When one thinks of animal dung, one usually thinks: messy. Dutch research institute TNO has developed a prototype of a socket that turns biogas heat into electricity. Together with SNV and BoP Innovation Center, students at Delft University of Technology visited Rwanda for TNO to test this new prototype in people's homes. Who could have ever imagined, that one day mobile phones would be charged with cow dung?
Students Anne Jansen (24) and Diana Alacron (32) spent six weeks in Rwanda's countryside, where they spoke with families to understand their specific needs when it comes to gas and electricity.
"We noticed a need for gas for cooking, but also for electricity," says Diana. "Eighty percent of the Rwandan population has no access to electricity." Meanwhile, according to their research, almost everyone owns a mobile phone - both parents and their children.
"When people don't have electricity, they walk every three days to the city where they leave the phones on little charging stations," explains Anne. "This means a lot of effort, time and money is spent on charging. Electricity would make them more independent".