APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES

This issue shares some of the good ideas for practical improvements in development sent in for the Millennium Competition, together with some other ideas, which have either been shared or requested by Footsteps readers. Many of these ideas are not necessarily new – they have simply been adapted to fit a particular local need. This is the reason for the term appropriate technology. Not all new technologies are useful – many may not be appropriate at all. However, having the confidence to take an idea, adapt it, test it and adapt it again until it meets the local need, is very important. Then a new technology becomes an appropriate technology.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 46 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 46 click here (1161K).


  • Alternative fuels

    Charlie Forst gives details of two cooking fuels which may be new to some readers. He works with ECHO, 17391 Durrance Road, North Fort Myers, FL 33917-2200, USA.

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  • Bible study: Stewardship

    Stewardship: using the resources we are given Read Matthew 25:14-30 A man is going on a journey, so he asks his servants to care for his property while he is away.

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  • Community de-worming

    COMPETITION WINNER by Lois Ooms. We are involved in a community-based health programme and would like to share an idea which has proved very useful here and has also helped us to expand our community health work.

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  • Dried moringa leaves

    Previous issues of Footsteps have mentioned the value of the moringa tree as a fast-growing tree for agroforestry, a good source of nutritious green leaves and beans and, in particular, the ability of moringa oil from the seeds to purify water. Researchers have now found another use for this tree. If the leaves are first dried (see drier on page 16) then powdered using a pestle and mortar, they can be stored in plastic bags or glass jars for several months.

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  • Editorial

    Adapting ideas This issue shares some of the good ideas for practical improvements in development sent in for the Millennium Competition, together with some other ideas, which have either been shared or requested by Footsteps readers. Many of these ideas are not necessarily new – they have simply been adapted to fit a particular local need. This is the reason for the term appropriate technology. Not all new technologies are useful – many may not be appropriate at all. However, having the ...

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  • Improving egg production

    COMPETITION WINNER Farmers are usually cautious about using new technologies before they are sure of the benefits they will bring. They often adapt new ideas rather than adopting the whole technology.

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  • Letters

    Changing traditions Our African tradition demands a total separation from sexual relations for husbands and wives after the birth of a child, until the child is weaned at between one and two years of age. But alas! We husbands cannot abandon our wives for such a long time. AIDS is rife. It is stupid for husbands to be tempted to fall into immoral ways because their wives are breast-feeding. In most cases, all that is needed is for a six-week rest after childbirth to allow the uterus to go back ...

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  • Low-cost rainwater harvesting

    by Dai Rees. The Development Technology Unit of Warwick University aims to research and promote technologies appropriate for practical use in the Third World. The Unit has recently developed three small jars (between 500 and 750 litres) for rainwater storage. Their aim was to develop a number of safe, low-cost alternatives for rainwater storage.

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  • Medical waste management

    by Illiassou Sabi Dera. In Benin, medical waste from most of our health centres is often managed in the same way as ordinary waste. Health employees are often unaware of the risks linked with their poor handling of medical waste.

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  • Resources

    Reaching out to the Women of Africa: Holistic teaching through Church Women’s Fellowships by Rosalia Oyweka

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  • Solar drier

    This drier is very effective for drying large quantities of fruit, leaves or herbs. Unlike other driers there is no need to remove the contents when it rains. It also allows fresh material to dry in the shade, thus maintaining high vitamin content. 

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  • The hot pot

    The hot pot is an insulated cooking basket, which continues to cook food after removing it from the fire. It has several advantages:

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  • The struggle against erosion in Munene

    Our area, Kasenga in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has had soil erosion problems for a very long time. A large ravine or gully has developed in the main town. Two main roads are today cut through by the growing ravine, many houses are being destroyed and soon access to the central port may be blocked.

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  • Theatre for disease prevention

    by Abel Gousseine. ‘If you prescribe me medicine, you will cure me for a day. But if you teach me to prevent disease, you will cure me for life!’ This is the message that our workshops display after each performance. We organise role plays for the benefit of health workers and other development workers to encourage them not only to give medicines or prescriptions to their patients, but also to teach them how to prevent disease.

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  • Traditional salt

    COMPETITION WINNER by Revd Francis King’ang’a. African traditional salt or lye (uvusaaru) has been used for generations in our area of Western Kenya. In recent years it has been replaced by common table salt. Lye was used for cooking vegetables, soap-making and for some medicinal purposes. Older people believe that using lye for daily cooking helped people to live longer because of its medical benefits.

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  • Treating animal skins

    We would like to respond to the request in a recent issue of Footsteps about technical knowledge for processing hides and running a small-scale tannery. We have run courses teaching tanning techniques and how to use the leather for items such as sandals and belts. We are preparing a booklet on this subject.

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