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AIDFI's Ram Pump Project Wins prestigious World Challenge 10 competition

By Sophie West
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London, 4 December 2010. This Saturday, BBC World News broadcasts the final programme of the World Challenge 10 series, announcing The Only Way is Up the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc.'s (AIDFI) Ram Pump Project as the winner. Based in the Philippines the initiative uses the power of a river's flow to literally push water uphill without any other energy source.

The hydraulic ram pump has been around for a couple of centuries but has failed to date to realise its potential. AIDFI is determined to see it come into its own and has devised a way of using the pump which has proved a boon for poor villagers living in mountainous regions. The ram pump can save both hours of back breaking work carrying water uphill and cash where expensive water pumps are replaced. AIDFI has introduced the pump to over 170 villages and has plans to spread the benefits far and wide among poor communities.

Now in its sixth year, World Challenge is more popular than ever with more than 167,000 people around the world voting online for their favourite finalist – up 40,000 on last year's votes. This year 800 nominations were received from over 70 countries from which the final 12 projects featured in World Challenge 2010 were selected. The final programme airs on BBC World News this weekend, showcasing the presentation ceremony hosted by the BBC's award-winning presenter Zeinab Badawi. The Only Way is Up Project will receive a US$20,000 prize grant from Shell. Details will also appear in Newsweek magazine.

Two runner-up projects will each be awarded US$10,000 by Shell. The first runner-up is Pass It On, a Peruvian initiative from Sierra Productiva a federation of small –scale subsistence farmers teaching organic techniques to dramatically improve production from both livestock and crops. Second runner-up is A Class Apart, a project from Guatemala with the aim of building a school from recycled waste such as car tyres and bottles.

Paul Gibbs, Head of Programmes, BBC World News says: “The World Challenge competition is a deserved favourite with BBC World News viewers. The competition continues to highlight these fantastic projects and raise awareness globally in the field of sustainable development.”

Rhona Murphy, Publisher and Managing Director, Newsweek International says: “World Challenge underlines international support for individuals and groups showing an entrepreneurial approach to environmental and community-driven projects. We hope that through World Challenge, more people will be inspired to put similar ideas into action.”

Malcolm Brinded, Executive Director of the Upstream International Business, Shell said: "Access to energy is critical to driving development and improving people's quality of life. This year's winner of World Challenge, a hydraulic pump delivering water to remote villages, could not be a clearer demonstration of that. At Shell, we are committed to using new technology to deliver a lower carbon energy future, and it's exciting to see that same ambition in action in the World Challenge competition."

World Challenge is a global competition rewarding grass roots projects that give something back to their communities. It is run by BBC World News, the BBC's international news channel, and Newsweek, the weekly global current affairs magazine, in association with Shell. This year's series included a special programme, World Challenge: Down To Business, which saw sustainable business advisor Leo Johnson visit two previous finalists to give them business advice to help raise global awareness of their projects.