domed dwelling constructed from a central vertical beam, and a surrounding structure of curved beams made from wood or bamboo. A covering of dried grass and mud completes the outer structure. These buildings are found everywhere in rural areas, due to their ease of construction, and availability of cheap materials. One major problem living in rural areas in developing countries is access to water. Ethiopian inventor [Anteneh Gashaw] knows a thing or two about the practicalities of living in a developing nation, and has come up with an ingenious take on the traditional Gojo. The idea is to replace the outer structure with pipes capable of storing rainwater. A collector plate on the top of the roof directs rain water into the pipes — with some small balancing tubes connecting them at the bottom — distributing the stored water evenly. A tap at the bottom of structure allows the pipes to be emptied on demand. Another interesting point about this design, is that the water adds some extra weight, for free, which gives the structure much improved stability in high winds, increasing safety.

{Anteneh] notes that proper water infrastructure is incredibly expensive, and just simply won’t happen. Well digging, installation of underground water tanks, and other such stop gap measures are great, but still need significant investment, and he believes that his modified Gojo idea will help reduce the problem of storing water during the rainy season, and reduce the pressure on centralised wells and other such community-orientated solutions. What’s more, it should be cheap. We shall watch with interest where this goes.

We’ve seen a few hacks from Africa nations, not many, just a few, but they are interesting ones. Like this DIY Helicopter that didn’t quite get to fly, and this e-waste 3D printer. We’ll keep our eye peeled for more!

Solar And Wind Could Help Support Ethiopia’s Grand Dam Project

Ethiopia is in the midst of a major nation-building project, constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Upon completion, GERD will become the largest hydropower plant in Africa, providing much needed electricity for the country’s growing population.

The project dams the Blue Nile, a river which later flows into neighbouring Sudan, where it merges with the White Nile and then flows on to Egypt. Like all rivers that flow across political boundaries, concerns have been raised about the equitable management of the water resources to the benefit of those upstream and down. Too much water dammed upstream in GERD could have negative effects on Egyptian agriculture reliant on river flows, for example. Efforts are ongoing to find a peaceful solution that suits all parties. Recently, suggestions have been made to supplement the dam’s power output with solar and wind to minimise disruption to the river’s users.

Continue reading “Solar And Wind Could Help Support Ethiopia’s Grand Dam Project”