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« Oster: Cable television is good for women in India | Main | A Dark River Runs Through It »

August 17, 2007


http://www.howtopedia.org/ is a wiki dedicated to such simple but effective technologies.

In today' s World, maybe the right approach to solve such of long-lasting issues is to get fresh minds on board and start from a blank sheet of paper. A wonderful event, really.
Thank you Bruno for the heads-up.

Ciao Bruno,

Great post. I agree with the general theme of your piece and of Amy Smith's work (the best designs are often the most simple). When an engineer or designer approaches me and asks how they can be most useful in the developing world, I say grab a bag of quick-dry cement, and a PVC pipe, maybe a wrench, and see what you can build. Or fix your mom's lawnmower. Those are the skills that are most useful in many situations - how about a water carrier made out of old bicycle parts?

The trick of the eight-liter water carrier from IDDS is that its design appears not to take into account many of the local challenges of transporting water, nor does it come close to satisfying the daily need for water for a family. But it's heading in the right direction.

The same sort of disconnect happens when you have pit latrines that children won't use because they are dark and the drop holes are too big... (so adjust the size of the dropholes and put colorful posters inside).

The IDDS and Amy's group rock - I just heard her on NPR last night. I'm also interested in the small-scale water testing solution.

One additional idea - how about looking at what is the latest and greatest in household sanitation systems? One solution worth a closer look is what Sulabh International has come up with - the twin pit pour-flush latrine. See http://sulabhinternational.org/pg02.htm . I'd love to have the time to research the extent to which this technology or a lightly customized version thereof would be applicable in other parts of the developing world.

Thanks for a very interesting piece.

John Oldfield

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