Millions of people in Peru lack access to safe water and sewage services. But Abel Cruz Gutiérrez has a solution. Gutiérrez, president of the "Peruvians Without Water" association, uses an ingenious system of "fog catchers" to make water accessible to residents of Lima's low-income neighborhoods. The fog catchers resemble large rectangular sailboat sails, which are composed of nylon nets that trap microdroplets of water. The nets are set up along the foggy areas of coastal Peru and are connected to pipes, which collect the water for larger storage tanks. Residents can then use this water as irrigation for crops or to raise animals. And while the water isn't currently drinkable, Gutiérrez is working on a solution to that as well.
In the past, making and developing metal was too costly for carpenters in Japan. So instead of using nails, carpenters called “miyadaiku” developed unique methods for interlocking pieces of wood together, similar to a giant 3D puzzle. Takahiro Matsumoto has been a miyadaiku carpenter for over 40 years. He runs his company in Kamakura, Japan, where he assesses and repairs damage sustained by the many ancient temples in his city. Using ancient techniques, he ensures that these spiritual structures stay standing for generations to come.
Beneath the glistening blue waves of the Bay of Noli in the Italian Riviera are biospheres bursting with basil, tomatoes, herbs and other plants. It's all a part of a science experiment known as Nemo's Garden. While growing plants underwater might seem strange, it turns out there are a lot of advantages—protection from pests and extreme weather, a regulated temperature and access to fresh water as seawater evaporates and re-condenses. Co-creator of the project Luca Gamberini hopes that one day Nemo's Garden will revolutionize the future of farming and inspire others to grow crops in places they never thought possible.
Are women better at getting out of poverty than men? The Barefoot College in India is a six-month program that brings together uneducated middle-aged women from poor communities all over the world, and trains them to become solar engineers. In this documentary from WHY POVERTY? meet Rafea, the second wife of a Bedouin husband from Jordan and watch her learn about electrical components and soldering without being able to read, write or understand English. Full documentary airs this Sunday 9 pm GMT in UK on BBC.
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I've never cared much for billboards. Not in the city, not out of the city — not anywhere, really. It's like the saying in that old Five Man Electrical Band song. So when the creative director of an ad agency in Peru sent me a picture of what he claimed was the first billboard that produces potable water from air, my initial reaction was: gotta be a hoax, or at best, a gimmick. Except it's neither: The billboard pictured here is real, it's located in Lima, Peru, and it produces around 100 liters of water a day (about 26 gallons) from nothing more than humidity, a basic filtration system and a little gravitational ingenuity.