Because Mikinduri is so remote, the introduction of simple, inexpensive, appropriate, new technology can be an important area of involvement for MCOH.
Technology in Use
Kenyan women spend a great deal of time walking long distances to the forest to collect firewood, to sell at the local markets the rest being used for cooking at home. The problem is that hillsides are being stripped of trees which leads to erosion. Through the introduction of Jeko’s, all of our schools are able to cook faster larger amounts of food with 75% less wood, and almost no smoke. Smoke has a very harmful and long term effects on the eyes and lungs. By having Jeko’s in their homes, women benefit by having more time and energy to devote to their many other chores, like farming and raising their children. The environment also benefits from Jeko’s as a result of less smoke and wood consumption.
After introducing the Jeko’s, MCOH wanted to lessen the requirement for wood. Charcoal is the only other source of fuel, however, the locals could not afford to buy charcoal. MCOH needed to find a way for locals to make their own charcoal. The result was the introduction of a method of making charcoal from agricultural waste, like corn stocks. Engineering students at the University of Prince Edward Island School of Sustainable Engineering developed a simple system of making briquettes. Amazingly, this process only requires a 45 gallon drum and a locally made inexpensive tool.
MCOH also introduced peddle pumps. Peddle pumps are manually driven water pumps that can pump water to a height of 30 feet. This helped us introduce a very effective drip irrigation system. Solar powered water pumps have also been installed to fill large water tanks used for irrigation.
Another wonderful development was the introduction of slow sand filters. The sand filters can each filter 100 liters of filthy water in just 8 hours. The water is then treated with a small amount of chlorine to yield safe water. These filters are inexpensive to build and are maintenance free for many years.