Development Marketplace Grants: Three Success Stories


  • An initiative to get clean water in Zimbabwe gets $ 25 million (US) in additional funding to reach 8 million more people.

  • Khmer villagers stopped producing inexpensive carpets to make expensive handbags and hats, invigorating the economy of the region.

  • A rainwater harvesting project allows villagers in a desert region of India to significantly reduce the time they need to collect water.

January 5, 2010 -The Development Marketplace Awards are awarded to early-stage community projects in developing countries. These projects are aimed at poor people and their environment, but can also be expanded to benefit other communities. Here's how three winning projects from the Development Marketplace have evolved since winning their award:

Zimbabwe, Malawi: Safe Water Initiative Raises Millions of Dollars

In 1999, when Ian Thorpe was teaching English in a rural area of ​​Zimbabwe, two students from his elementary school died of dysentery after drinking water from a well, in which a snake had fallen before break down. This incident shocked Ian Thorpe and pushed him, in association with two former teaching colleagues, Tendai Mawunga and Amos Chiungo, to develop an inexpensive pump ($ 400) and protect against the risk of contamination. Ian Thorpe's team adapted an ancient Chinese technology using bamboos as conduits, as well as sisal rope and leather discs to raise water buckets from hand-dug wells. The "Elephant Pump" has a pump body covered with concrete that protects the water from contamination.

Thanks to the $ 120,000 grant from the 2006 Development Marketplace, PumpAid, a UK-based international charity created by Ian Thorpe, has expanded beyond a few schools and villages to install 1 000 pumps that benefited 250,000 Zimbabweans. Development Marketplace funding has also been used to create the Elephant Toilet, an innovative sanitation initiative that is inexpensive and low maintenance.

Three years later, PumpAid has secured an additional $ 25 million in funding to support the development of water and sanitation programs, enabling an additional 8 million people in Zimbabwe and Malawi to benefit from it. the next five years.

Vietnam: a project of making handbags to preserve wetlands

With six feet high (about 1.8m), the eastern crane is the largest bird in the world able to fly. Very majestic, with a wingspan of eight feet (2.43m), it was fast disappearing in Vietnam, one of its main habitats, until Dr. Triet Tran, professor at the National University Vietnam, a leading biodiversity expert, developed the Ha-Tien Habitats Handbags project in 2003 with a $ 102,750 grant from Development Marketplace.

The project secured cranes a protected habitat of over 20 km2 (5000 acres) of wetland reclaimed. The villagers of Phu My a have revived the economy, resulting in a tripling of the income of the Khmer ethnic minority. Instead of producing inexpensive carpets from the Lepironia grass they grow (and used as food for cranes), 200 families make high-value handbags and hats for Ho Chi tourists. Minh city.

In 2007, the project, based in the province of Kien Giang in southern Vietnam, received the "International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment" (International Award for Best Practices to Improve Living Conditions), $ 30,000 awarded by UN-Habitat and the City of Dubai. It is planned to extend this project to the surrounding wetlands bordering the Cambodian border.

India: rainwater harvesting project saves time

Raising water for domestic use in the drought-prone desert state of Rajasthan southwest of New Delhi can be difficult, time consuming and unrewarding . Sometimes it takes two weeks before the water tanker passes. However, thanks to the Aakash Ganga rainwater harvesting project, funded by Development Marketplace, the women of Sarapura and five other villages - a total population of 10,000 - fill their matkas (water jug) every day.

Aakash Ganga won a grant of $ 200,000 from the 2006 Development Marketplace, thanks to Sustainable Innovations, the initiator of the project. Since then, he has been renting roofs from the village in exchange for compensation. Rainwater is channeled through gutters and pipes to a network of underground storage tanks. The cost of catching and storing rainwater is about $ 0.002 per liter. The amount of capital is 2-3 dollars per year per person.

The Indian government is now considering extending the Aakash Ganga project to several thousand villages in Rajasthan, establishing a public-private community partnership. The United Nations Development Program has awarded Sustainable Innovations, headed by "social entrepreneur" BP Agrawal, a planning grant to extend the Aakash Ganga project to several hundred villages in Nagaur district. , in Rajasthan.

In May 2009, the Asian Development Bank awarded Aakash Ganga a $ 10,000 pilot grant to provide the Guiyang Municipality in China with a demonstration of the rainwater harvesting system. The municipality's water, contaminated by pesticides, has become a scarce resource due to agricultural production.

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