Because Mikinduri is so remote, the introduction of simple, inexpensive, appropriate, new technology can be an important area of involvement for us. We are constantly on the look out for such things.
We have identified several areas of simple technology that have the potential to have a huge impact on the lives of the people of Mikinduri.
Fuel Efficient Stoves
Kenyan women spend a great deal of time walking long distances to the forest to collect firewood (see video below), some of which they sell at the local market with the rest being used for cooking at home. Currently, most people use camp fires, otherwise known as three stone fires. Unfortunately, three stone fires are very inefficient, producing lots of smoke and wasting a lot of precious wood. The smoke has a very harmful effect on everyone’s eyes as well as causing serious and recurring breathing problems. Fortunately, our PEI-based technology committee have perfected a simple, inexpensive but very effective stove design, that can easily be built by the local peasants. The results is almost no smoke, and using about 75% less wood. By implementing this “Jeko” the women benefit by having more time and energy to devote to other chores, like farming and raising their children. The environment also benefits. Because the hills will not be stripped of trees, erosion will be much less of a problem.
Our next step, having introduced the Jeko’s, is to try to lessen the requirement for wood. Since the people have no money to buy charcoal, which is the only other source of fuel, our thrust was to try to find a way to make their own. The result was the introduction of a method of making charcoal from agriculuture waste, like corn cobs, etc. During the summer of 2010, the first trial was conducted with one of our 8 farmers groups, and so much interest was expressed that we are rolling it out to all the farm groups. What is amazing is that it only requires a 45 gallon drum and a locally made inexpensive tool.
We have already introduced peddle pumps which are manually driven and can pump water to a height of 30 feet. Along the same line is the introduction of a very effective drip irrigation system.