Arrakis news ARRAKIS - Clean Energy and Water for Future Needs en  29  January 2021: Bachir Afonso missing for one year /news/27/29-january-2021-bachir-afonso-missing-for-one-year One full year has passed since we have heard from Bachir Afonso, our dear friend and companion, who was the practical manager of ”Grupo de Saneamento de Bilibiza” in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique. The 29th of January 2020, Bilibiza was attacked by resurgents from the north, burning half of the total of houses in Bilibiza. Most people of Bilibiza had fled to the woods by then. Late afternoon they came to the workshop of GSB, where Bachir still was present.
At 19.19 PM Henk Holtslag of the SMART Centre Group received an  app-message in the Netherlands  from Bachir Afonso saying:

“Cry for help. Armed men have entered Bilibiza and are burning from 5 PM till now.  All schools were burnt. We no longer have a SMART centre. They are destroying Bilibiza!!”        

This was the last we ever heard from him. So we fear for his life and probably also that from his wife.  We have still some hope that he is still alive.

It would be a great loss if he has gone. He is a great guy, vivid and joyful. Always the well being of his community in his mind. He told me, Jan de Jongh, that each day he is thinking : ”How can I help my community members?”. He had the ability to put his ideas into practice. Around 2005 when I first met him, he had just started to train a group of women and men, in a backyard of a house to produce concrete latrine slabs.

He put much effort in convincing the population of Bilibiza, a few thousand, to make pit latrines , with such a slab and possibly with water for cleaning hands. As a result, last year about half of the village had such a latrine.

     He was also a practising muslim, and thus member of the large muslim community in Bilibiza, who have to wash hands before saying prayers.
He was eager to learn, and what he learned, he immediately put into practice. He also had the ability to connect with people from all levels; peasants, local  authorities and even the president, who visited once the project on bio-fuel  we were running with him as a project leader on growing jatropha and producing bio-fuel from it.

He managed to build up a team that was able to deliver SMART technologies in water supply, mainly trained by Henk Holtslag over the years starting in 2006 until 2019. With aid from several donors, like Aqua4all, Marie-Stella-Maris and others we could let them execute various projects in villages surrounding Bilibiza, mostly in the district of Quisanga.

The projects included various elements, in the area of water supply, sanitation, including soap making, food production with farmers clubs, household water treatment, with introduction of household water filters and bio-fuels (supported by a Japanese donor).

In 2010 GSB became officially a member of the SMART Centre group. Bachir guided and stimulated his team with the co-director Mrs. Tcheizi Mutemba, who resides in Maputo, and who maintains the links with international donors as well.

The team is now dispersed, but under guidance of Tcheizi they continue to work with projects , for the time being in safer areas, near Montepuez.

For us Bachir  is a champion for Mozambique in local development both in human capacity building as well as in providing basic elements for prosperity in accordance with the SDG’s.

We really miss him!

Jan de Jongh

Henk Holtslag

Flemming Nielsen

Fri, 29 Jan 2021 10:05:43 +0100
ARRAKIS has stopped to operate as an organization /news/26/arrakis-has-stopped-to-operate-as-an-organization ARRAKIS has been operating as a small international development organization from 1990 till mid 2018. Mid 2018 the organization withdraw as a private entrepreneur from the Chamber of Commerce. As a result no new projects can be executed by Arrakis. All partners, who were working with Arrakis are continuing however in the field of work Arrakis was involved in, aiming at sustainable rural development. Its focus was on capacity building of human resources and institutional development, as well as development and transfer of Affordable Technologies in the field of renewable energy (wind and biofuels)  and safe water supply  in rural areas of developing countries.

A (very) short description of all latest Arrakis partners, with present whereabouts is given underneath.

Jan de Jongh, based in The Netherlands, who headed Arrakis, retired but is still supporting projects as a volunteer (low key) and is on the Board of BioenergyForumFact ( ), an organization which facilitates the promotion of the production and use of sustainable biofuels in developing countries, mainly by providing an online knowledge database.
Jan de Jongh can be reached by:

 Henk Holtslag, based in The Netherlands, water specialist, has been the main promoter of the Smart Centre Group ( ) and is still very actively involved in it’s activities. Currently the Smart Centre Group consists of 4 running SMART Centres (Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia) and 2 SMART Centres in establishment (Ethiopia and South Sudan). The goal of SMART Centres is to establish supply chains of Market-based, Affordable and Replicable technologies, like hand Rope pumps and EMAS hand pumps, and many more technologies, that are also fit for households (Self-supply) and for income generating uses. SMART Centres have been training and guiding small-scale entrepreneurs in developing countries for many years. Trained entrepreneurs now supply affordable water technologies to communities and households.
Henk Holtslag can be reached by:

Remi Rijs, based in The Netherlands,  Renewable energy specialist, based in The Netherlands. Engineer in technical physics. In 2002 he founded his own company, EOLOGICA ( ),  to address the commercial market for renewable energies as well as development projects, covering field work, data collection and applied R&D. Ample experience in wind energy technology, both large and small scale. Has been active in commercial large-scale projects, wind assessment and project development in the Netherlands. Working on several renewable energy projects mainly in middle and South American countries for main clients as UNDP, UNIDO and ADB.
Remi Rijs can be reached by:

Flemming Nielsen, based in The Netherlands,  Agricultural Geographer (with Ph.D. from Wageningen University, WUR) who is focusing on improving the livelihood of smallholders in Africa. In 2004 when he was Technical Adviser on agricultural research to the Government of Mozambique he began exploring the suitability of Jatropha Curcas for local energy production in Central Mozambique. From 2006 till 2010 he was managing the research component of the R&D FACT/ADPP Jatropha Project in Northern Mozambique, a project that tested if local energy supply from Jatropha is feasible.  Flemming Nielsen is also one of the Board members of BioenergyForumFact.
For many years Flemming has been researching agroforestry, carbon sequestration and biochar. He has been working as System Agronomist for IITA, based in Bukavu, DR Congo.

He is one of the founders of the Banana hill ( ) consulting company, an organization focusing on sustainable agriculture development, based in the Netherlands, serving NGOs, international agencies, universities and private companies.

Flemming is presently involved in a large UN project in rural agriculture development in North Sudan, probably until 2022.
Flemming Nielsen can be reached by:

Krishna Raghavan, based in India, International energy consultant, Renewable energy specialist in hybrid systems,  Masters in Renewable Energy Islands (2015) from the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

With over 30 years of experience in: solar energy, wind energy and small hydropower, product development, feasibility studies, project development, installation, repair and maintenance, measuring, end-use surveys and training, in worldwide projects.

In 2017 Krishna  joined UPES - the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun as Professor in the Department of Electrical Engg. which has the Energy Studies courses.  There are 2 Masters level courses:  M.Tech. (Master of Technology) in 1) Energy Systems and  2) Renewable Energy. 
Krishna Raghavan can be reached by:


ARRAKIS website ( ) will stay online for a not yet determined period. Eventual closing it down will be announced in a Newsletter.

Much of the experience gained with executing projects over the years is laid down in reports and manuals on this website. They can be downloaded for free for anybody who is interested

Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:05:15 +0100
SMART Centre group present at 7th RWSN forum Abidjan /news/25/smart-centre-group-present-at-7th-rwsn-forum-abidjan The 7th RWSN Forum ”Water for everyone” will  be held from 29th November – 2nd Dec., 2016 in Abidjan.

The Rural Water Supply Network Forum is the foremost global event on rural water services and takes place every 5 years. The SMART Centre group is present at the forum with a stand and members will present the following papers:

Tuesday 29 Nov at 11:15-13:000 in the "Denguéleé" room session 2B.

Title: "Drilling & Hand-dug wells. Manual SHIPO and Mzuzu drilling"
by Henk Holtslag [SMART Centre group]

Tuesday 29 Nov at 16:15-16:30 in the "Bamako" room session 4B.

Title: “Self-Supply. Entrepreneurs for Water & Water for Entrepreneurs”
Video by Rik Haanen [Jacana SMART Centre Zambia]

Tuesday 29 Nov at 16:30-17:30 in the "Bamako" room session 4B.

Title: “Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses: Professionalizing Self-Supply” Presentation by Morten van Donk [SMART Centre Group]

 Wednesday 30 Nov at 11:15-13:00 in the "Abidjan" room session 6A.

Title: "Accelerating Self-supply with the SMART Centre approach (ACCESS)" Presentation by Annemarieke Maltha [SHIPO SMART Centre Tanzania]

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:42:58 +0100
Development of the SMART Centre Group /news/23/development-of-the-smart-centre-group During the last years, ARRAKIS has contributed to the development of the SMART Centre group, which is a group of five SMART centres in African countries.

The SMART Centre approach:
Strengthening local private sector to produce and sell SMARTechs. SMART stands for Simple, Market-based, Affordable, Repairable Technologies. SMARTechs are disseminated by SMART Centres which function as an incubator by training technicians and entrepreneurs in production, maintenance, business management and quality control. After training, the private sector can deliver WASH and other services to governments, NGOs, schools, communities, and households. The result of the SMART Centre approach is reduced costs and increased sustainability of communal rural water supply and increased options for Self-supply.

In 10 years, 35 new local companies have been established in Tanzania which have produced 3,000 hand drilled tube wells and 10,000 Rope pumps. About 50% of the pumps were for small communities, mostly funded by donors and 50% were paid for by families. Family wells (Self-supply) increase family incomes by an average of 180 Euro/year.
 As a result 80 to 90% of the pumps are functioning and 500,000 people have been supplied at 10-20 Euro/person for both hardware and training. Other countries where SMARTechs are successful include: Nicaragua, Bolivia, Malawi, and Mozambique and Ethiopia.

SMART Centres are members of the SMART Centre Group (SCG). There are centres in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Nicaragua and starting in Ethiopia. There are requests from five other countries. The goal of the SCG is to bring this initiative to global scale by joining forces and efficiently using scarce resources.

Key players
The SCG is coordinated by MetaMeta and supported by Aqua4All and RWSN/Skat Foundation. These provide the backbone support services for the SMART Centre Group and its members.

Jasmina van Driel –
Matthias Saladin -


Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:52:32 +0200
Foundation BFF Bioenergy Forum FACT /news/4/foundation-bff-bioenergy-forum-fact (

A small group of people in The Netherlands, active in the bio-energy field and/or formerly involved in the activities of FACT, decided to save the intellectual heritage and knowledge generated by the Foundation FACT, that was established by late prof. C, Daey Ouwens in 2005, but due to insufficiënt financial resources had to close down in 2014.
Therefore the group has created a new foundation to make sure that the knowledge that is generated by FACT will remain available in the public domain for practitioners and researchers in the field. Uploading of relevant documents is ongoing.
Moreover, they want to create a forum where practitioners, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders can meet to exchange information.

The aim of the Foundation BFF is to enhance the production and use of sustainable fuels in developing countries through exchange of knowledge and further collect and distribute knowledge in this area. The focus will be on developing countries, rural communities, small scale/low tech or in any case applicable in the context of the country.
Two members of ARRAKIS are board members of the new foundation, namely Flemming Nielsen and Jan de Jongh.

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0200
Assist a village in mozambique; request for funding /news/8/assist-a-village-in-mozambique-request-for-funding

From the baseline survey carried out within the former project in three typical remote villages it was found that unfortunately not a single household uses an improved water source, and It was also found  that 86% of the households do not treat their water.

This clearly shows that these communities are in need of assistance for clean water supply, which is one of the most important sources of development.

ARRAKIS is supporting a local partner: GSB, in solving the water problems (since 2008).

For $ 3000 (or € 2200), 150 people can be provided with fresh water in a remote village, by means of a hand rope pump, placed on a manual drilled well. Moreover, part of this money will be used for capacity building of users, well diggers, metal workshops to create a sustainable supply chain of WASH Technologies.
For further reading see:  Assist a Village

If you are interested to support a village in this way you could make a donation to:

Bank Acount: IBAN number: NL39 RABO 0334 2140 170334 2140 17, RABO Bank

Veldhoven Swiftcode: RABONL2U,

Contact Department Payments Tel Nr: + 31 (0) 40 – 230 66 6140 – 230 66 61


Account holder: ARRAKIS, De Olieslager 7, 5506ER, Veldhoven

Contact person: Mr. Jongh, Tel nr: 0031 40 28194540031 40 2819454 Mention; Assist a Village, Mozambique


Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0200
Jatropha for local development, after the hype /news/13/jatropha-for-local-development-after-the-hype

On Wednesday 18 December, HIVOS  presented the  Book:  Jatropha for local development, after the hype. at an event with an expert discussion panel at Nieuwspoort in The Hague. Some 15 interested people came to hear Flemming Nielsen’s  excellent presentation of the book, written by him as main author with contributions of Krishna Raghavan, Jan de Jongh and Darrell Huffman.
Others participated in the discussion through Twitter.

You  can download the book from the Hivos website, at (size 2 Mb).


The book summarizes the experience of Jatropha production for smallholders. It is a state-of-the art publication that brings together insights from projects from all over the world. The main conclusion of the book is that Biofuel crops such as Jatropha can be profitable for small-scale producers if grown and managed properly; adding food crops during the initial years after planting Jatropha and even more so if the oil and pres-cake are processed into other products (e.g. biogas, fertiliser, bio-pesticedes, briquettes, medicine, soap) than exclusively for biofuel. Jatropha production is not a silver bullet solution for farmers in developing countries; but under the right agro-climatic conditions, where land is abundant and labour is cheap, it can provide additional cash income in an environmentally positive way, and help reduce greenhouse gases.  This is particularly applicable for Sub-Saharan Africa. 

For further reading see Full text


Sun, 22 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0100
Living water towards a water-secure world /news/18/living-water-towards-a-water-secure-world

Some impressions, by Jan de Jongh

On 20 March 2013, an international meeting was organized in The Hague, on initiative of Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp and Mr Huib Klamer of the Dutch Employers Association: VNO-NCW, where religious leaders, business people, youth and civil servants came together to take part in an interactive dialogue on water collaboration, as preparation for the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Water in the Post 2015 agenda, to take place on the 21st of March, in the International Peace Palace.
Although the Millenium Development Goals for drinking water have been reached before 2015, there are still approx. 800 million people without acces to clean drinking water and 2.5 billion people without proper sanitation.
The end conclusion was that water should defenitely be placed on the agenda of the after 2015 goals, which design will be the responsibility of Mr Ban Ki Moon, head of the UN.

For the full report see:LivWaterRep

Thu, 28 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0100
Rural water supply for all, for ever; can nicaragua become an example /news/16/rural-water-supply-for-all-for-ever-can-nicaragua-become-an-example

By Henk Holtslag, March 2013

 Of the 780 million people worldwide who are still without an improved water source some 80% live in rural areas, the largest cluster of countries are in the  sub-Saharan region.

 Nicaragua, which has 6 million people of which some 43% live in rural areas, has shown a remarkable and sustainable increase in rural water supply. With the introduction in 1987 of the hand rope pump, rural water supply coverage doubled in the 8 years that followed.

Now, 25 years later, the situation is that over 70.000 rope pumps have been placed on boreholes and hand dug wells.  The total investment in these pumps was 1 mln $ in training etc, and some 8 mln $ in pumps. The result is an increase of the GNP of 100 mln $ since 1990 due to family rope pumps.

 Nicaragua is an example that, where water levels are less than 50 meters and low cost wells can be made, the rural water supply can increase drastically at investment costs of 5 to 15US$/capita.   What is possible in Nicaragua seems possible in many other countries.

Read the full story:RuralWatSuppNica

Tue, 26 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0100
Seminar ”geloof in ontwikkelingswerk” /news/10/seminar-geloof-in-ontwikkelingswerk

Agensea Seminar ”Geloof in Ontwikkelingswerk” De Poort 25 November 2012

Georganiseerd door Frans Goossens en  Jan de Jongh, gesponsord door Conferentieoord de Poort.


24 mensen waren op het seminar aanwezig, vanuit heel NL en van heel verschillende achtergrond. Een aantal behoorde tot  een bepaalde organisatie, zoals Fondwa, VSO, Platform Arnhem Mondiaal, Wereldwinkel,  Bahaí Vrouwen Forum, Stichting Microprojecten, Based-UK,  Agensea, Eologica, Arrakis en een aantal mensen die niet verbonden waren aan een organisatie, maar wel interesse toonden in het onderwerp.

De betrokkenheid van alle deelnemers bij ontwikkeling, waarvoor dan ook, bleek groot en levendige reacties werden gegeven, zowel plenair naar de 4 sprekers als ook in de groepjes waarin gewerkt werd.  In grote lijn werd geschetst dat er over de laatste 50 jaar nauwelijks werkelijke materiële vooruitgang is geboekt,  maar door alle industriële activiteiten er  heel veel schade aan milieu, grondstoffen, flora en fauna en biodiversiteit is aangericht.  De officiële ontwikkelingshulp bedroeg over deze 50 jaar in totaal  2300 miljard US$. Op menselijk niveau is er wel vooruitgang geboekt, o.a. doordat de standaard van de verklaring van de mensenrechten is opgesteld in 1948, die door steeds meer landen (gedeeltelijk) in de grondwet is opgenomen en wordt nagestreeft. Zo is bijv. veel vooruitgang geboekt op het terrein van gezondheid (langere levensduur) , onderwijs (aantal ongeletterde volwassenen is gehalveerd), sommige ziekten, zoals polio zijn helemaal uitgebannen (door massale vaccinatie projecten).

De gangbare opvattingen over ontwikkeling zijn ook geëvolueerd via een kronkelig pad, van alleen economische stimulatie (jaren 50) met BNP als maatstaf voor groei, naar menselijke ontwikkeling, met een aantal aandachtspunten dat integraal bevorderd moet worden. Secretaris Generaal van de VN, Dhr.  Ban Ki-Moon zegt hierover:  “Duurzame Ontwikkeling erkent dat onze economische, sociale en milieudoelstellingen onderling verbonden zijn en op een holistische manier nagestreefd moeten worden”.  Daarbij komt dat steeds meer belangrijke instituten (o.a. de Wereldbank)  en speciaal opgezette allianties benadrukken dat ook religie als een belangrijke component in ontwikkeling moet worden meegenomen. De bahá’ís stellen dat ware beschaving alleen zijn vlucht kan nemen, als beide vleugels van ontwikkeling , de materiële en geestelijke, gelijktijdig worden ontwikkeld.

Na de inleiding werd door Ineke Gijsbers uit Engeland, (voormalig BASED-UK lid), een voordracht gehouden over hoe het zeer succesvolle SAT programma zoals door FUNDAEC in Colombia is ontwikkeld over een periode van 30 jaar, in de praktijk werkt , met de projecten van BAYAN in Honduras als voorbeeld. Dit trainingsprogramma voor plattelandsjongeren, die op zijn minst al  lagere school hebben gevolgd, leidt hen op tot ”bevorderaar van sociale actie” in de dorpen waar zij vandaan komen. Zij volgen ter plaatse de training onder begeleiding van tutoren (groepsleiders), waarmee zij de capaciteit verkrijgen om in hun dorp vooruitgang op alle mogelijke terreinen te boeken, inclusief het opzetten van kleine bedrijfjes, op het gebied van landbouw en veeteelt (kippen bijv). Het resultaat is dat zij op het platteland blijven en niet naar de stad trekken, omdat zij in hun eigen levensbehoeften kunnen voorzien, maar tegelijkertijd ook de lokale gemeenschap op een hoger niveau van ontwikkeling brengen. Deze methode wordt nu geïmplementeerd in een aantal landen rondom Colombia, maar ook in Afrika, zoals door INSHINDO in Kabwe, Zambia, die dezelfde lesboeken van FUNDAEC gebruikt (vertaald en lichtelijk aangepast). In Colombia en Honduras heeft de regering inmiddels deze buitenschoolse leermethode erkend, en betaalt nu het salaris van de tutoren. De training die tussen 3-6 jaar duurt geeft de opgeleiden ook toegang tot de universiteit, waarvan enkelen gebruik maken, maar het merendeel blijft in hun eigen dorp. Het aantal vrouwelijke trainees is hoog, met name ook omdat de training lokaal is en de studenten hun eigen agenda kunnen opstellen; zij werken in groepen van ca 15 studenten samen. In Midden Amerika hebben inmiddels ongeveer 100.000 studenten deze training gevolgd.

De deelnemers aan het seminar vormden groepjes rond bepaalde projecten en bespraken in een eerste ronde de frustraties die zij daarbij opgelopen hebben om van elkaars fouten te kunnen leren. In een latere ronde beraamden dezelfde groepjes zich rond mogelijke verbeteringen die in hun project ingebracht zouden kunnen worden.  Er kwamen zeer gevarieerde aanbevelingen op tafel zoals: “Gelijkwaardigheid van gever en ontvanger moet ervaren, gevoeld worden”, en: ”Tegenwoordig wordt er betaald voor Milieu diensten, zoals CO2 kredieten, voor het vermijden van CO2 uitstoot, en voor het niet omhakken van bomen (REDD+). Waarom dan geen systeem ontwikkelen voor “Social Value” (niet alleen fysieke producten en infrastructuur..).

Al met al hebben de organisatoren en sprekers het, en naar de stemming te beoordelen ook de meeste aanwezigen, een inspirerende dag ondervonden.

Op naar het volgende seminar in 2013!  

Jan de Jongh


Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0100
Hivos jatropha expert meeting /news/5/hivos-jatropha-expert-meeting

On Wednesday 3d Oct. some 40 people engaged in Jatropha, from private sector to the academic world met in Utrecht. Harrie Oppenoorth of HIVOS  presented the findings of a meta evaluation of the 6 jatropha projects HIVOS has been involved in the period of 2005-2010.

Presentations about actual experience and perspectives of small holder jatropha production were given, by Flemming Nielsen, Kees Kwant, Janske van Eijck, Hugo Verkuil, Marieke Bruins and Ab van Peer.

In the afternoon, 3 groups were formed, which discussed the various aspects of smallholder jatropha production, processing of jatropha into PPO & biodiesel & other products, smallholder ownership and organizational models.

In general it was concluded that the expectations raised in the beginning of the jatropha hype (around 2005) especially of large companies aiming at exporting jatropha oil to Europe and expecting large profits, were far too high. Also for the projects and small companies starting to work with many smallholder outgrowers, the results are meagre, but, contemplating on all inputs, it can be said that there are promising opportunities for local developments for those areas where the fysical conditions are right, land is abundent, labour costs are low. Especially for a part of subsahel africa and some areas in the far east and middle america.

It is clear that only very committed companies (social entrepreneurs)  or organizations , willing and able to wait for about 6 to 8 years before first positive profit occurs, can succeed with large groups of small holder farmers, albeit with a number of conditions.

The general groups opinion was that the feedstock should be expanded from only Jatropha to other oil seeds, and the products should not be restricted to PPO or biodiesel only, but where possible other products should be commercialised or used in the factory to reduce costs, like producing biogas as fuel for diesel engines, driving  presses or electricity generators, soap and fertilizer from the seed cake.

Furthermore farmers should be engaged  from the early beginning and be given training and inputs to increase their food (cash) crop production, rigth from year one, alongside with training in jatropha production. The jatropha part of their total production should not be larger than maximally 40% of their total land area, in order to keep the same food production on a smaller command area. Jatropha can be placed in hedges around their fields with large distances (around 1 m) or in lanes with intercropping of food crops. Much more knowledge about management of jatropha production has become available from in field action research, but further research is still needed to solve remaining questions and improve yield, one of the most important variables.

The scale of jatropha production and products  can be shown in steps, in relation to the level of investment and size and organization  complexity of the project.

The lowest level is 1 farmer family , growing jatropha with a hand press, producing only soap from the oil, which is an economic attractive business for them. Very hard labour is needed and the press efficiency is low. At present practised in Zimbabwe. Investment level around $ 300/farmer (hand press only plus drum for sedimentation)

Next higher level is farmers organized in farmers groups , trained by extension workers from NGO’s or govt, delivering to a central workshop/factory which can process the seeds into PPO or biodiesel of sufficient quailty for use in cars and diesel engines. Diesel or electric driven mechanical strainer presses are used with oil purification by plate filters and/or  candle filters. Laboratory equipment and capable staff should be present to check the quality on a regular basis.The central workshop delivers also a range of other products, when there is a local market available. The smallholder farmers should prefarably have a share in the central workshop and receive income from it in divident, in addition to income from seeds. Typical investments in a central workshop, between 20-50.000 $ (except building), for production by 500-5000 farmers. Oil production  (pressing plus cleaning) efficiency around 18 %. (clean oil/seeds weigth).

Technical, social and environmental viability has been proven in a number of HIVOS projects, in Honduras, Mozambique, and with local entreprises like Diligent, Tanzania, MBSA in Mali.

Economic viability until now only proven by MBSA (positive results after 6 years) , and depends much on fossil oil price. It has been calculated,  that in general  projects become profitable when world oil price exceeds $ 105/barrel as long as harvesting and de-hulling is done manually and the main product is PPO or biodiesel.

The  following step up in volume and complexity  comes from a change from pressing technology to solvent extraction and esterification of crushed oil seeds into biodiesel . These costly equipment (in the order of  $ 0,5 million for a 20 tons/day unit) requires a larger operation volume, diversifying in oil feedstock species instead of only jatropha, and delivering a number of products. The oil extracted however can be over 90% of the oil contents of the seeds. The beginning of experiments with extracting components from the oil for high value products are starting for jatropha, but have proven their value already in the Castor industry for example, which is also a potential oil seed besides jatropha. Scale of organised farmers minimally around 12000 small holder farmers. MBSA has invested in such equipped and is planning to scale up with units in neighbouring countries in Burkina Faso, Senegal etc. with a total upscaling plan of having 6 million live jatropha plants in 2015.

There are at least some decided enthousiast entrepreneurs and organizations active in this  still promising option for development of remote rural areas. But in all fields of this sectors; in the agricultural, processing and value adding  fields, as well as organisational and political, including CO2 credits and other potential financing schemes (climate mitigation?) further efforts, research and investments are still needed for years to come, before this option is ready for wide scale replication in  suitable regions. We hope that  HIVOS will keep up its role as a forefront player in this field.

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0200
Sponsor event ”lijn in water loop in lelystad” /news/7/sponsor-event-lijn-in-water-loop-in-lelystad On Sunday the 10th of June 2012, eleven teams of men and women, completed a sponsor run of 53 km, alternatively cycling or running. The parcours was on the coast of Flevopolder, between Lelystad and Almere, around the Oostvaarders plassen. Every participant had been lobbying for sponsors amongst his/her families and friends to support him for this event. The total amount was destined for a good purpose, in this case the Arrakis project Water & Sanitation for 4 villages in Mozambique was selected. The event was held for the tenth time and the weather was good and spirits were high. The organization was in hands of HKV Lijn in Water, the advice bureau in water, based in Lelystad, in cooperation with sports club Spirit. At the end of the day, a checque of € 4500,- was handed to Sjef Ernes, director of Aqua for All which is a very good result of this sportive and nice day. It will be added to the fund of the project which has come herewith closer to realization. In name of the people of the 4 villages in Meluco, we thank everybody who worked for this fine result. We hope also that it will stimulate others to contribute to this project for which a total amount of € 40,000.- is required.



Mon, 11 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0200
Report on lessons learned jatropha for local development /news/14/report-on-lessons-learned-jatropha-for-local-development The report with the lessons learned from the first three pilot projects from FACT in Mali, Mozambique and Honduras, is finished.
The main conclusion is  that there are possibilities for jatropha cultivation-processing and applications, especially in sub sahel countries in Africa, with small farmers as producers, however under specific circumstances.
Furthermore all components of the whole development chain can be improved considerably, giving  a better economy.
In agricultural developed countries like Honduras, jatropha production is not economically attractive compared to other cash crops cultivated.
The report has been placed on the FACT website, but can be reached with this link:
click here.

Tue, 24 Jan 2012 00:00:00 +0100
New water projects in malawi and ethiopia /news/20/new-water-projects-in-malawi-and-ethiopia Arrakis has obtained two contracts with Aqua for All focusing on clean water supply for schools in Malawi and in Ethiopia. The projects will improve the supply chain of tulip siphon filters and will supply safe drinking water to more than 10.000 schoolchildren. Therewith waterborne diseases will be reduced and health will be improved. Funds for these projects are provided 50/50 by Aqua for All and Waterbedrijf Groningen. For more detailed description of the project see Projects.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 00:00:00 +0100
Gerrit jacobs is leaving arrakis /news/6/gerrit-jacobs-is-leaving-arrakis Gerrit Jacobs  is continuing his carrier with a commercial company Victron Energy supplying inverters and solar equipment. He will be engaged in market development of their products in South America and Africa. The company is based in Almere the Netherlands, but Gerrit wil probably work from his new base in Panama. This full time job will leave him no time to engage in Arrakis type of activities. We thank him for his valuable contributions and the nice time we have worked together.  Regretfully we say him farewell and wish him very much luck with his new assignment. His valuable reports will remain on the Arrakis website.

Wed, 06 Jul 2011 00:00:00 +0200
President of mozambique visits jatropa project /news/9/president-of-mozambique-visits-jatropa-project The president of Mozambique, Mr. Guebuza visits the Biofuel Center in Bilibiza (BBC) Cabo Delgado.

President Guebuza

After the visit of the first lady, Mrs. Guebuza in 2008 to the FACT-ADPP project in Cabo Delgado, it was now the turn of the president of Mozambique himself to visit Bilibiza, on Saturday the 4th of June. He was very impressed by the farmers clubs, the jatropha production and the oil processing factory.  Bachir Afonso, one of the project leaders of the FACT-ADPP pilot project in Jatropha,  was explaining and handed him an informative paper. Some farmers from the clubs were present and showed products from their fields at an exposition made by ADPP.  Bachir explained the challenges ahead and asked the president for support, amongst others  from the University Eduard Mondlane to help with quality control of the PPO. The visit had a duration of half an hour. According to Bachir the president wanted to replicate the set up in Mozambique.  In some editions of the newspaper Notícias  it was reported that several farmers in Northern Mozambique had jatropha seeds in stock, which they were unable to market. Some 6 years ago the president had asked the Mozambican population to plant as much jatropha as possible, which had been followed up by quite a number of farmers. However  no oil processing facilities were planned by the government, and at present facilities like BBC that can produce PPO from jatropha can be counted on one hand. ADPP is herewith on the forefront on jatropha production by poor rural farmers and can therewith provide an example to rural areas in Mozambique, with suitable conditions to grow jatropha.

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:00:00 +0200
World water day 2011 /news/12/world-water-day-2011  

22 March 2011

Today is World Water Day. This day is meant to raise public awareness that water is the most essential source of living on Earth. Although man can fly to the moon, more than a billion people—almost one-fifth of the world’s population—lack access to safe drinking water, and 2,5 billion people do not have proper sanitation.  Arrakis has contributed to this day by an article on the site of Vice Versa, see .

“Safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are crucial for poverty reduction, crucial for sustainable development, and crucial for achieving any and every one of the Millennium Development Goals”

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

For a typical water project executed by Arrakis in Mozambique and supported by Partners for Water can be found on the new NWP website,

Tue, 22 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0100
Santolic video /news/22/santolic-video

Community-Led Total Sanitation, or SANTOLIC (in Portuguese)

The “school WATSAN project Cabo Delgado Mozambique” in which 26 schools are equipped with latrines, siphon filters (for water purification) and rainwater harvest systems are made aware of the necessity to use latrines by the project team of Grupo.

They perform a kind of theater with the schoolchildren of each school. It is part of the socalled “Community-Led Total Sanitation” , but then performed in the Mozambican way.

Tue, 30 Nov 2010 00:00:00 +0100
Voortgang 26 scholen project in mozambique /news/19/voortgang-26-scholen-project-in-mozambique  

Begin juli 2010 heeft Jan de Jongh het Scholen project in Cabo Delgado weer bezocht.

Het uitvoerende team ”Grupo”, is goed gemotiveerd, en levert goed werk.

Per begin juli waren er 55 latrines gebouwd, 12 scholen hebben water collectie system van tank + golfplaten dak+ goot. Totaal lengte goten geïnstalleerd is nu 133 m.


De uitvoerende werkers van Grupo hebben inmiddels training gekregen in het maken van de latrines , door een lokale vakman-trainer en in het fabriceren van goten die weinig kosten (uit golfplaten gemaakt).


Ook geven zij zelf bewustwordings training aan de kinderen met leraren en lokale autoriteiten. De training, genaamd SANTOLIC, is een soort theaterstukje met een zeer directe boodschap, ten gevolge waarvan de school en daardoor uiteindelijk ook het dorp, het nut van sanitatie in gaan zien en daardoor latrines willen aanschaffen.



noodgebouw Nieuweschool niet af
School 25 de Setembre; noodgebouw Nieuwe school, nog niet helemaal af
Betonnen vloer, schoolborden zouden ook
beter kunnen, maar er is geen budget voor.
De nieuwe school, helemaal af!! Met grotere tank. De muren gepleisterd
door dorpelingen.
Foto ontvangen 9 Sept. van Krishna Raghavan





De school van de 25 de Setembre was in de regentijd helemaal ingestort. Nadat een tijdlang een noodgebouwtje, zie foto 1, was gebruikt is de school door Grupo weer opgebouwd.


Grupo, op hun terrein in Bilibiza waar zij de latrine slabs en voorbeeld technieken demonstreren, zoals tankje en siphon filter (blauw). Ze hebben een openbaar toilet gemaakt hiernaast om het systeem te demonsteren.



Monte Puez Bilibiza. Grupo voor de school Nagoja waar zij op verzoek van de gouverneur, die er in de buurt woont, goten hebben aangelegd, plus een grote tank gebouwd (de man rechts staat erop).


Foto’s gemaakt door Jan de Jongh, op een zondag, vandaar dat er geen leerlingen te zien zijn.




Tue, 28 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0200
Wandelen voor water voor 26 scholen in mozambique /news/17/wandelen-voor-water-voor-26-scholen-in-mozambique Jaarlijks organiseert Stichting Aqua for All een landelijk evenement onder de naam Wandelen voor Water. Basisschoolleerlingen uit groep 7 en 8 ervaren wat leeftijdgenootjes in ontwikkelingslanden moeten doen om aan drinkwater te komen: gemiddeld 6 kilometer wandelen met 6 liter water. Bekijk de promotiefilm:

Zo'n 25.000 leerlingen van ruim 400 scholen lopen in de week van Wereldwaterdag (22 maart) die afstand en laten zich sponsoren door familie, vrienden en bekenden. Met die opbrengst steunen zij projecten in ontwikkelingslanden om de (drink)water - en sanitatievoorzieningen te verbeteren van 100.000 kinderen en hun familie. Aqua for All verdubbelt dit bedrag. Het door ARRAKIS begeleide project in Mozambique is 1 van deze projecten.  Zie:  Mozambique:_School WATSAN Cabo Delgado  en ook AKVO 


Sun, 28 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0100
Transfer of cwd knowledge to duwind /news/1/transfer-of-cwd-knowledge-to-duwind Transfer of CWD library to DUWIND.


A large number of valuable research reports, books etc, that were written en collected during the CWD1 period at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) were selected and transferred to the Wind energy group of the Delft University of Technology (DUWIND).

Theoretical and applied research on wind energy was executed over the years 1975-1990 by the CWD program, at both Universities of Technology of Twente and of Eindhoven (TUe).

At TUe, it was led by Paul Smulders, who guided about 100 students doing research in the  program that was aimed at developing water pumping wind mills for developing countries. After Paul had died, in 2009, the TUe did not have wind energy experts for guidance of students. Since several new request of students were made to DUWIND, professor Gijs van Kuik, head of DUWIND and the first professor in wind energy in the Netherlands, showed interest in taking over the remaining library, papers and wind data from various countries, collected over the years.

Friday 28th of January, the selection of valuable reports, papers, books and wind data, was done at the TUe, by prof Gijs van Kuik, Dr. Jos Beurskens (former head of the wind energy unit of ECN) and ir Erik Lysen (head of UCE), (both Jos and Erik belonged to the first students of Paul) and undersigned.

Paul’s wife Helène also donated books and reports from Paul’s private collection at home, which is valuable educational material in wind energy.

DUWIND will study the possibilities to make this knowledge available for students, so that they can build upon the valuable research done during these pioneering days of Dutch windenergy. We consider this day as the conclusive end of the remarkable and unique period of the CWD program at the TUe, and we hope that DUWIND will educate new engineers in the interesting field of wind energy for developing countries, in as many applications as possible. Contact address of DUWIND: DUWIND



Jan de Jongh.


1 CWD: Consultancy services Wind energy Developing countries.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0100
Training centers for rural technologies mozambique /news/15/training-centers-for-rural-technologies-mozambique Capacity Building & Development of “Training Centers for Rural Technologies”,

In Bilibiza and in Chimoio, within the FACT pilot project in Mozambique

Jan de Jongh


The development of the “Training center for Rural Technologies” in Bilibiza (3,5 hours driving from Pemba, Cabo Delgado) is well underway. From 14-26 September the first training course on “Jatropha cultivation” was successfully held.  The course was positively evaluated by the 7 participants coming from various institutes and provinces in Mozambique. Presentations and exercises  in class were developed and given by project leader Henderson Maposa,  Flemming Nielsen and Jan de Jongh of FACT. More than 50% of the time the participants were involved in practical work, during which they jointly prepared a field and planted that with jatropha seedlings. Practical exercises, like pruning of the jatropha plants around the center and germination tests were also done. Visits to existing farmers clubs were made as well. The presentations of the course are placed on FACT’s website.

Next year the course will be repeated at the same period in September.


 The “Training center for Rural Technologies” in Chiomoio, is also being prepared.

The center will focus on Technical subjects, like oil conversion and hand rope pumps for water supply.

ADPP has a well established conference center at the EPF teacher training school. Various Affordable Technologies for rural development can be demonstrated at the school. These technologies were produced by the workshop of EPF and installed at the premises of the school, in a two years training program by Arrakis.

Specific technologies related to biofuels are being installed at Evretz, the farm of Brendon Evans in Chimoio. A 1000 l biogas system has been built by Niels Ansø together with Jan de Jongh and Brendon Evans in October 2009. A small bio-diesel demonstration  system will also be installed by Ger Groeneveld, in December 2009. Further technologies in place are a Chinese Lister copy diesel engine (make Feidong) which has been modified already and is undergoing an endurance test on cotton oil, and two oil presses which are used to press the cotton oil.

These technologies will be treated in the Technical Course on “Rural Technologies for Bio-fuels”, to be held in October 2010 for the first time.


5th Seminar on Jatropha for local development

The 5th Seminar on Jatropha in Chimoio for stakeholders in general, is planned just before or just after the technical training course in Chimoio.



Please follow the announcements at the FACT website for more information about these events, in due time.



Wed, 25 Nov 2009 00:00:00 +0100
In memoriam paul smulders /news/21/in-memoriam-paul-smulders  

In memoriam Paul Smulders

To my great regret I have to tell you that our friend and collegue, Paul Smulders, has left this world on Sunday 19th of July, aged 75.

I will dearly miss him, with his humor and his bright mind, always having an open ear to the projects we were engaged in. Now and then we let out his dog and discussed Third World conditions and problems, trying to find solutions.

He supported Arrakis as an advisor. He also corrected my reports, when I asked him to do so, which helped a lot.
We will miss his advice and moral support and most of all his vivid companionship.

Paul has contributed highly to the scientific education of engineers nowadays leading in wind energy in The Netherlands. He was one of the first who fully engaged into the subject as early as 1971 at the Technical University of Eindhoven (Tue).

Among his students were not only Dutch engineers, but also from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, and China. And not to forget scientist mission fathers in Africa as well, pioneering wind pump technology based on the heritage of CWD, the consultancy group of which Paul was leader of at Eindhoven University between 1975 and 1990.

Paul  has been buried Thursday 23d of July, in a very natural setting in a forest, near a Roman grave hill in St. Odiliёnberg.
At his final salut, I have tried to represent, in mind, all good friends who could not be present.

With sad wishes,

Jan de Jongh

Wed, 29 Jul 2009 00:00:00 +0200
Participation world water day 26 march 2009 /news/2/participation-world-water-day-26-march-2009 The World Water Day was organized by NWP, Unicef and Aqua for all and held at Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam on 26th March 2009.

In advance a request was made to send in innovative ideas to improve water and sanitation.

Arrakis send in one of the 17 ideas on the Siphon water filter, which was also presented by Henk Holtslag.

Both Jan de Jongh and Henk Holtslag participated in the inspiring and well visited day.

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0200
Welcome to the renewed arrakis website! /news/11/welcome-to-the-renewed-arrakis-website Dear visitor.

Arrakis website has been renewed. It has been set up in line with the developments of the last 5 years of Arrakis and the goal we have presently in mind.

You will find the new approach under the different headings.

Enjoy the site.

Best wishes,

Jan de Jongh

Sat, 21 Mar 2009 00:00:00 +0100