If you were asked what you could do to change the lives of the most people in the world for the better what would it be?
Our answer: the delivery of water - for drinking, hygiene, cooking and agriculture.
The problem is that in order to deliver water you need energy.
In most developing countries over 50% of the people, particularly the poorest people, are not on the grid or cannot afford electricity.
Paul Polak, in his book Out of Poverty, writes about how he developed a treadle pump (like a stair stepper) to deliver water to farmers (see picture above).
Our goal was to find a way to deliver water using renewable energy.
The founder of OMID is an engineer/inventor who heads R & D with Siemen's and has worked on projects such as the Mars Rover for NASA. Along with teams of engineering students, he has worked for over 5 years in developing a Portable Renewable Energy Platform (PREP) to be used for drip-irrigation for subsistence farmers. (see picture above). The teams continue to work on other renewable energy solutions for OMID.
Our initial focus is drip irrigation for farming because 75% of the world's potable water is used for agriculture. The more efficiently water is used for agriculture the more water that is available for other uses.
We have also partnered with SolerCool, LTD to use their inventon of a small solar powered refrigeration building (ColdShed) to keep up to two tons of fruits and vegetables cold so farmers have a longer time to deliver them to market (see picture above).
We have now set up a complete system at SENA University (called the "university of the poor") in Valledupar, Colombia (see website).
Our model is to help the individuals members of a community own to the PREP and communities to own the ColdShed. We will supplement each dollar you give with public financing, partnering with Red Adelco (a Colombian NGO), and micro-financing. Ownership of the technology allows the individual or community to use the platform for a variety of needs - such as electricity in their homes, etc. (see our website for examples). We want this to be a platform for entrepreneurship and economic development that becomes self-sustaining.
Your donations will allow us to subsidize the installation of PREP and ColdShed systems in poor/subsitence communities in Colombia and to work with them to find environmentally sustainable solutions for further development.
While we are beginning our work in Colombia, we eventually hope to bring these life-changing sytems to vulnerable populations throughout the developing world.
Help us help people gain control over their energy and water, to help raise them out of poverty and enhance their lives and the lives of their children.
For more see: www.omid-usa.org