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Brunel students Eden Kit initiative to tackle poverty caused by famine

The Eden 5 capsule includes a shovel, bucket, composter, solar still, ground cover and subsurface hydroponics, essentially a complete horticultural system, which creates sustainable growth in previously infertile soil.

“Eden 5 is not just a temporary survival kit, but a means of kick-starting sustainable growth, providing families with the opportunity to grow their own food and break the vicious poverty cycle,“ comments Eden 5 designer, Ben Pawsey.

“Eden 5 is different from traditional systems, because it has been specifically designed to encourage the development of fertile soil which is a highly sought after commodity.“

The all-in-one kit contains the necessary components to enable families to indefinitely grow their own food. Each capsule measures 1.5m by 0.45m and weighs 15 kg, making it easy to transport to the areas that need them most.

Taking no longer than a day to install over a 10 sqaure-metre piece of land, each capsule enables enough nutrition for one person per day. Depending on the seeds chosen, owners could be producing food within one month.

Components of the Eden 5 kit-in-a-capsule include:
• Irrigation pipes system - an irrigation system, specifically a subsurface hydroponics system, featuring 10 irrigation pipes that provide the plants with water and nutrients to encourage the roots to penetrate downwards, wasting no water from evaporation
• Ground Cover - to protect the surface from wind and rain erosion
• Composter - designed to withstand varying weather conditions, the composter prevents pests from accessing the compost, helps to get rid of waste and provides a family with a supply of compost to improve the soil quality in the long term
• Solar still - acts as a water sanitiser for the family working the land
• Bucket - specifically designed so that spillage is reduced when pouring water.

Once the planting and growth of vegetation have been completed the Eden 5 irrigation system can be dug from the soil and moved to new patch of land, thus reclaiming more land from desertification.

“In terms of next steps, I am very keen to partner with an established aid agency in developing countries to complete testing and progress to the manufacturing stage. Ultimately I want to ensure that Eden 5 gets in to the hands of those that need it, quickly,“ concludes Ben.

“World poverty, in the face of climate change, is a major concern today and it is a very important focus for many of Brunel's design students. With the right funding, Eden 5 could provide poverty stricken communities with a sustainable and easily realisable solution,“ comments Paul Turnock, Course Director, Industrial Design and Product Design at Brunel University's School of Engineering and Design.