Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Refrigerate......the simple way

We all have had the pleasure of drinking cool and tasty water from an earthen pot. It is common knowledge that evaporation principle leads to a drop in water temperature within the pot. And it requires no electricity, just a cheap earthen pot.

Let us see the PROBLEM
We all have also read about vegetable prices going sky high due to shortage and soon in a few weeks, after a new havest, the onion cost goes from 60 Rs per kg to as low as Rs 2 sometimes.
Why this price fluctuation. The reason is simple. No way to store or refrigerate the vegetables for the farmers. All produce is rushed to the market and farmers lose heavily.

Obviously relating para 1 and para 2 leads to a simple SOLUTION.

The Pot-in-Pot system consists of two pots, a smaller earthenware pot nestled within another pot, with the space in between filled with sand and water. When that water evaporates, it pulls heat from the interior of the smaller pot, in which vegetables and fruits can be kept. In rural Nigeria, many farmers lack transportation, water, and electricity, but one of their biggest problems is the inability to preserve their crops. With the Pot-in-Pot, tomatoes last for twenty-one days, rather than two or three days without this technology. Fresher produce can be sold at the market, generating more income for the farmers.

We can try this at home as well.

 DESIGNER: Mohammed Bah Abba
 Nigeria, 1995
 Earthenware, sand, water
 DIMENSIONS: 16” to 22” diameter

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wanna cook food.....no gas.....no wood.....Get some Cardboard and Aluminium Foil

Darfur is a conflict zone in Sudan, Africa. And the local tribals have been displaced from their homes.
One PROBLEM of their many problems was fuel for cooking food. Collecting wood in hostile areas was risky for women and involved covering long distances by foot.
We are well aware of solar cookers. But they are a bit costly to make, heavy and cannot be made by hand. In came Steve Harrigan with this well thought and researched yet very very simple Solar Cooker. This requires only some aluminium foils glued over thick cardboard and  utensils to be painted black and covered with polythene bags (to trap steam within).

Below is the reference link:

and some images of the "Solar Cooker"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PlayPump.......drawing water and pumping it is child's play

The PROBLEM - No electricity in the village. Cannot afford a diesel generator. Then how to get groundwater in a tank overhead so that water can be made available though pipes and taps around the village.

Image Source:

The SOLUTION - A toy for children. Yes a merry go round wheel.  Children are endless bundles of energy as they play on for hours. But underneath this wheel draws ground water and pumps it in a tank overhead (seen in the background). The groundwater drawing works much like our common Indian hand pumps.

The picture below depict the working of this pump.
Source : http://www.waterforpeople.org/extras/playpumps/how-playpumps-works.html

This technology is being implemented by "Water for People" in African Nations on charity basis and has been developed by PlayPumps International-US.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Q Drum......how simple ideas solve BIG problems

Here is the PROBLEM. Supply of clean drinking water and how it is fulfilled in many rural areas in the Third World.

And architect Hans Hendrikse put his grey cells to use and came up with a solution that could reduce the long term side effects caused to the backs and necks of these folks. Now even kids can carry 50 - 70 litres of water for miles without any undue strain. He got recognition in form of "ROLEX Award for Enterprising Individuals" for implementing the solution in South Africa.
Below are some pics of the Q Drum and Hans himself in the second image here.

Source Reference :  http://rolexawards.com/en/the-laureateshanshendrikse-the-project.jsp

Here is the SOLUTION

Here is the home page for the Q Drum Initiative


Join this innovative initiative. Switch off all your lights tomorrow (i.e. 27 March 2010) from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm..
An hour of power saving globally is a huge thing. And you can contribute. Here is the link to know more.


"Earth Hour 2010 takes place on Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm- 9:30pm and is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from India to Australia to America will stand in darkness. People across the world from all walks of life will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet".