Portland Monthly: 25 Portlanders Who Are Changing the World, January 25, 2013
Portland State named as Co-Investigator: USAID invests up to $20 million in UC Berkeley’s global development initiatives, November 8, 2012
The Commonwealth Club: Water: Innovating for the Essential Resource, November 7, 2012
The Atlantic: Developing countries serve as R&D lab for global technologies, October 16, 2012
Global Water Forum: Leveraging carbon financing to enable accountable water treatment programs, September 23, 2012
The Solutions Journal: Measuring Sustainability, August, 2012
Portland Tribune: Saving Lives, CO2 Emissions in Rwanda, July 25, 2012
NASA Ask Magazine: NASA Engineers Without Borders, July 9, 2012
The New York Times: News Flash: Progress Happens, December 15, 2011
News – April 11, 2012
A Portland State professor is set to lead a far-reaching public health campaign in Africa, serving clean water and energy to at least a quarter of Rwanda’s rural population.
Many Rwandese drink dirty water and breath soot from indoor cook fires—both leading causes of disease in a nation where the life expectancy is under 50 years old. Worldwide, contaminated water kills 1.5 million children every year, and another 1.6 million people die from upper respiratory disease.
By next spring, the project will distribute water filters and efficient cook stoves to 750,000 households, nearly all of the Western Province of Rwanda, reducing the demand for wood fuel. The project is owned and funded by water quality testing company DelAgua, and contracted toManna Energy Limited.
Leading the on-the-ground effort is Assistant Professor of Engineering Evan Thomas, who co-founded Manna and has worked in Rwanda since 2004. “We anticipate this project will bring significant health improvements to these communities and demonstrate the potential to deploy and monitor international health programs like this on a very large scale,” Thomas said.
About 500 of the filters and cook stoves will be equipped with a smart sensor developed in Thomas’ SWEETLab at Portland State in partnership with Portland-based Stevens Water Monitoring Systems.
Nearly a billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water, two billion have inadequate sanitation facilities, and three billion use biomass for their daily energy needs.
Combined, these resource limitations are the leading causes of death, and economic and political insecurity. Exacerbating these problems are the international effects of climate change, expected to significantly impact developing countries by changing water and energy quality and availability.
The SWEETLab™ at Portland State University develops and implements technologies for the support of life in remote environments. We work with academic, industry and non-profit partners around the world, and are associated with the Portland State Institute for Sustainable Solutions.
A key thread of our research focuses on improving accountability and methodologies for international development through improved data collection.