Archive for March, 2010

Five things learned traveling in South Sudan

Posted on: March 29th, 2010 | No Comments

1.  Always try to get a rectangular-shaped bed net. Bed nets that attach with a single point at the ceiling are usually no good (these drape in a way that leaves an out stretched leg or arm vulnerable to blood suckers).

2.  With clothing, versatility is the key. Don’t assume it t might be hot in the day because it will likely be chilly and damp at night.

3.  Scan important travel documents – passport, medical records, identification and credit cards – before traveling store it on a Neverest’s USB card.

4.  Always talk (and listen) to drivers and other locals. Not only are they good sources of information but also good stories. Apparently, there is an elephant named John who lived in South Sudan and crossed over the frontier into Northern Kenya when the fighting started. He’s recently returned since there is now peace.

5.  The peace in South Sudan is tenuous and might not hold with next year’s vote on whether to be independent from the North.

World Water Day

Posted on: March 22nd, 2010 | No Comments

World Water Day (March 22nd) gives reason for a little bit longer post in part because it’s so important and in part because it’s taken for granted. Turn on a tap and it’s available and healthy to drink. In so many parts of the world, that’s not possible. There, where aquifer’s dry up and pollution is everywhere, water is a precious commodity.

In Haiti, water is being trucked in (pictured here) to earthquake survivors.  A reality that occurred before the quake happened.  In Kenya, there is cyclical drought that is currently effecting the north of the country. It is common for people, usually children, to spend hours a day walking to collect safe drinking water. In Zimbabwe, people live in the midst of a continuing cholera crisis that has claimed thousands in the last year. If you have the resources, cholera is easily treated. But if you live in an area without adequate infrastructure, whether in an urban center like Harare or a rural area, it is easy to succumb to the disease by simply drinking water. p1040584

There are several ways to make water safe to drink. Boiling water is straight forward where there is adequate fuel but in developing countries fire wood is often expensive and hard to come by and in developed countries it can be prohibited (for conservation reasons). Filtration requires a mechanism which can clog and then the water must further treated with halogens to remove viruses and the smallest bacteria. Finally, chemical treatment works but requires regular access to chemicals, leaves a bad taste and requires long contact time in cold weather. What’s worse is that chemicals have unknown long-term effects on the body and cryptosporidium cysts can be resistant to treatment. These are all adequate ways to treat water but all have significant downsides.

The World Health Organization recommends ultra-violet (UV) light treatment of water for household use. Neverest’s Hydro-Life, available this year, successfully addresses the limitations found with other products. Stay tuned for updates.

Realities of Water Scarcity

Posted on: March 15th, 2010 | No Comments

snapshotWater scarcity statistics are staggering. Here’s one example: worldwide 6,000 kids a day die from lack of clean water. The South Sudanese village of Magwi, pictured here, is one of those places this happens. Like many other places around the world, water is in scarce supply and they have to work hard to get it. The photo here shows a place where:

• Women and children walk up to three miles to collect water
• The yield of water is slow and it can take at least thirty minutes to fill a single 20 liter container of water
• The wait for a single container of water can be several days long
• Water related diseases area a major contributing factor of death and disease

Neverest recently visited to see what can be done about this. Our Hydro-Life water bottle is one solution because it will enable people to drink water from sources that are not currently using.

Five Ways to Dry up Your Water Use

Posted on: March 10th, 2010 | No Comments

1. Eat right: eating a serving of vegetables instead of beef each week can save 450 gallons of water
2. Use a car wash: they use about 100 gallons less water than washing by hand
3. Front-loading washing machines: they use 40-60 percent less water than top-loading machines
4. Limit lawn watering: it’s by far the largest use of residential water and often unnecessary
5. Use tap water and Neverest’s Hydro-Life: not only is bottled water way more expensive, it takes three liters of water to make one of bottled water

Haiti post-post script: Water use again!

Posted on: March 7th, 2010 | No Comments

Water was already there so these resources could have been spent elsewhere

Pictured here is truck after truck stacked with bottled water at the Port-au-Prince International Airport.  Viewed one way, this is a great sign of international humanitarian assistance.  However, there were five water bottling plants in the city – that were unaffected by the earthquake!  In other words, these trucks were a waste of precious resources.  Bottled water is rarely the right solution.  It is completely unsustainable, has a negative environmental impact and diverts efforts away from other important areas.  But clean water is essential so what is needed is appropriate technology of the sort Neverest will be introducing later this year.

Haiti Post-Script

Posted on: March 6th, 2010 | No Comments

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Apart from the destruction brought by the January earthquake, it is worth remembering that the entire country was not affected. For the adventurous travelers ready to go, there are great places to visitApart from the destruction brought by the January earthquake, it is worth remembering that th.

A 30-minute flight from Port-au-Prince, and then a short speed boat ride, is the gem

of a place called Ile a Vache. With its white sand, nice folks and unspoiled nature, this picture only begin to do it justice. It’s worth the trip if you’re in Haiti and need a break.