Aid Foundation’s ram pump makes it at the BBC World Challenge
BY: ERROL A. GATUMBATO
The hydraulic ram pump project of the Aid Foundation in Negros Occidental is now getting international prominence and recognition with its inclusion as one of the 12 finalists in the 2010 World Challenge Completion. Now on its 6th year, this competition, hosted by the BBC World News and Newsweek, in cooperation with Shell, is aimed in finding projects or small businesses around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at grassroots levels. The World Challenge is also about championing and rewarding projects and businesses, which really make a difference. The entry of Aid Foundation in this competition is titled “The Only Way is Up”, which clearly describes the ram pump technology.
According to Aid Foundation, “the hydraulic ram pump is a device that pumps water up to high
elevation through the use of energy contained in falling water passing through it”. Although it is already an old technology, the huge potentials of the ram pump have never been maximized because old models are hard to acquire and some with inferior quality. Through the innovation of Aid Foundation, a perfect model was developed and installed in 170 villages across the Philippines.
The development of this technology was motivated by Aid Foundation’s realization that water is a vital need for drinking and irrigation in upland communities. However, Aid is not only focusing on technology installation but it also mainstreams community development activities, such as capacity building, formation of water associations, and watershed rehabilitation, in areas where the ram pump shall be installed. Approximately, more than 50,000 people have already benefitted from the technology, the Aid claimed on its nomination paper in the World Challenge.
Through the years, the nine different sizes of ram pumps developed by Aid has captured the interest of both government and non-government institutions and has been taken into international levels through technology transfer with other countries, such as Holland, France, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Peru, Malaysia, Japan, Nepal, and USA. In Afghanistan, the technology has been fully transferred and where the model is now being produced and installed. The growing demand of the technology has further encouraged the Aid Foundation in developing bigger sizes of ram pumps for irrigation purposes.
To compete with the market, the Aid has developed a working miniature model of its technology, which is being used in promotional activities here and abroad. A Techno Park, featuring the various ram pump models, is also installed at the office of Aid Foundation in Bacolod City. This initiative has already gained local and international awards, like the Ashden Awards, Energy Globe and recognition from former US President Bill Clinton.
The World Challenge is an online voting competition at http://www.theworldchallenge.co.uk. The voting shall run from September 27 to November 12 this year, while the winner and two runners up shall be announced in an awarding ceremony in the Netherlands, which shall also be broadcasted in BBC on December 4, 2010. The profiles of the winners shall also appear in the December 21, 2010 issue of the Newsweek.
Competing with Aid Foundation in the World Challenge is the other entry from the Philippines known as the “Growth Cycle”. The Growth Cycle is about the invention of a bamboo bicycle frame by high-end bicycle designer Craig Calfee. The bike is now available in the Philippines and it is now being considered for export in Europe and USA.
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