“Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for day, teach a man how to fish and you’ll feed him in a lifetime”, an old saying that has been around for who knows how long. Our article today will be loosely related on this quote.
While the African people’s struggle for potable water is still in the progress of being solve, and people, big and small, lending any help they can, perhaps maybe we should add another foundation to our already implemented solutions?
Although Africa has been reached by technological advancement that’s prolific in the west, the parts that have been touched are but a fraction to regions that hasn’t. And while there’s internet available in areas developed, there’s still a massive hole that’s yet to be filled in order to cater those that need the quick and vast knowledge that the web has to offer.
Perhaps the internet is a key to solving the water issues that’s ravaging this land? How, you may ask?
Well, let’s start off with one William Kamkwamba. For those who are not familiar with this man’s spectacular story, William is a native of the Malawian village at Masitala who, through knowledge, sheer will, and innovation, has brought clean, drinking water to his village.
William is considered to be a part of the Cheetah Generation, a term coined by economist George Ayittey, which means young people who are hungry for change and technology.
Poverty and hunger is what William drove to be what he is now: an engineer, author, and innovator. He reached this status only through a local library where he self-educated himself after quitting school. His life changed for the better when he picked up an old book one day and saw a photo of a windmill.
Fast-forward weeks later and he was now placing a car light bulb to a turbine which he made through bicycle parts, a used shock absorber, a tractor’s fan blade, and blades he fashioned from plastic pipes flattened through fire. He would then build another windmill, called the Green Machine, which led to a water pump that irrigated his family’s land.
All this through perusing old books from a local library. Imagine what he could have achieved if he had the information that are available on the web; the vast information that could be access with just a few clicks of a button.
Imagine a whole generation of Williams. Young Africans with light in their eyes and fire in their hearts motivated by their country’s failures and the harsh life that they’ve come to know.
But let us step back for a moment and take things down a notch. We’re not talking about making the internet available in the country. We’re talking about fostering knowledge among this new generation.
Spread stories like of Williams and other who made it through hard work and the availability of useful information at hand’s reach. It may not solve Africa’s water problem, but it will certainly make huge impact in the long run. After all, who better to solve a it than the people who’ve lived them?