ZAYED SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY PRIZE 2019

THE EN­TRANTS VY­ING FOR THE WORLD’S PREMIER EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL AWARD

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE -

EN­TRANTS FOR THE 2019 Zayed Sus­tain­abil­ity Prize have been var­ied and chal­leng­ing. Each idea has taken on a spe­cific area of en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cern, with project fi­nal­ists pre­sent­ing a unique set of prob­lems and so­lu­tions.

Nuru In­ter­na­tional is a US fi­nal­ist in the food cat­e­gory and is work­ing with farm small­hold­ings in Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. The com­pany was es­tab­lished by for­mer US ma­rine Jake Har­ri­man in 2008.

Mr Har­ri­man com­pleted two com­bat tours in Iraq as a pla­toon com­man­der and saw the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted against lo­cal farm­ers. Now, his project as­sists vul­ner­a­ble farm­ers to deal with prob­lems re­lated to cli­mate change.

“The past decade has not been easy and we only suc­ceeded be­cause of our ded­i­cated teams and re­silient farm­ers,” Mr Har­ri­man said.

“Our goal is to demon­strate that sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment is pos­si­ble in these ne­glected ar­eas af­flicted by vi­o­lent ex­trem­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions, and in­spire oth­ers to fol­low us.”

After leav­ing the mil­i­tary, he stud­ied busi­ness at Stan­ford Univer­sity, want­ing to de­vote his fu­ture to help­ing the most im­pov­er­ished com­mu­ni­ties.

Over the past decade. Nuru has helped more than 120,000 peo­ple start to lift them­selves out of ex­treme poverty across Africa.

Di­rect im­prove­ments have been work­ing with farms and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties to re­duce their food waste, while in­creas­ing agri­cul­tural yields and re­duc­ing their car­bon foot­print and wa­ter pol­lu­tion.

Also work­ing in pro­vid­ing clean wa­ter is French en­gi­neer Jean-Paul Augereau, who put his ca­reer as a manag­ing di­rec­tor in print­ing and tex­tiles on hold after get­ting blood poi­son­ing from un­safe drink­ing wa­ter.

That trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence led him to es­tab­lish the Safe Wa­ter Cube project.

"I be­gan manag­ing a wa­ter-treat­ment and re­cy­cling com­pany and, in par­al­lel, ded­i­cated 10 years to de­sign­ing sim­ple, sus­tain­able equip­ment that could de­liver clean, drink­able wa­ter to com­mu­ni­ties around the world in need of such so­lu­tions;' Mr Augereau said.

"In the field, a key risk is the loss or dam­age of our foun­tains. This risk is con­sid­er­ably re­duced by hav­ing at least two peo­ple as­signed to over­see the im­ple­men­ta­tion and man­age­ment of the foun­tain in their vil­lage

Since Au­gust 2016, more than 70 foun­tains have been

in­stalled in nine coun­tries, pro­vid­ing safe drink­ing wa­ter to about 80,000 peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas.

Win­ning the $600,000 (Dh2.2m) prize would help to fi­nance the in­stal­la­tion of 500 drink­ing foun­tains ev­ery year around the world.

Op­er­a­tion Asha is an­other fi­nal­ist in the health cat­e­gory and the largest non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion for de­tect­ing tu­ber­cu­lo­sis in In­dia.

The coun­try has been plagued by the dis­ease, with 100,000 women aban­doned and 300,000 chil­dren forced out of schools ev­ery year be­cause of it.

The op­er­a­tion has de­vel­oped a treat­ment pro­gramme across In­dia, Cam­bo­dia and Afghanistan, serv­ing 16 mil­lion pa­tients and pro­vid­ing more than 300 dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple with jobs as health work­ers.

It has dis­trib­uted food to mal­nour­ished TB pa­tients, pro­vided a mo­tor­cy­cle am­bu­lance ser­vice in re­mote ar­eas, and test­ing for heart dis­ease, haemophilia and di­a­betes.

The We Care So­lar project from Cal­i­for­nia has a project that is im­prov­ing en­ergy ac­cess in med­i­cal care and ed­u­ca­tion. The group has tested a So­lar Suit­case to mon­i­tor pre­na­tal heath in re­mote ar­eas of Africa and Haiti.

Liv­ing Goods has of­fered a new ap­proach to manag­ing 8,700 com­mu­nity health work­ers in Kenya and Uganda.

In­spired by the idea of Avon’s door-to-door sell­ing in the US, health work­ers visit homes of­fer­ing med­i­cal ser­vices, health ed­u­ca­tion, medicine and health prod­ucts.

Projects pro­vid­ing so­lar en­ergy to ru­ral coun­tries, where ac­cess to the na­tional grid is lim­ited, has been a bedrock of the Zayed Sus­tain­abil­ity Prize since it was es­tab­lished in 2008. The lat­est so­lar en­ergy so­lu­tions have come a long way since then.

Bboxx em­ploys 600 staff in Rwanda, Kenya, China and else­where, and has in­stalled more than 150,000 so­lar home sys­tems to pro­vide clean en­ergy to 675,000 peo­ple.

Fi­nal­ist Acu­men is help­ing to fund sus­tain­abil­ity projects around the world.

The com­pany aims to raise seed fund­ing for sus­tain­able en­ergy projects with the aim of im­prov­ing the lives of eight mil­lion peo­ple.

Since 2007, Acu­men has in­vested $21m in 18 en­ergy com­pa­nies across East and West Africa, In­dia and Pak­istan to build the largest global port­fo­lio of en­ergy com­pa­nies serv­ing the poor­est com­mu­ni­ties.

Since 2007, Acu­men has in­vested $21m across East and West Africa and South Asia to build the largest global port­fo­lio of en­ergy com­pa­nies serv­ing the poor­est com­mu­ni­ties

Pho­tos Zayed Sus­tain­abil­ity Prize

Liv­ing Goods has of­fered a new ap­proach in­spired by Avon’s doorto-door sales to man­age 8,700 com­mu­nity health work­ers in Kenya and Uganda, right

Nuru In­ter­na­tional is work­ing with small­hold­ings in Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa to teach farm­ers sus­tain­able meth­ods

Op­er­a­tion Asha, left, has de­vel­oped a treat­ment pro­gramme across In­dia, Cam­bo­dia and Afghanistan, serv­ing 16 mil­lion pa­tients and giv­ing dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple jobs as health work­ers

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