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People Fixing the World

Brilliant solutions to the world’s problems. We meet people with ideas to make the world a better place and investigate whether they work.

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  • 28.06.2022
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    24:13
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    The future of wind power

    Could floating wind turbines and kites that generate electricity help fight climate change? There are lots of innovative new ways people are harnessing the power of the wind. We visit a floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland, check out wind turbines on street lamps and see how much power giant kites can generate. Along the way we investigate the massive potential of wind energy and assess the challenges involved in catching the breeze. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter/producer: Claire Bates Reporter: Craig Langran Executive producer: Tom Colls Production Coordinator: Ibtisam Zein Sound mix: Hal Haines Editor: Penny Murphy Image: Illustration of a wind turbine on a cloud (Getty Images)

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  • 21.06.2022
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    24:15
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    Getting kids out of institutions

    More than five million children live in orphanages or other institutions - the vast majority in low or middle income countries. Staff are often overstretched, poorly paid and don’t last long in the job, which leaves children deprived of one of the most important things for healthy development - a consistent, loving relationship. Organisations around the world are now working hard to find these children the one thing they desperately need - a family. But in countries with high rates of poverty and fragile social work and foster care systems, it’s not always easy. We visit a project in Colombia to meet the children, parents, and trainee foster carers whose lives are taking a very different turn. And in the UK, we look at a project giving foster families the support network they need. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporters: Megan Janetsky and Jo Mathys Producer: Craig Langran Executive producer: Tom Colls Production Coordinator: Ibtisam Zein Sound Mix: Annie Gardiner Editor: Penny Murphy Image: A mother and daughter in Colombia

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  • 14.06.2022
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    Racing to get kids reading

    How a race to write books and a gadget that counts words are helping child literacy. In South Africa 8 out of 10 children struggle to read by the age of 10. But a charity called Book Dash has come up with an innovative way of getting more kids to read. It holds events where teams of writers and illustrators create a book in just 12 hours. More than a hundred titles have been created and over 2 million books have been given away to children. And in the US a group called Birmingham Talks is giving pre-school children a pedometer-style gadget to wear. But instead of counting steps, the gadget counts the number of words they hear every day. The idea is to encourage parents to talk to their children more and therefore improve language development. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Lucy Burns Photo: Book Dash

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  • 07.06.2022
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    The library where the books are people

    At the human library you borrow a person you wouldn’t usually meet for a half-hour frank conversation. The volunteers have various book titles from polyamorous to former prisoner. The aim of these face-to-face chats is to break down our assumptions and prejudices. We explore whether simple discussions can make a difference. Produced and presented by Claire Bates. Picture: Ronni Abergel, Human LibraryRepeat - first published 7 Sep 2021

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  • 31.05.2022
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    24:18
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    Safer cities for women

    Street harassment and violence against women in public spaces is a global issue. According to one survey, 84% of women in cities around the world reported being harassed on the street before the age of 17; half of respondents said they had been groped or fondled.It’s acknowledged that intimidating, violent behaviour from men needs to stop, but what can be done to improve the safety of women and girls in cities now?We look at initiatives that allow women to tell authorities what changes to make to the fabric of their cities to make them feel safer, plus some new technologies that might help in an emergency.Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Dima Babilie Producer: William Kremer Executive producer: Tom Colls Editor: Penny Murphy Image: Silhouette of a women (Getty Images)

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  • 24.05.2022
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    Helping teenagers become good mums

    Being a teenage mum is not easy. But innovative projects around the world are trying to help. We hear from Sierra Leone, where the 2 Young Lives project supports teenagers who've been rejected by their families for getting pregnant. They link them up with older women who step in to look after them. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death for 15–19-year-old girls globally. But the mentors are making sure the young mums get the medical support they need. After giving birth, the early years of motherhood can be problematic for teenagers too. We also hear from Brazil, where a team of researchers and nurses is teaching young mothers the skills they need to form strong attachments to their children. By getting their mothers to do things like read to their toddlers, the researchers say they can improve the children's future development and give them better life prospects. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporters: Amelia Martyn-Hempill and Marcia Reverdosa Producer: Daniel Gordon Executive producer: Tom Colls Editor: Penny Murphy Image: Tamires Salviano and her child

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  • 17.05.2022
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    24:03
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    Turning mud into ‘clean’ concrete

    A young scientist has developed a white powder which gives waste soil concrete-like properties. Gnanli Landrou grew up in Togo, helping his neighbours dry out soil to make bricks, and his big dream is to help people like them build stronger, cheaper, houses.But the European building industry is also excited about his new, low carbon building material. We talk to Gnanli about his ambitions for this extraordinary powder, and meet the Swiss architect who is about to build a luxury apartment block with it. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Jo Mathys Executive producer: Tom Colls Editor: Penny Murphy Image: Gnanli Landrou

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  • 10.05.2022
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    Robots fixing sewers

    Robots that navigate sewer pipes are being used to find leaks and blockages in an ancient water system. They’re being put to work in Pune, India, to access dangerous and noxious spots that otherwise would be checked by people. The sewage systems are more than 100 years old and the maps have been lost or are just outdated. So the robots are being used to update the maps, which should eventually lead to less leaks and so less contamination in the water. But the machines also replace manual work that is done by some of the poorest members of Indian society. We explore what it will mean for their wellbeing and livelihoods. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Chhavi Sachdev Executive producer: Tom Colls Editor: Penny Murphy Image: The sewer robot in Pune

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  • 03.05.2022
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    Using lotteries to make us better people

    Lotteries aren’t just about winning money. They’re also being used to nudge people to change their behaviour.In the UK we try out a mobile app that enters users in to a £25,000 lottery every time they pick up a piece of litter.We see how heart patients in the US can win smaller prizes for taking their pills… and if they don’t take their medicine, are told what they could have won.And we look at receipt lotteries, where customers are encouraged to get receipts as each one is an entry to a big monthly draw. The scheme started in Taiwan but has been replicated in a number of countries, helping governments find the businesses avoiding tax.Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Claire Bates Producer: Francois Wibaux Executive producer: Tom Colls Editor: Penny Murphy Image: Illustration from Getty Images

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  • 26.04.2022
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    Work: Access for all

    La Casa de Carlota isn’t like most workplaces. The design studio, based in Barcelona, Spain, employs creatives who have intellectual disabilities, autism and schizophrenia. Working together with non-disabled colleagues, they produce striking graphics for campaigns and packaging, as well as original works of art. This isn’t a government-backed scheme to help out a disadvantaged group, but a winning formula that is helping the studio forge a unique brand. In this programme we look at two companies who have realised there is strength in neurodiversity and hear from Natalie Duo from the charity Mencap. The vast majority of people with learning disabilities are unemployed, so how can other businesses follow suit? Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: William Kremer Executive producer: Tom Colls Editor: Penny Murphy Image: Casa de Carlota

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  • 19.04.2022
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    Sponge cities that fight flooding

    Sponge cities use natural features to slow down, soak up and reuse flood water. Yu Kongjian nearly drowned as a boy when his village flooded, but it inspired him to come up with the sponge city concept. It’s now being rolled out across China. In Singapore too, parks and lakes are being engineered to soak up excess water. They embrace the flood water rather than block it with concrete barriers. It comes as cities around the world are struggling to cope with more extreme weather caused by climate change. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Tessa Wong Producer: Claire Bates Image: Zhejiang, China (Turenscape)

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  • 12.04.2022
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    Turning tyres into cheap fuel & football pitches

    Meet the entrepreneurs using scrap rubber to fuel cars and make new tyres.Each year, over a billion car tyres reach the end of their life.They’re notoriously hard to recycle and present an environmental hazard if left to disintegrate out in the open.But around the world, people are trying to clean up their cities by finding new uses for the mountains of rubber waste.In Senegal, a young entrepreneur is turning them into artificial football pitches. In Zambia, an engineer is perfecting a way to turn these tyres into diesel. And in Canada, a company is making new tyres out of old ones using some very clever chemistry. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Francois Wibaux Producers: Jo Mathys and Claire Bates Image: Yaye Souadou Fall

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  • 05.04.2022
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    Saving California’s butterflies

    In California, butterflies such as the monarch are critically endangered as a result of habitat erosion, pesticides, and climate change. But many people are trying to save these beautiful insects.We meet the scientists who are painstakingly rearing individual butterflies by hand and then releasing them back into the wild. In California’s vineyards, we talk to a farmer who has designed a butterfly-friendly tractor.And at the famous butterfly groves on the coast, we see the first signs of recovery.Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Ben WyattPhoto: A monarch butterfly (Getty Images)

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  • 29.03.2022
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    How to make fishing nets less destructive

    Fish have favourite colours and dolphins hate high pitched noises. In an effort to save rapidly dwindling global fish stocks, scientists are trying to figure out how to attract the right fish into nets, and keep protected species away. On the southern coast of England, we meet the man who’s designed a hi-frequency gadget which warns dolphins to stay out of fishing nets. In Denmark, scientists show us how LED lights are able to show fish you don’t want the exit from the net. And in Oxford we hear from the researchers using satellite technology to help the Thai government stop criminals from plundering the oceans. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Rumella Dasgupta Image: The dolphin pinger

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  • 22.03.2022
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    Making hospitals less stressful

    Hospitals can make you sicker. It's a strange thought for places that also can make you healthier. But think about the constant noise, the distinctive hospital smell, the bright lights.There's lots of evidence that most patients find hospitals themselves very stressful. This stress can lead to slower healing times or even a higher chance of being readmitted to hospital.This week, we look at some interesting work happening around the world to try to improve the hospital environment.We hear from people who are using nature to heal, are redesigning lighting systems and are blocking out the noise. And by learning what stresses humans out, we can learn a lot about how our bodies recover and heal. Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter/producer: Charlotte Pritchard

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  • 15.03.2022
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    Using haircuts to fight oil spills

    When you get your hair cut, you probably don't think much about what happens to the bits that get chopped off.But it turns out that rather than being dumped in the rubbish, hair can be put to all kinds of uses that can help clean up the planet and feed the people who live on it.We meet a hairdresser who weaves the clippings into mats that get used to soak up oil spills.Plus the young entrepreneur in Tanzania who's worked out how to turn human hair into a powerful crop fertiliser.Presenter: Myra Anubi Reporter: Daniel GordonImage: A man getting his hair cut

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  • 08.03.2022
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    Insects fixing the world

    From an industrial-scale fly factory in London to farming bugs in the Madagascan rainforest, insects are being put to work all around the world. These biological wonders are turning stuff we don’t want – like food waste and even faeces – into useful protein. This is creating a greener alternative to animal feed and creating food products for humans too. We meet the people using bugs to help the planet. Presenter: Myra Anubi Producer/reporter: Craig Langran Executive producer: Tom Colls Editor: Penny Murphy Image: Black soldier fly larvae (Getty Images)

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  • 01.03.2022
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    Prison Voicemail: Messages from behind bars

    The Prison Voicemail app connects inmates and their families, helping them stay in touch throughout a sentence. We hear a mum and daughter using the messages to rebuild their relationship, and find out how it helps children who are separated from their dad. Producer/ reporter Ruth Evans Repeat - first published 4 Aug 2020

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  • 22.02.2022
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    Violent partners: The ‘window’ strategy

    Police in Iceland treat domestic violence differently.Leaving an abusive relationship is hard, and many victims stay with physically or mentally hurtful partners, even after police get involved.In Iceland, they focus their efforts on the first 24 hours after a domestic attack is reported.This is the “window” in which survivors are most likely to give unfiltered evidence against their abusers and accept help leaving them.Specialist police, social workers and child protection officers are swiftly sent into violent homes, and suspected offenders can be immediately removed. It’s a more hands-on approach than in most places, based on the view that domestic abuse is a public rather than a private problem.Maddy Savage investigates how much the initiative has impacted prosecution rates and the wellbeing of families affected by this type of violence.Image: Iceland’s top police officer Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir

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  • 15.02.2022
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    Training police to patrol each other

    How do you get officers to step in to prevent other officers from harming the public? “Loyalty isn't saying: ‘Well, you've done something wrong, I'm going to protect you.’ Loyalty is me saying: ‘You're about to do something wrong, and I'm going to stop you.’” New Orleans Police Department says this is the basis of a radical training programme devised to reduce incidents of police brutality. We first reported on the training system back in October 2020, five months after the killing of George Floyd. Since then, the idea has spread, and the system is now being taught right across the United States and beyond. Daniel Gordon catches up with the project to hear what progress is being made. Picture credit: Getty Images

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  • 08.02.2022
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    The house that fights malaria

    Malaria kills more than half a million people per year. We meet the innovators who are using buildings, lights, genes and vaccines to fight the mosquito-borne disease. In Ghana, a young woman has turned her school project into a business, selling lights that electrocute mosquitos and help kids study. In Tanzania, researchers have designed a house with porous walls that diffuse human breath and keep the people inside hidden from mosquitos. In London, scientists are using genetic engineering to reduce female mosquito fertility, aiming one day to make a dent in the wild population. And in Kenya and Malawi, a new malaria vaccine is being tested, offering hope to millions of people. Presenter: Jo Mathys Reporter: Rumella Dasgupta Image: A Star Home (Credit: Star Homes Project)

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  • 01.02.2022
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    Using VR to change lives

    Virtual Reality is being used by researchers around the world to change people’s lives – helping them confront their own fears and change how they treat other people.In the UK, a company is using VR to help people with a fear of heights. The automated therapy system puts participants in a virtual multi-story building to help them combat their fear.A team in Israel is experimenting with using VR to change how people on both sides of the conflict feel about the other.And in Spain, a virtual reality simulation is being used in prisons. They’re trying to make people convicted of domestic violence aware of what it feels like to be in the position of their victims.Presenter: Jo Mathys Producer/Reporter: Serena Tarling Image: Someone using a VR headset (Getty Images)

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  • 25.01.2022
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    How to fight fake health news

    Could a video game where you pretend to spread Covid misinformation actually make you less susceptible to real-life fake news? Fake news, conspiracy theories and misinformation about health can stop people getting vaccinated, which in turn could cause diseases to spread and ultimately result in people dying. In Sierra Leone, an NGO is educating people about typhoid and malaria by creating audio dramas, and sharing them over WhatsApp. Meanwhile, a team based at Cambridge University in the UK wants to ‘inoculate’ people, to prevent them from believing fake stories if and when they see them in the future. Presenter: Jo Mathys Reporter/Producer: Mark Sedgwick Image: The Go Viral game

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  • 18.01.2022
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    Making clean water with rubbish

    A Ugandan chemist has found a way to use old cattle bones and food waste to make clean water.Timothy Kayondo turns the rubbish into activated carbon, which he uses to produce water purifiers. They’re being used in schools and hospitals.It is estimated that one in 10 people on the planet do not have a basic level of access to clean water.In this programme we find out about Timothy’s work and discover more ways people around the world are getting access to safe drinking water.Presenter: Jo Mathys Reporters: Mercy Juma, Celestina Olulode and Tom Colls Producers: Daniel Gordon and Tom Colls Image: Timothy Kayondo

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  • 11.01.2022
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    Catching up with our solution seekers

    How are Covid sniffer dogs, a sturdy bicycle scheme and balloons beaming down the internet getting on? We catch up with a few of the projects featured on our programme to see if they are making progress. In the UK we catch up with the sniffer dogs being trained to detect Covid 19. After promising results from a large trial, they’re onto the next stage of training. Meanwhile Wyson in Zambia has extended his bicycle purchase scheme for rural women and even had a bit of help from a BBC World Service audience member. We find out what happened after US company Loon launched giant balloons designed to beam down the internet to rural Kenya. And we hear from Dhruv Boruah, who has turned his attention from running plastic hackathons to a rather unusual underwater project. Produced and presented by Claire Bates Reporters: Richard Kenny and Tom Colls Image: Dhruv Boruah

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  • 04.01.2022
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    The forest sound detectives

    Scientists are checking up on the health of forests by analysing the sounds in them. They test their vital signs by measuring the croaks, tweets and hums of resident creatures. If they can hear a full range of animals they can be confident an ecosystem is doing well. However, if gaps start to appear, it’s a sign something is up. Nick Holland hears more about how it works and how it’s being used to strike a balance between the needs of Papua New Guinea’s growing indigenous communities and the need to preserve the biodiversity of the forests they live off. Produced and presented by Nick Holland Image: The Nature Conservancy Repeat - first published 04 May 2021.

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  • 28.12.2021
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    The moo loo and other stories

    Training cows to use the toilet and a bouncy castle that fights climate change are some of the surprising solutions today. Humans have been training animals like dogs and horses for centuries. But how easy is it to train a cow? Well scientists in New Zealand and Germany have been successfully training cows to use a special latrine. The cows get a reward each time they pay a visit. The idea behind it is that by collecting their urine in the latrine, it won't release so much ammonia into rivers and streams. In this programme we are going to look at some unusual solutions to big problems, and solutions to unusual problems you might not know existed. We’ll also hear about a bouncy castle which fights climate change by absorbing CO2, and a project to help people with different size feet find shoes that actually fit. Presenter: Celestina Olulode Reporter and producer: Richard Kenny Image: Dr Matthews (Credit: Dr Caroline Bagshaw)

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  • 21.12.2021
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    Creating an alternative gig economy

    Meet the innovators who want to change gig work for the better.When we order a pizza on a Friday night or use a ride-sharing app to get home, it’s likely that the person providing the service is a ‘gig worker’ – a flexible employee who picks their own hours and gets paid per-job.The app-based gig economy provides convenience for consumers - and has become an increasingly important part of the global economy over the last 10 years. Workers can log on and off when they chose – but they are often managed by an absent algorithmic middleman, and don’t have access to basic workers’ rights such as sick pay, holiday pay or an hourly wage.But people around the world think that a fairer approach to gig work is possible – from a co-operative run by ex-delivery riders in London to a blockchain based ride-sharing app launching in India. But can these upstarts provide the flexibility and convenience that both workers and consumers have come to expect?Produced and presented by Craig Langran

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  • 14.12.2021
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    How to make electricity for your neighbours

    Hundreds of millions of people don’t have access to electricity. But all over the world, people are joining forces to provide a home-grown solution — by setting up their own “microgrids” using renewable energy.We meet the Kenyan man who got so frustrated waiting for his village to be connected to the national power grid that he built his own hydro power station. Using scrap materials and a bicycle wheel he made enough electricity for his own household and many others in the community.We’ll also hear from Bangladesh where individual households with solar panels on their roofs have formed a local network. They sell any spare power neighbours who don’t have the panels.Produced by Daniel Gordon and presented by Mercy Juma. Image: John Magiro

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  • 07.12.2021
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    Food waste: The solar dryer solution

    A simple system for saving food and empowering women on the show today. Hundreds of millions of tonnes of food go to waste every year, much of it before it is even sold. This waste is bad for the planet, but also for farmers and consumers.A company in India has found an solution. They collect imperfect produce that would otherwise have been left by farmers to rot and use specially designed solar dryers to remove the water. They then take the dried fruit and vegetables, process it, and sell it on.The benefits of their system go far beyond food waste. By setting up collectives of women in rural India with the machines, they’re transforming the lives and status of a group of people who traditionally struggle to gain economic independence.Chhavi Sachdev goes to see the system in action, finds out who is buying the dried produce and discovers what it actually tastes like. Image: Kavita Gadekar, who uses the solar dryer

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  • 30.11.2021
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    Ways to save the planet: Using the sun

    Floating solar panels and a see-through pyramid are the solutions this week. The sun is the ultimate source of energy for life on earth. Harnessing that energy in new ways is a key part of the fight against climate change. This week, we meet two people who had solar power eureka moments and are doing just that. One designed a see-through pyramid that produces hot water for low-income countries. The other opened up new space for solar panels by floating them on the water. We explore these ideas with environment journalist Tom Heap, who joined forces with The Royal Geographical Society to check out the most promising climate change solutions for BBC Radio 4 series ‘39 Ways to Save the Planet’. Image: Faisal Ghani and his solar water heater.

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  • 23.11.2021
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    The tiny satellites changing how we see Earth

    CubeSats are small but mighty. They started as an educational toy in 1999, but now help people tackle issues from deforestation in Brazil to modern slavery in Greece.Cheap to make and launch, these tiny satellites’ biggest role is in remotely scanning the Earth. Thousands are whizzing over our heads right now tracking a huge range of stuff - including herds of elephants, coral reefs and volcanic ash clouds.We look at how CubeSats have opened up space to nations and start-up companies and helped usher in a new, commercial, space age.Produced and presented by Claire Bates.Image: A CubeSat (Nasa)

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  • 16.11.2021
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    The 15-minute city

    Everything you need on your doorstep: a radical plan to improve our cities. Imagine if everything you needed - your work, leisure and essential services - was just a 15-minute walk or cycle from where you live. With no need to drive, there’d be less time sitting in traffic jams, the air would be less polluted and maybe we would all be a bit less stressed. That’s the vision that many cities around the world are now trying to achieve - a new concept called the “15-minute city”. As more and more of us join the urban sprawl, the aim is to make city life healthier, happier and better for the environment. We visit Paris to see the plan in action. Produced and presented by Richard Kenny. Image: Getty Images

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  • 09.11.2021
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    COP26: The tech helping you to help the planet

    Climate change is set to alter our planet and human beings need to change the way we live and work. But how do we know exactly what changes to make? New technology could help us make informed choices - from sensors counting pollinating insects in fields, to power sockets that tell us how green our energy is, to apps that enable communities to discuss change in their local area. These ideas are part of the Tech for Our Planet challenge, which is being run by the UK government as part of the COP26 summit. We check out the three projects and explore how new technology has the potential to change our behaviour. Produced and presented by William Kremer from COP26. Image: The COP26 summit in Glasgow (Getty Images)

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  • 02.11.2021
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    Ways to save the planet: Ancient solutions

    Sixteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions could be saved by using biochar, a simple fertilising technique adopted by tribes in the Amazon thousands of years ago. If produced on an industrial scale, scientists say biochar could be as powerful as renewable energy in the fight against climate change. Picture Credit: Carbofex and Puro.earth

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  • 26.10.2021
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    How to spot fake drugs with a mobile phone

    Fake medicines are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide each year. But inventors around the world are coming up with ways to spot the fakes. In Nigeria, pharmacists are using a pocket-sized nanoscanner and mobile app to analyse light shone through a pill, powder or liquid. A Ghanaian entrepreneur has developed a way to verify a barcode or a series of numbers on a box of medicine, using a mobile phone. And in Finland, you can take photos of your medicine and get a detailed analysis of the packaging, pill or powder, to find out if it’s authentic or not. Presented and produced by Hannah Gelbart Image: Fake medicine

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  • 19.10.2021
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    Talking signs, amazing peas and planes mapping fires

    Signs that connect to a mobile phone app, which then reads the information out loud, are appearing in some cities. The technology is designed to help blind and visually impaired people find their way around more easily.People Fixing the World puts the system to the test to see how well it works and finds out what else they’re being used for.There’s also a clever solution to single-use plastics from a company who’re turning the proteins in peas into a biodegradable type of packaging. Plus, how pilots taking aerial pictures of forest fires in California are helping to tackle the flames.Producer: Nick Holland Presenters: Emma Tracey and Nick HollandImage: A NaviLens code on a street sign

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  • 12.10.2021
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    Can computer games improve mental health?

    Apart of Me is a computer game that has been designed to help young people process grief. It’s part of a movement that’s bringing together psychology and gaming. Whilst many parents worry about the distraction of games consoles and smart phones, some psychologists believe they can be used as a force for good. We meet the therapist who sets their clients computer games as homework and see how one specially-designed game brings real benefits for mental health. Produced and presented by Daniel Gordon. Image: A young person playing a video game (getty)

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  • 05.10.2021
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    Robots on the beat

    Police forces in the US are turning to futuristic technology to tackle a rise in violent crime and murder across the country. In one area of California, they are even using robots to patrol the streets. There, the police are claiming it's led to a reduction in crime and an increase in arrests. In New York they even experimented with a robot police dog, but with mixed results. This and other cutting-edge technologies are helping the police – and the public - stay one step ahead, but they are often controversial. In this programme we look at the some of the best ways that technology can make the streets safer. Presented and produced by Ben Wyatt Image: The Robocop K5

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  • 28.09.2021
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    Helping animals cross the road and other obstacles

    Irrigation pipes have been designed to double as mid-air walkways to help slow lorises cross open farmland in Indonesia; and a footbridge has been built for a rare breed of monkey in Brazil - the golden lion tamarin. These are just two examples of new infrastructure designed to help wild animals cope with human obstacles. Picture credit: Little Fireface ProjectProduced and presented by Daniel Gordon.(Repeat)

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  • 21.09.2021
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    Saving mums and their unborn babies

    Women in a village in Northern Nigeria have come up with an emergency transport scheme that is saving lives. They decided to act when they saw mums-to-be and their unborn babies dying in childbirth because they couldn’t get to hospital in time. Their solution also inspired the state government to help thousands of other women. Produced and presented by Bara’atu Ibrahim (Repeat)

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  • 14.09.2021
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    The hotel for homeless people

    What would happen if the government of a country decided to try to find everyone who was homeless and living on the streets and offer them a place to live? That is exactly what happened in England as the coronavirus pandemic hit. The government says 90% of rough sleepers were offered rooms in hotels that sat empty because of the lockdown. Simon Maybin spent the past year and a half following the lives of some of the people who came to live in a Holiday Inn hotel in Manchester. Image: A guest at the Holiday Inn.

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  • 07.09.2021
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    The library where the books are people

    At the human library you borrow a person you wouldn’t usually meet for a half-hour frank conversation. The volunteers have various book titles from polyamorous to former prisoner. The aim of these face-to-face chats is to break down our assumptions and prejudices. We explore whether simple discussions can make a difference. Produced and presented by Claire Bates. Picture: Ronni Abergel, Human Library

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  • 31.08.2021
    11 MB
    23:50
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    Ways to save the planet: Fridge detectives

    Two sources of greenhouse gas could be lurking in your kitchen: rice and fridges. We meet a biologist breeding climate-friendly rice, and a team of detectives whose job is to stop fearsomely potent fridge gases escaping into the atmosphere. Produced and presented by Jo Mathys and Tom Heap.

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  • 24.08.2021
    11 MB
    23:56
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    Ways to save the planet: Swap concrete for wood

    Wood is strong enough to build skyscrapers, and bamboo - the fastest growing plant in the world - can also be used for building. Both suck up large amounts of greenhouse gas. We find out what would happen if we used these materials instead of concrete in construction. Produced and presented by Jo Mathys and Tom Heap. Picture: Moelven

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  • 17.08.2021
    11 MB
    23:51
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    The seaweed farmers adapting to warming seas

    Seaweed - we have been using it for centuries in food and toiletries. It can help to keep toothpaste and ice cream soft, as well as being a tasty snack. It is a billion-dollar industry. But in some parts of the world, supply of the crop has decreased dramatically due to climate change. Now people in Zanzibar are fighting back. They are learning new methods of farming seaweed in deeper, cooler waters. It is boosting the amount of seaweed they can grow and improving their livelihoods as a result.Produced and presented by Celestina Olulode. Additional production by Esther Namuhisa and Nicholaus Mtenga.

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  • 10.08.2021
    11 MB
    23:36
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    Locust hunters

    People in Kenya have been paid to catch swarms of locusts eating farmers’ crops. The insects are full of protein and the captured ones are ground up and put into animal feed. The BBC’s Nick Holland and Claire Bates find out what tricks these 'locust hunters' use to catch the critters and what difference the cull makes. They also hear about a way of capturing tiny micro-plastic particles that come off car tyres and delve into a clever project feeding homeless people in Mumbai. Written and produced by Nick Holland Presented by Nick Holland and Claire BatesImage Credit: Getty Images

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  • 03.08.2021
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    Turning preachers into LGBT allies

    The LGBT community in Mombasa, Kenya has suffered from violent mob attacks in recent years - often fuelled by influential preachers spreading messages of hate. But one group decided to tackle this in a remarkable way: they have directly engaged with faith leaders. In carefully controlled meetings the pastors and imams get to know LGBT people and have their misconceptions challenged. This has led to a big reduction in violence. Now many of those religious leaders use their influence to help the LGBT community fight discrimination wherever they find it. Produced and presented by Richard Kenny Picture: Getty Images

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  • 27.07.2021
    11 MB
    23:46
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    The ATMs that dispense clean fuel

    Sleek blue machines have been popping up in convenience stores across Nairobi over the past two years. These “Koko points” look like cash machines but instead of giving out money they dispense bioethanol, a fuel made from plants which can be used in cooking stoves.At the moment 80% of Kenyans use wood or charcoal as their main cooking fuel – but these materials have a devastating impact on the environment, and the smoke causes hundreds of deaths every week. Koko’s high-tech solution offers Kenyans a cleaner alternative, although it means a move away from some dearly-held customs. Reporter: Mercy Juma Producer: William Kremer

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  • 22.07.2021
    8 MB
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    Introducing: Season 2 of 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter

    How animals make us smarter – we thought you might like to hear our brand new episode. It’s about a robotic arm inspired by an elephant’s trunk.For more, search for 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter wherever you get your podcasts.#30Animals

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