IEEE Smart Village Ambassador named Fellow – Engineers in Zambia

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Posted On: 07.11.2019
  • Likonge Makai is an Electrical and INstrumentation Engineer with Konkola Copper Mines

  • LiChi has established a single home solar microgrid distribution business in Shikwakala in Lukulu, Western Province and Filibaba in Chingola, Copperbelt Province.

  • Empowering the local women to sew uniforms has helped provide additional income for the villagers.

  • Likonge Makai was selected as a Fellow in the Engineers in Zambia society. She is one of only 20 women in the country honored as a Fellow in the organization.

  • Solar power can be used for irrigating community gardens. LiChi has taught the women of the community how to grow more vegetables for their family.


– By Dan Estes, David Landsdale

Piscataway, New Jersey – IEEE Smart Village has entered into a definitive project agreement with Beyond Chacay Foundation to fund a solar-powered Intranet in the Galapagos Islands. The $25,000 proposal will enable access to a solar-powered Intranet, computer development lab and educational curricula.

Beyond Chacay Foundation (BCF) has been working with Villanova University and ESPOL University in Ecuador to establish a proof-of-concept Intranet on San Cristobal, capital of the Enchanted Islands (where Darwin landed in 1832). This Intranet is the foundation of a combined educational and eco-tourism information network that is envisioned to eventually stretch across the four populated islands of the archipelago. Villanova, ESPOL and BCF received funding for the proof-of-concept phase of the project, in part from IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee:

(https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/engineering/newsevents/newsarchives/2018/world/Singh-Ecuador.html)

This new funding will expand that proof-of-concept to remote schools and tourist destinations in the interior of the islands, enabling computer labs at two schools. Along with fifteen computers, the project will provide 2 kW of solar power to an additional school on San Cristobal. Since Internet connectivity is extremely expensive and unreliable (based on the Other 3 Billion network of satellites), the Intranet distribution system will distribute educational content for students, current tourist information, and vocational training for the community.
The system is part of a larger initiative to engage the local population in the expanding tourism industry in the Galapagos. With land-based tourism up from 20% to 65% in the last 10 years, connectivity becomes an important economic development factor for the success of each of the populated islands. At the same time, the Intranet represents a promising intervention for educating eco-tourists, preparing them as stewards of the fragile and unique eco-system of the area. The Intranet network will provide local information to inform, educate, and highlight the diversity and fragility of the environment. The goal is to build knowledgeable relationships between tourists and local citizens and, thereby, attract financial contributions for further expansion.

David Lansdale, president and co-founder of Beyond Chacay Foundation, Ray Larsen, chair and Co-founder of IEEE Smart Village, and Professor Pritpal Singh of Villanova agree that the Intranet pilot, once socialized and anchored in the local culture, has unlimited potential applied to schools on the other populated islands. More importantly, the Intranet will serve as a vehicle for building bridges and inviting the investment of tourists as community agents of transformation, focusing on quality of experiences for visitors and quality of life for locals. Partnership with ElecGalapagos, the regional utility company, also will make it possible through the Ministry of Energy to replicate and scale the experiment to other tourist destinations in Ecuador, the most biodiverse country, per square meter, on the planet.

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About Beyond Chacay Foundation
Beyond Chacay Foundation is a Vermont-based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with offices in Newfane, Vermont. Current activities are focused in Ecuador in the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon basin, the Sierra, and the Ecuadorian coast.

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