Like many other third-world countries, Zimbabwe and its inhabitants often endure long periods without electricity. In order to combat this, they use firewood as a primary source of energy. Unfortunately, this very method of creating energy is responsible for the growing problem of deforestation in those regions. This, in turn, affects global warming and contributes to global climate change.
In order to offer a solution to this growing issue, a young student by the name of Macdonald Chiara created a setup that can digest biogas and produce electricity during the process. As the machine converts resources such as animal waste and local plant life, it produces electricity. This represents an excellent source of renewable and, most importantly, clean energy. This method of producing energy may potentially solve this issue on a much larger scale. Zimbabwe, as well as the rest of Africa, needs a sustainable supply of energy in order to ensure their further development.
The device that Chiara manufactured produced around 1.5 volts. This amount of energy is a great option for rural areas without energy due to the fact that they are far away from, or not yet connected to, the national grid. Urban areas may benefit from this as well as a backup power source is a great option when energy supplies are limited.
The work done by Chiara has been rewarded with a Society for Science and the Public Community Innovation Award. These awards are handed out to students whose work contributes to helping their communities. During 2018, the Society of Science awarded 20 students with $500 prizes. And Chiara was one of them. Students that previously received the award were Shubh Dholakiya from Rajkot, who built a bike for disabled people. Another was handed out to Claire Wayner from Baltimore, who discovered a way in which people can decrease the number of bacteria in stormwater filtration systems. And last but definitely not the least, Madeleine Yang discovered a more potent influenza vaccine.