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The Full Belly Project Universal Nut Sheller
What makes "appropriate technology" is determined by context. Therefore, none of these are absolute - they are simply common features that make a technology "appropriate" to a world where many suffer a lack of basic necessities, a lack of money, and lack of equipment and technological expertise. They are also technologies that have a gentle impact on the earth:

 * Small, as in Small is Beautiful. Small often means affordable and adaptable, and puts the control in the hands of the users. Small also means local, which offers benefits in resilience;
 * Few moving parts - less to go wrong (similar to the KISS principle).
 * Can be built locally;
 * Easily repaired, by local people with locally available equipment;
 * Affordable; and
 * Made with locally available materials.

The source of the technology doesn't matter much - it matters much more that it is appropriate. While the source of a technology sometimes becomes an issue in discussions of technology for international development, technology from anywhere can have uptake and make an impact, as evidenced by the mobile phone.

...Archive/Nominations



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The Full Belly Project Universal Nut Sheller
What makes "appropriate technology" is determined by context. Therefore, none of these are absolute - they are simply common features that make a technology "appropriate" to a world where many suffer a lack of basic necessities, a lack of money, and lack of equipment and technological expertise. They are also technologies that have a gentle impact on the earth:

 * Small, as in Small is Beautiful. Small often means affordable and adaptable, and puts the control in the hands of the users. Small also means local, which offers benefits in resilience;
 * Few moving parts - less to go wrong (similar to the KISS principle).
 * Can be built locally;
 * Easily repaired, by local people with locally available equipment;
 * Affordable; and
 * Made with locally available materials.

The source of the technology doesn't matter much - it matters much more that it is appropriate. While the source of a technology sometimes becomes an issue in discussions of technology for international development, technology from anywhere can have uptake and make an impact, as evidenced by the mobile phone.

...Archive/Nominations

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There are four basic Hexayurt sizes which cover a variety of needs.
What is it? The Hexayurt is a refugee shelter system based on work done at the Rocky Mountain Institute. It uses an approach based on "autonomous building" to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive family support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting. Other systems can be added in a modular fashion.

Is this for real? Yes. Both the American Red Cross and the US Department of Defense have examined the Hexayurt system in detail and found that it has considerable merit and utility. I hope that we will see it in use by international agencies within two years. The best place to get started is to read the slides from the presentation Vinay Gupta gave at the Pentagon in December 2006: Pentagon Presentation (pdf) - 20 pages, not much text, and the best summary of the system we currently have online.

Projected Costs: Shelter: $200 - $500+ per single family unit depending on size, climate and use duration Infrastructure Package: around $100 per unit.

...Archive/Nominations

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Rope pump upper construction
Rope pump. Industrial hand pumps, such as the Indian Mark II, for communal wells donated by development projects often break down after two years. If maintenance costs are the responsibility of the users, then this cost is too high when repairs prove necessary and the pump is left nonfunctional.

An alternative reliable hand pump is needed for communal and private use to supply clean drinking water and irrigation. These pumps will raise the standard of living if they are low cost, reliable and pump water effectively. Efficiency is critical to irrigate a garden in the dry season due to the relatively large amount of water involved. Such gardens provide food and increased income.

Local affordability, maintenance and good pump efficiency are required features. Local affordability means a twenty-to-hundred-fold cost reduction compared to imported industrial goods. Local maintenance is only possible when made with local resources and skills.

The pumping system should prevent contamination of drinking water by permitting the well to be sealed. This is especially true of communal wells. Industrial pumps need to be bolted onto a concrete slab positioned over the well. However, this makes the water inaccessible when the pump breaks down. Immediate maintenance on the pump or access to the well through an emergency hatch permits continuous access to life-giving water.

...Archive/Nominations

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A treadle pump being demonstrated in Malawi.
A treadle pump is a human-powered Pump designed to lift water from a depth of seven meters or less. A Treadle is a lever device pressed by the foot to drive a machine, in this case a pump. The treadle pump can do most of the work of a motorized pump, but costs considerably less (75%) to purchase. Because it needs no Fossil fuel (it is driven by the operator's body weight and Leg Muscl]s), it can also cost less (50%) to operate than a motorized pump. It can lift five to seven cubic meters of water per hour from wells and Boreholes up to seven meters deep and can also be used to draw water from Lakes and Rivers. Many treadle pumps are manufactured locally, but they can be challenging to produce consistently without highly skilled welders and production hardware.

Compared to bucket irrigation, the treadle pump can greatly increase the income that farmers generate from their land by increasing the number of growing seasons, by expanding the types of crops that can be cultivated, and improving on the quality of grown crops.

Standard treadle pumps are Suction pumps, and were first developed in the early 1980s in Bangladesh and made popular by IDE. Since then pressure pumps, a modification to the original design that means water is forced out of the pump under pressure, have also been developed and are widely in use in East Africa though KickStart. Pressure treadle pumps allow farmers to spray water and run sprinklers - saving the need for an elevated water storage tank and suction pump system.

...Archive/Nominations

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Small Scale Vegetable Oil Extraction
Small Scale Vegetable Oil Extraction. Oilseeds are the major source of edible oils. The oil-cake remaining after the greater part of the oil has been extracted is a valuable source of protein for animal feeds. Nutritionally, oils provide the calories, vitamins, and essential fatty acids in the human diet in an easily digested form. Oils are used in cooking to enhance the flavour and texture of food. It has been estimated that while 30% of malnourished children in developing countries suffer from a lack of both energy-producing and protein foods, the other 70% suffer from a lack of calories which could be obtained largely from oils and fats. The per caput consumption of fats in tropical Africa is roughly one-quarter of that in North America. Only a small number of developing countries have surpluses of vegetable oils for export. Malaysia and Indonesia export palm oil, the Philippines export coconut oil, and Brazil and Argentina export soy-bean oil. In most developing countries, vegetable oils are in short supply with the rising demand due largely to population growth. The need to import uses up scarce foreign exchange.

Most developing countries have large-scale oilseed processing facilities which are generally located near large towns. Oilseeds grown in rural areas are normally transported to the urban oil mills for processing, but poorly maintained roads and vehicles make the transporting of oilseeds from rural areas to urban oil mills both difficult and costly. Haulage of cooking oil back to rural areas presents the same problems. The high urban demand for vegetable oil leads to shortages in rural areas. Oil that does reach the rural areas is sold at a much higher price than in the large towns.

...Archive/Nominations

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