Update February 2016

The work of Developing Technologies has continued to progress well over the past year, maintaining a good level of student project work at both City University and Imperial College London.

Three DT projects are in a more advanced state.

Motorcycle Ambulance Trailer
The trials of the Motorcycle Ambulance Trailer (MAT) in eastern Zambia, with a project extension including a second partner in Malawi, were completed at the end of 2013. This compared the MAT with the simpler bicycle ambulance trailer and the more costly Landcruiser ambulance. The report to the project sponsors African Community Access Program (AFCAP) was well-received and demonstrated great promise for the MAT. Since the completion of the trials the two health centres in Zambia have continued to use the MATs successfully, but further involvement from DT had to be curtailed due to lack of funding.

We learned recently that a funding application has received approval for a project led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to be based in Mwanza, Tanzania. DT has a component of this project to introduce two MATs. We are currently awaiting further details, but this is good news indeed.

Percussion Drill
DT’s borehole well-drilling project based in Sierra Leone has been on hold due to lack of funds and because of the long-running Ebola crisis. Although new cases may turn up again from time to time, the region has now been declared Ebola-free and people are slowly recovering from the devastation caused.

Plans are now underway to restart the programme with our partner, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to help establish the National Park in the Gola Rainforest. DT will join forces with a new private enterprise being launched in Sierra Leone to manage the well-drilling and scale up the project in the remote eastern areas. DT is now seeking £20,000 in funds to recruit and send four engineering interns in the first year of the 2-year project.

Recycling of Plastic Waste
The Comic Relief funded programme on recycling of plastic waste in Nigeria concluded with a study to investigate processes for collecting and cleaning the waste. A subsequent survey of the market for products that can be produced from the waste concluded by recommending roofing materials as being marketable. The local partner, the Fantsuam Foundation, is now seeking start-up capital to launch a business.