Saturday, October 2, 2010

Maker Faire, Accra (9)

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In 2009, because Air Ivoire canceled a flight without telling us, we had an extra day in Accra, Ghana. This meant that we could attend the Maker Faire being held at the Koffi Annan Center. This was my first introduction to the concept of "Appropriate Technologies", that is, technologies applied to the village environment--realistic, simple, and useful.

1) MG_5877_Sign.jpg
The Maker Faire 2009 held in Accra, Ghana.

2) IMG_5842_Drier.jpg
Solar drier at the Maker Faire. 2009.

3) IMG_5848_Refrigerator.jpg
Refrigerator used to store produce at market. Water wicks down the burlap and a breeze dries the moisture on the burlap, withdrawing heat from the center of the structure. Accra, Ghana, 2009.

4) IMG_5852_Pyrethrins.jpg

Clever way to distribute pyrethrins that kill mosquitoes: make a metal flange that fits around a light bulb, the heat of which vaporizes the insecticide.

5) IMG_5859_Chlorine.jpg
Bicycle generator electrolyzes salt brine, producing chlorine gas that can then be used to sanitize water and food preparation surfaces.

6) IMG_5865_Toilet.jpg
Toilet seat. Although there are few people over 60 in a village, nevertheless it is difficult for the surviving members to squat over the latrine when the knees won't cooperate. This toilet seat was designed to fit over a hand-dug pit. The concept is that the pit is used for 6 months, then covered and allowed to ferment for another 6. After that, the soil is safe to use for fertilizing crops. The toilet also keeps people from falling in the hole.

7) IMG_5870_SheaNutExtractor.jpg
Shea Nut Press. Uses a house jack to exert the sort of pressure needed. Shea nuts are important ingredients in cosmetics and can bring a significant amount of money into a village.

8) IMG_5872_CornShellingTools.jpg
Corn is a major product of villages in West Africa. Shucking it is time-consuming, especially if you lack the appropriate tools. Pictured are some that have been fashioned out of scrap metal.

9) IMG_5874_Charcoal.jpg
When you get off the plane in any West African country the first thing you notice is the smoky air, the result of countless cooking fires expending one of their greatest resources--trees. What if instead of turning wood into charcoal, people could press corn cobs into briquets and charcoal-ize them? Pictured is a tool for doing just that.

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