This is an archival version of the original KnowledgePoint website.

Interactive features have been disabled and some pages and links have been removed.

Visit the new KnowledgePoint website at


Relief for tropical cyclone Idai

Bernard Rospendowski
related country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Hi, Could help for relief for the tropical cyclone disaster in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe include provision of satellite mobile phones that are powered by solar energy and/or wind-up mehanisms for recharging, and could 3D building printing be used for reconstruction. Could dyes be added to the flood waters as done in evaporation with desalination methods? The dyes may absorb sunlight and the resulting heat promote evaporation? Thank you.

Dr. Bernard Rospendowski.

2 Answers


Dr Rospendowski, can you be more specific in your question.

Yes sat phones charged by a solar array are in use in various locations and there are wind up / hand magneto torches. I have not heard of a specifically solar powered sat phone, and I am not sure this would have great demand, when a standard portable solar charger / array can serve sat phones and multiple other standard kit. What do you have in mind to 3D print for reconstruction ... time is of the essence, plus quantities. Emergency reconstruction is typically quite fast and dirty, with emphasis on providing at a minimum standard, to acceptable quality of shelter / reconstruction on a large scale. What will be 3D printed ?? on what scale, how many printers to mobilise ??.

What types of dyes are being considered and what are the possible side effects on people and habitat, accommodation, etc. Bear in mind the problems of evaporation from dams which concentrate salts and then very adversely affect possible crop production from water with increased salinity and mineral concentrations ... many studies have been done on the destructive effects of evaporation from dams on salt concentration causing long term damage to arrable lands downstream.



Hi Chris,

Bernard Rospendowski gravatar imageBernard Rospendowski ( 2019-04-11 10:34:52 )
Bernard Rospendowski

Hi, could the following 3D house building printing charity be of help?:

Could a biodegradable dye such as annato be used in assisting evaporation of flood waters?

Thank you.