INNOVATIONS – Adapting technology


Khanyisa Projects
has specialised in adapting technologies to suit south african communities. This approach has been adopted after the observation of many failed technologies in the rural and urban settings. Technology needs to be readily accepted by communities, easy to build and maintain locally and cost effective when operating.
Ram pump

Ram pump

Overview
Ram pumps pump water from rivers by means of the kinetic energy of the water (i.e. no external fuel requirements) to storage tanks. For every one meter fall in the river bed, the pump can pump up to 10 meters in head.

 

The potential benefits:

  • No operational costs
  • Minimal maintenance requirements
  • Limited impact on the river environment
  • No time or energy is wasted fetching water from the river

How have we adapted the technology:

  • Recycling of materials to reduce fabrication costs including:
    • Car tyres for washers
    • Lead from batteries for weights
    • Stainless steel washing machine drums for filters
    • Old metal structures (e.g. fire hydrants) for air vessels
  • Size of pump is suited to 1 – 2 hectare gardens, pumps at 2 – 3 litres per minute
Biogas digester

Biogas digester

Overview
A biogas digester uses waste water (sewage) and other organic waste such as food scraps to generate renewable energy in the form of methane gas as well as fertiliser effluent.

 

The potential benefits:

  • Meeting waste water needs (i.e. alternative to septic tank
  • Free gas for cooking is generated
  • Fertiliser is generated
  • Reduction of waste sent to landfill
  • Reduction of carbon footprint

How have we adapted the technology:

  • Use of a 6m3 capacity system which suits households and farms
  • Use of brick and mortar structure for local job creation and economic development
  • Use of fibreglass dome to reduce the challenges associated with the construction of a dome
Rainwater harvesting on rondawels and RDP houses

Rainwater harvesting on rondawels and RDP houses

Overview
Rainwater harvesting allows for collection or storage of rainwater for use at a later stage for drinking, irrigation and other household needs.

The potential benefits:

  • Reduction in reed for municipal water
  • Reduction in costs
  • Reduction in pressure on rivers and dams

How have we adapted the technology:

  • Many RDP houses and most rural households (including circular rondawels) do not allow for conventional attachment of gutters onto rafters, purlins or facia boards. Khanyisa has utilised flexible ducting pipe which is cut to allow it to be attached to the edge of the roofing material
Greywater effluent re-use
Greywater effluent re-use

Greywater effluent re-use

Overview
Greywater harvesting allows for the collection, temporary storage and use in irrigation of some forms of greywater (wastewater from bath, shower, basin). To reduce health risks greywater/recycled water is applied directly to plant roots.

The potential benefits:

  • High levels of nutrients which improve vegetable growth or yield
    Reliable water source which is available all year round
    Reduction in soil erosion and pooling of water

How have we adapted the technology:

  • Khanyisa has utilised a number of different technologies including vertical gardens (use of car tyres, mesh, black plastic and coke bottles)
  • Underground irrigation using coke bottles to form pipes
  • Perforated or slotted 50mm pipes on the surface

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