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Better ways found today: Windmill built from junk; forest created by one man; sugary drinks’ ads to be banned

TessDrive presents a regular summary of online finds, web discoveries that show us better ways to a better world. Ever so slowly, we’ll help you restore your faith in humanity.

The boy who built a windmill

A number of Facebook posts had been recently circulating about a 14-year-old boy from Malawi, named William Kamkwamba, who, according to these posts, “taught himself how to build a windmill from junk, brought power to his village, learned from books he read in the library.”

The compilation article of Forest Parks posted in the Urban Intellectuals website quotes www.williamkamkwamba.com in describing the boy’s uncanny achievement: “William started borrowing books from a small community lending library located at his former primary school. He borrowed an 8th-grade American textbook, ‘Using Energy’, which depicted wind turbines on its cover. He decided to build a windmill to power his family’s home and obviate the need for kerosene, which provided only smoky, flickering, distant and expensive light after dark… William was able to power four light bulbs and charge neighbors’ mobile phones. This system was even equipped with homemade light switches and a circuit breaker made from nails, wire, and magnets. The windmill was later extended to 12 meters to better catch the wind above the trees. A third windmill pumped greywater for irrigation.”

The website also said, “Subsequent projects have included clean water, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting for the six homes in his family compound; a deep water well with a solar-powered pump for clean water, a drip irrigation system.”

The Urban Intellectuals site also posted William’s inspiring TED speech.

Read the full compilation here:

Malawian Teen Taught Himself How To Build A Windmill From Junk, Brought Power To His Village, ALL Learned From Library Books!

Singapore’s ‘war on diabetes’ intensifies

CNN Philippines online published last October 11 a news report by Eric Cheung stating Singapore would be “the first country in the world to ban ads for unhealthy drinks with high sugar content,” clearly intensifying the city state’s ongoing “war on diabetes.”

According to the report, “The ban, which will apply to ‘the least healthy’ sugar-sweetened beverages, will cover all media platforms including print, broadcast and online, said Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State for the city-state’s Ministry of Health.”

The report quoted the ministry as including “soft drinks, juices, yogurt drinks and instant coffee” to be among the beverages affected by the new regulation.

Further details of the ban, including new regulations on product labels, would be announced “in the next few months,” the report said.

Read the full story here:

Singapore to become first country banning ads on sugary drinks

The man who planted an entire forest

The story of 55-year-old Jadav “Molai” Payeng, a native of of the Mishing tribe of Jorhat district in Assam in northeastern India, is so astounding and inspiring, that no less than two online sites–Your Story and Nas Daily–have featured him and his achievement.

It all started in April 1979 when Jadav–then a 16-year-old–was shocked to see over a hundred snakes being twisted lifelessly on a deserted sandbar in Aruna Sapori, a river island on the Brahmaputra. Earlier, floods had denuded the island, causing widespread death and destruction in the area. Jadav decided to do something, and the villagers advised him to grow trees. With 50 seeds and 25 bamboo plants offered by the villagers, Jadav then set out to do his life’s work: Plant at least one tree everyday.

Now, 40 years later, Jadav has an entire forest, an area of about 550 hectares or 1,360 acres, to show for his efforts. Not only has he singlehandedly created a forest bigger than New York’s Central Park, but all forms of wildlife have also returned to the once barren desert.

Read and watch this incredible story here:

Meet Jadav Payeng, the man who single-handedly planted an entire forest