From Milwaukee Renaissance

EarthRenaissance: Nigeria

St. Joseph Seminary School Awka Etiti

In November I traveled to Nigeria to work on an appropriate technology project. It was a collaboration between ReThink Factory, Robby Uppal of Greene Solutions, Aécio D’Silva of Moura Enterprises and Leslys Obiora at the University of Arizona Tuscon. The point of the project was to demonstrate to the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, possible appropriate technology systems that could help towards sustainable development with strong emphasis on education. We constructed a short stretch of road using abandoned tires and a micro-aquabioponics system, at the Saint Joseph’s Seminary Secondary School in Awka Etiti, 30 minutes-drive from Onitsha. Both projects were constructed with the students, in their first and second year of high school and a few teachers. The road provides a way to manage a waste product - tires, while solving a problem at the school: the lack of a paved road. In fact I believe it is a better solution in that context because unlike tarmac, it does not cause erosion. The micro-aquabioponic system is constructed from a 1,000 liter tank to accommodate a fish tank and a hydroponic plant grow bed. It is operated by a pair of solar panels. The students and their teachers are now maintaining the system and use it to illustrate numerous science concepts, such as pH, flow rates, circuit theory, plant and fish nutrition, etc. We continue to monitor the project and advise the teachers there. The plan is for an expansion of the system and the road. In subsequent visits we will expand into other areas such as composting, water collection and other resource management issues.

N.J. Unaka

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Page last modified on December 21, 2013, at 08:47 AM