Sustainability Technology: Yirego Corporation has developed a quick way to do laundry without using electricity. With a holding capacity of up to 2kg (4.4 pounds), the Drumi, can do a load of lightly soiled clothes within about 5 minutes. Pedal operated, the Drumi can handle 5L of water for each load.
Sustainability Issue: An estimated 1.2 billion people or 16% of the global population do not have access to electricity and most of them live in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia meaning without a significant change in infrastructure, they are unlikely to get grid access any time soon. Doing laundry in the developing world is very time consuming and takes a lot of physical energy as well. The laundress (or launder) has to find a water source, soak then scrub the clothes, wring them dry, and carry the clothes back to be dried out in the sun. On top of all this, the harsh scrubbing process can compromise the structural integrity of the clothes being washed. The Drumi drastically cut down on the time and physical activity. The water can be collected separately, which is probably already a daily task, and the cleaning can be done at home. With just a 5 minute cycle, approximately 5-6 loads (including hanging) can be done in one hour. Admittedly, the Drumi, at $140 is probably too expensive for some households, and financing would most likely be necessary, but a cost benefit analysis would likely show that it is a useful investment.
- Families with limited or No Access to the Grid
- Launders/Laundresses in Developing countries
- Developmental Organizations
- Rural Communities
- Avid Campers
- Mobile Home Residents
- Urban Residents without Washer/Dryer
- Research a community in sub-Saharan Africa with a need for a better laundry system.
- Find funding through a development grant using the research as a basis for need.
- Establish a public/private partnership with Yirego
- Work with local community and establish a working partner in region who can train, maintain, and distribute Drumi systems to families in the region.
- Offer a financing package through the grant and private partnership
- If successful, create the same model with other developing communities.