Applaud Engineers for Bringing Solar Power to Slums

Target: Environmental engineers at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Goal: Thank engineers for creating the “iShack” project

Engineers at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa recently created a structure designed to help millions of people around the world. Appalled by the poverty and suffering they witnessed in their hometown, the engineers at Stellenbosch devised what is being called the “iShack,” an improved version of the one-room shanties seen in slums all over the world. The iShack is an attempt to help those living in slums avoid disease while providing clean living space and a safe environment.

The iShack is a wonderful development in the fight against poverty. The United Nations estimates that nearly 2.5 billion people in the world reside in slums and shantytowns. Their homes, usually made of mud, rotting wood, and trash, are very small, lack proper floors, have leaky roofs, and do not possess electricity. They are breeding grounds for bacteria and disease and rarely even have a front door.

However, the iShack is different. While not much larger than “traditional” shacks, these new structures and their amenities allow for better living. Just one of these homes has a solar paneled roof, windows that provide good air circulation, outlets for lamps and other equipment, and an outdoor motion detector spotlight. The roof of the shack is sloped so inhabitants can collect clean rain water for drinking, and the floor is made of brick or other locally-found products.

If the iShack does begin to replace the old rotting structures currently used in slums, people living in those slums will be more comfortable and safe. They will have power for lamps, clean air, clean drinking water, and outdoor lighting. These new improvements will, with any luck, help reduce the suffering experienced in the slums and help people improve their lives. Thank the researchers and engineers at the University of Stellenbosch for their revolutionary idea.


Dear University of Stellenbosch Engineers,

Thank you very much for designing and implementing the iShack idea. Your work, along with the work of hundreds of others, has allowed the creation of a truly revolutionary structure that could help billions of people around the world.

As you are well aware, slums and shantytowns are a growing issue in developing countries. Far too many people live in tiny, one-room shacks with no running water, no power, and no floors. The shacks are breeding grounds for bacteria and disease, and most do not even have a front door.

However, the iShack is different. While not much larger than the “traditional” shacks, these new structures will give those living in slums a chance at a better life. Families will have electricity, clean air, clean water, and a more secure house.

While these amenities are a given for many people, access to a safe, clean home is truly revolutionary for those living in slums. With any luck, the iShack design will become a standard housing model for shantytowns communities, and billions of people around the world will be helped.

Again, thank you for your hard work and dedication in the fight to eradicate poverty and disease.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: slrklg via WikiCommons

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