Hailey Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brooke Begg (email@example.com)
Madison Stepherson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sylvana Saleh (email@example.com)
Background/Problem: In countries such as Malawi and Sierra Leone, current food storage methods are ineffective because they fail to protect food, such as grains, from moisture, heat, humidity, pests, and rodents. Many of these communities rely on grains for a large portion of their diet (link). Due to current storage issues, millions of people in these parts of the world are in danger of loosing staple food sources and are susceptible to exposure of aflatoxin (mold) (link). While knowledge of mold exposure is limited in these communities (link), chronic exposure to aflatoxin may cause pneumonia in populations with weakened immune systems (link, link).
Our group will identify a sustainable solution that will effectively store food specifically against rodent intervention and relative humidity as high as 90%. This device will also be available, cost-efficient, and provide job opportunities for these communities.
b. Countries/ Regions of Focus:
Malawi is a country within southeastern Africa, whose agricultural industry plays a large component within their economy, producing mainly cornmeal, tobacco, sugar, and more addressed in the following links (link) (link). One of the most common meals eaten daily according to the website, Cultures and their Countries (link), is called nsima, which is “chicken, goat, and pig supplementing boiled cornmeal.” They also acknowledge that there are many different types of fruit available for meals.
The website, World Population Review (source) also provides some more current demographic information of Malawi:
a. population: over 19 million
b. median age is 16.5 years
c. average life expectancy of 63.77 years (LOW)
d. main languages: Chichewa and English
e. climate: “cold-dry or hot-wet”; the “hot-wet season occurs from November to April” ( source)
Sierra Leone is a country located in western Africa, whose agricultural industry and food system depends largely on the productions and harvesting of rice as described in the following links (link) (link). According to the website Cultures and their Countries (link), “the average women bears six children,” which presents a serious problem if the family does not have access to food resources leading to an increase in malnutrition.
The website, World Population Review (source) also provides more detailed demographic information pertaining to life in Sierra Leone:
a. population: 7.6 million
b. poverty rate of 81%
c. 16 ethnic groups; 16 languages (English spoken throughout)
d. average life expectancy: 52.3 years (LOW)
e. median age is 19 years
f. health concerns over prevalence of “HIV/AIDS, malaria, and yellow fever”
g. climate: “tropical; hot; humid” (source)
Group members (left to right): Hailey, Brooke, Madison, Sylvana