Science

FIVE PROJECT QUESTIONS

1. What is your innovation?
Our innovation involves connecting organic waste with electricity. We can reduce outdoor defecation and bring power to a community with one solution. Organic waste is converted to methane gas in a digester, which can be combusted to generate electricity. Further, our innovation includes distributing power in an area that lacks infrastructure, through portable, rechargeable 12-V batteries. Other successful organizations have applied certain elements of this project; we are connecting the dots.
2. Who gains the most?
Women and children gain the most from our project. They are particularly exposed when relieving themselves, either at sunset or at sunrise. Electricity provided by the batteries can profoundly change life at home in rural India by allowing productivity after dark. Electricity can enable women to do necessary housework and children to do their schoolwork with artificial light. Toilets provide a safe and sanitary environment for the vulnerable to relieve themselves.
3. Who pays?
Donations and investments made to HPP will be spent on infrastructure needs for our toilet and power systems. HPP will generate revenue by charging battery users 10 Rupees ($0.19) per charge. HPP’s batteries have a 12 hour charge, so we assume that users will re-charge their batteries twice a week (if batteries are just used at night). Currently, families spend $40 a year on kerosene for lighting. Our system will offer a much cheaper, and more versatile form of energy while improving sanitation.
4. What is your success?
HPP envisions three interrelated layers of success. First, HPP will increase access to sanitation and electrical infrastructure in rural Bihar. Secondly, there will be a decrease in the incidence of water born illnesses and increased productivity associated with toilets and electricity. Finally, this will empower the community to realize that it has tremendous control over its health outcomes and economic success.
5. How will you do it?
HPP understands the subtle difference between access to toilets and use of toilets. Achieving success entails bridging that gap by implementing a community health education program grounded in behavior modification models. HPP will then connect the dots between organic waste and electricity generation, creating a new market economy based on our battery-rental service. Programmatic control will be shifted to the community thus empowering them to define health and economic outcomes.

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