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Off-Grid IoT Urban Farming

Zimbabwe Chapter

Mbare is one of oldest, poorest, crime-ridden, and unhygienic towns in Zimbabwe. Mbare is in urgent need of focused efforts to actualize the SDG Goal 1 of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The idea of starting a Community Aquaponics Project was inspired by a mini-project implemented by students in the IoT Makerspace Project in 2016 at St. Peter’s Secondary School. As a way to engage the Makerspace students in a real problem-solving project, two Arduino-based Open Aquarium kits were procured from Cooking Hacks in Spain. School authorities were so impressed with the project that they suggested the idea of converting one of their shades into an Aquaponics project whose fish and vegetable produce would possibly be sold to the Mbare community. The project installed aquaponics and vermiculture technologies running on Arduino and Raspberry Pi as taught in the Makerspace sessions. Upon developing the Mini-Aquaponics project the project team decided to up-scale this idea to benefit the Mbare community in a more empowering, self-sustaining, and educative manner.

Inline with ISOC’s Access and Development goals this project will utilise second-hand freight containers to grow plants and fish using internet technologies. Participants will be exposed to how monitoring conditions are achieved by using sensors and automation made possible through actuators within the Aquaponics setup.

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