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Students4Kids EN » With Vitamin-Producing Water Plants against Malnutrition in Zambia

With Vitamin-Producing Water Plants against Malnutrition in Zambia

Short description

Genetically modified aquatic plants grow in small aquariums and enrich the water with vitamins. Hence an autonomous supply of vitamins is ensured in Zambia.

Which problem do I/we aim to solve ‐ and why?

In many countries of the world the people’s hunger was satisfied by an unbalanced diet with energy-rich foods such as rice or wheat. However, these highly cultivated staple foods are no longer able to provide the people with sufficient amounts of vitamins. The resulting vitamin deficiencies lead to diseases, loss in performance capability and malformations. The aim of this project is to help these people and to develop and to optimize the technology that shall be used in Zambia for the first time, so that people all over the world can be saved from vitamin deficiencies.

Our/My idea for a solution

Small aquariums with genetically modified aquatic plants will be distributed in Zambia. These aquatic plants produce vitamins, which they secrete into the surrounding water. If people regularly drink this water, they absorb the containing vitamins and thus malnutrition can be prevented. At the same time an awareness campaign shall be launched to report about vitamin deficiencies and the benefits of the vitamin enriched water. The aquatic plants are capable of reproduction, which means that people in Zambia can cultivate more of them as required.

Why is my/our solution an innovative idea and tackles the challenge from a new perspective

The advantage of this approach is that it allows the people of Zambia to autonomously supply themselves with vitamins without depending permanently to the supply of funds or resources from the outside. Furthermore, the technology is so simple that it is not necessary to conduct a major education program for the population. Also, due to the fertility of the algae and the simplicity of the aquarium, a crisis-induced destruction can be reestablished by the population on its own. Moreover, there is no incentive for radical groups to steal or destroy the technology.

How is my/our idea feasible?

Initially, the water plants need to be developed and tested. Thereafter, the Zambian government as well as the church shall be informed and convinced to take part in the initiative. With their assistance the aquaria (funded by donations) including the aquatic plants will be distributed. Within the first five years, the aquaria should be spot-checked and acceptance in the population should be evaluated.

Which methods and channels do I/we want to utilise?

The awareness campaign can be done via radio and the local churches. The churches, as already existing infrastructure, could also help in the distribution and maintenance of the aquaria. The aquatic plants will have to be genetically developed.

What’s my/our expected outcome and improvement?

We expect a decrease of vitamin-related deficiency symptoms as well as an acceptance of the aquaria. It would be best to check the vitamin supply of the population directly but for cost reasons it would probably be sufficient enough to examine the vitamin content of the aquarium water. At the meantime it should be randomly investigated how many aquaria are used in the villages.

What's my/our budget and which partners I/we would expect to be valuable

For each aquarium we calculate about € 15. For the development of the plants, we estimate 150,000 €. Important partners would be the church, the government of Zambia and the Bayer CropScience AG.

With Vitamin-Producing Water Plants against Malnutrition in Zambia

Team: Sebastian Junker

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