I had a very hard time choosing my favorite solution of “Design for the Other 90%.” I went through the list multiple times, and well, as I sat pondering, my classmates started choosing. I wanted to choose something that was helping communities. I didn’t want it to be just a temporary fix, but I also wanted it to be financially plausible. In the end, I decided on the Community Lifeboats in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh floods annually and in the past few years it has gotten continually worse. In one of the most densely populated areas of the world, six million people are at risk of losing their homes if the water levels raise only half a meter. A man, Mohammed Rezwan, grew up in these areas and saw exactly how residents were affected by the monsoon season. He later became an architect and decided that instead of designing buildings that would flood and be inhabitable— to design community boats.
His first community boat was a school and today there are 54 boats that operate as schools, clinics, libraries, and training centers. While many Bangledesh lack access to power, the lifeboats are able to charge computers, lights, mobile phones, medical equipment, and portable solar-powered lamps. Some of the boats even have kitchens, bathrooms, and areas to farm. The farm boats are designed in tiers. The first tier is for growing vegetables and below fish are raised. Poultry can also live on the top-tier.
Best of all these boats are built locally, operate using solar power, and serve almost 90,000 families .