Fairtrade Coffee at its Source in Uganda

It’s a long journey from a tiny bean growing in the mountains of Uganda to your first morning cup of coffee in the UK, nearly 7000km away. To learn more about this journey, some SVRG members visited a coffee processing facility funded by the Lutheran World Group near Kasese, Uganda in November, 2020. This facility …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/making-coffee/

Martin Kariongi, in his own words

As we remember our friend, Martin Saning’o Kariongi, who passed away this week from coronavirus, we wanted to collect together some of the material that we, and others, have on the internet featuring Martin talking about his work.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/martin-kariongi-in-his-own-words/

Martin Saning’o Kariongi – a life in brief

While looking through my notes this week hunting some site data for a community in Tanzania that we are working in jointly with our partners OMASI, I found – on the very first pages of my notebook – the notes from our first project meeting, where Martin gave us a little glimpse of his life …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/martin-saningo-kariongi-a-life-in-brief/

Martin Kariongi, Director General of OMASI

People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things. Sir Edmund Hillary It is with great sadness that we have to share the news that Martin Kariongi, leader of our Tanzanian partner organisation OMASI, but more particularly our friend and colleague from Terrat, passed away in the morning of 1st March …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/martin-kariongi-director-general-of-omasi/

Solar-powered Milling Machine Evaluation

This report describes the results of tests conducted to assess the viability of an electric 3-phase 2.2kW Agsol hammer mill, imported from Kenya, for use in rural Maasai communities in Simanjiro, Tanzania. The objectives of the tests were to assess the viability of powering the mill from offgrid (solar) energy technology, and (for different mill …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/solar-milling-machine-evaluation/

A Solar powered Electric Milling Machine

Milling machine

Many of the communities we work with are agricultural, with maize flour contributing to an integral part of their diet. In the rural Maasai Tanzanian communities we work with, villagers often have to travel miles to neighbouring towns to access a diesel milling machine. Once there, they can face long waiting periods for sufficient customers …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/a-solar-powered-electric-milling-machine/

Bucket-mounted Solar Systems

Solar panel systems can be expensive and time-consuming to build. They can require specialist knowledge to set up, and be difficult to maintain. In rural communities, it can make a huge difference if a solar panel system can be made simply and at a lower cost. That’s why Smart Villages is always on the lookout …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/bucket-mounted-solar-systems/

Innovative Access to Healthcare for Impact in Remote Communities

Doctor and Nurse using tele-health system

STI4D, a sister company to SVRG, is carrying this project out jointly with our NGO partners in Tanzania, Orkonerei Maasai Social Initiatives (OMASI). This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. Access to good healthcare is often challenging in the developing world, but this is greatly compounded for people living in remote off-grid …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/innovative-access-to-healthcare-for-impact-in-remote-communities/

The InnovateUK Energy Catalyst and working with SVRG partners

Recently, we were invited to give a presentation by our colleagues at the UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (UK LCEDN), as part of a webinar they were running on “Transforming Energy Access” for organisations who were interested in applying for the latest Innovate UK Energy Catalyst (round 8) competition, closing in September 2020. …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/the-innovate-uk-energy-catalyst-programme-and-working-with-partners/

What we mean by Community Engagement – the SVRG way of working.

Recently our project partners in Lesotho, the Energy Research Centre at the National University of Lesotho, asked us to contribute to a week-long Masters’ students event on rural energy access. Because of COVID, we were sadly unable to make it in person, but delivered the presentations via Webex instead. Here is the contribution from Dr …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/what-we-mean-by-community-engagement-the-svrg-way-of-working/

The SVRG approach – what are we all about?

Recently our project partners in Lesotho, the Energy Research Centre at the National University of Lesotho, asked us to contribute to a week-long Masters’ students event on rural energy access. Because of COVID, we were sadly unable to make it in person, but delivered the presentations via Webex instead. Here is the contribution from Dr …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/the-svrg-approach-what-are-we-all-about/

Demand-side Modelling in Somaliland with the Minigrid Game

SVRG is carrying this project out jointly with our partners non-profit Energy Action Partners in Malaysia, and innovative private sector minigrid developer Clear Sky Power in Somaliland. This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. Worldwide, renewable energy minigrids hold great promise for providing electricity to over 1 billion people who are still …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/minigrid-demand-side-modelling-with-the-minigrid-game/

Sustainable Minigrids in Lesotho (STI4D)

This project is being carried out by SVRG’s sister company, STI4D, in collaboration with local offgrid energy company MOSCET, the National University of Lesotho, and technical lead Gram Oorja, an experienced community minigrid and rural technology company based in India. This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. At a national electrification rate …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/sustainable-minigrids-in-lesotho-sti4d/

Minigrids and Integrated Anchor Loads in Rural Uganda

SVRG is carrying this project out jointly with our partners in Uganda, social enterprise EcoLife Foods, and community NGO Kiima Foods. This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency under the Energy Catalyst Round 7 programme. Worldwide, there are more than 800m people living without any access to electricity. In Uganda, only 10% …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/minigrids-and-integrated-anchor-loads-in-rural-uganda/

Innovation Africa-style

One thing that the Smart Villages model is based on is the notion of “appropriate technology” – that is the use of technologies that are specified and optimised based on their context and utility, rather than their absolute efficiency or performance. The classic example is the use of, say, an off-the-shelf lead acid battery instead …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/innovation-africa-style/

Removing Waste Plastic from the Nairobi-Athi River System in Kenya

SVRG is carrying this project out jointly with our partners Chemolex in Kenya. This project is jointly funded by the Coca Cola Foundation and UCSB’s Benioff Ocean Initiative, as part of the Clean Currents Coalition. x

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/removing-waste-plastic-from-the-nairobi-athi-river-system-in-kenya/

Unbalanced 3-phase power nearly killed the radio

So let’s start by stepping back a little. Our innovative partners, OMASI, have set up a number of different productive, social and community projects on their main site in the village of Terat in the Simanjiro District of Tanzania. There’s a shop, a community meeting hall, and a hostel (originally set up as somewhere for …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/unbalanced-3-phase-power-nearly-killed-the-radio/

Meetings with Remarkable Trees…

We were delighted to find that one of the many amazing things about working in the Maasai Plains of Simanjiro District, south of Arusha, is the indigenous baobab trees. The baobab, Adansonia digitata, is native to Africa, and classes as one of the biggest trees in the world. Whilst they “only” reach 25-30m in height, …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/welcome-to-big-tree-country/

Low-cost Efficient Rural Cold Storage in Uganda

SVRG is carrying this project out jointly with our partner in Uganda, social enterprise EcoLife Foods, based in Matugga, north of Kampala. This project is funded by the Efficiency for Access Coalition. Our partners in Uganda, Ecolife Foods, have developed an innovative low-cost local-technology driven cold storage solution, and were finalists in the CLASP/Global LEAP …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/low-cost-efficient-rural-cold-storage-in-uganda/

Solar Boma Systems should be a thing

For the Maasai, the traditional living unit is the boma. This is an extended, or multi-family compound surrounded by a thorn hedge (usually), which will contain between 3 and 10 houses. There is an inner circular compound, also surrounded by a thorn hedge, to keep the livestock safe during the night. Satellite photos of the …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/solar-boma-systems-should-be-a-thing/

Load more