|GATE - 1985/04 - Renewable Energy - Biogas (GTZ GATE Magazine, 1985)|
Rural Crafts and Trades Solar Energy for Hospitals
Promoting Rural Crafts and Trades
by Bernd Schleich.
On 3rd October 1985 a specialist discussion on promoting rural crafts and trades took place at the GTZ headquarters in Eschborn. Responsible for this discussion were GATE and the GTZ Division 17 (Agricultural Engineering, Agroindustries, Technical Equipment Planning). The discussion was planned, prepared and presided over by OEKOTOP GmbH (Berlin).
It should be said in advance that the organizers achieved an important objective merely by holding the workshop: the gathering together of almost ail the specialist departments that promote trades and crafts as part of their specialization within the GTZ. This spectrum ranges from the organizers GATE and Division for Agricultural Engineering via Section 243 (Trades, Small-scale and Medium-scale Industry, Credit System) to the Divisions 12 (Rural Regional Development) and 23 (Vocational Training in Trades).
The OEKOTOP GmbH had provided four speakers who presented their theses on questions of planning.
Integrated promotion of the crafts and trades
First, Dr. Wolfgang Schneider-Barthold (German Institute for Development Policy) developed a model for integrated promotion of the crafts and trades. His central thesis was that one should never promote the trades in isolation, only together with the surrounding factors. This guarantees that promotion is not provided unrelated to the demand and that a general increase in the purchasing power also results in an increased demand for the products of the trades and handicrafts. Dr. Schneider-Barthold named the following as the primary objectives in the promotion of rural trades:
a) the provision of the rural population with goods for their
basic requirements and with the means of production, and
b) the creation of jobs and income.
"The promotion of the trades in the sense outlined here is not an isolated discipline. It is part of a comprehensive, integrated development that affects the entire life and work of the target group." (Dr. Schneider-Barthold)
Starting-point: self-help groups
Professor Dr. H.-D. Seibel from the Research Centre for Developing Countries at the University of Cologne then presented his proposals for promoting the trades by means of self-help organizations run by the rural population of developing countries. To him, promotion does not start at the immediate village level and, if at all possible, with the individual craftsman, but with their indigenous self-help groups which, as a rule, are only found in small rural towns. The most frequently occurring self-help organizations are what may be described as guilds and informal financing institutions (savings and credit cooperatives). According to Professor Dr. Seibel the promotion of rural guilds should be carried out on two levels:
a) the promotion of town guilds in central rural towns, and
b) the affiliation of village craftsmen to town guilds.
Informal financing institutions should be promoted by linking them wherever possible to formal ones (banks) and in this way, for example, increasing the volume of their loans, bringing the sometimes astronomical interest rates down to the national rate and improving the faulty management of finances in general.
The role of women
In her talk on the role of women in the promotion of rural trades, Dr. Ilse Schimpf-Herken (World Peace Service, Berlin) pointed out that every form of expanded production means an additional burden for women.
Even now, women are reaching the limits of their working capacity by carrying out the numerous tasks they already do. The speaker distinguished between ecological and economical causes resulting in additional burdens on women in the Third World. Under the heading ecological causes she subsumed the numerous everyday jobs done by rural women, ranging from looking after children by way of housekeeping to production work in trades and agriculture. The additional economic burden is due to the increase in export cultures. This results in both a greater intensity of work and also a lengthening of the working day. Because the women are forced to resort to distant locations for growing the food they require themselves, it remains dubious - according to Dr. Schimpf-Herken - whether it is in the interests of women to take into account the savings in working time thus gained in trade production. "If there is only a superficial knowledge of the social, cultural and sex-specific conditions, there is a great danger with short-term and inflexible development schemes that the intended promotion of trades and crafts will be directed against the interests of women."
The talks on conceptional questions were concluded with a lecture
by the sociologist Bernd Schleich (OEKOTOP GmbH, Berlin) who dealt with the
subject of occupational-oriented training projects within the framework of
integrated promotion of trades and crafts. Schleich said that vocational
training aimed to meet the demand for qualified workers in industry, above all
because it was oriented towards advanced technology. The need of trade
establishments for workers who were keen on innovation and improvisation and who
used their knowledge in the production or repair of goods required to meet the
basic needs of the poor masses were to an increasing extent disappearing from
the curricula of the vocational training centres in the Third World. Vocational
training for the rural trades and crafts should not be oriented towards rigidly
defined occupations, but towards flexible and dynamic fields of activity clearly
understandable in the context of the trainee's surroundings. It was also
urgently necessary to integrate the teaching of commercial and business skills
into the training. This would be the only way of ensuring that livelihoods would
be created by self-employed craftsmen, as desired, or that trade collectives
would be established on a sound basis. The migration of qualified workers from
the rural areas to the towns would be prevented. Other promotion measures for
rural trades and crafts could thus be assured on the basis of properly qualified
After the talks, the organizers presented examples of GTZ projects for the promotion of rural crafts and trades. In the constructive discussion that followed, which consisted mainly of an exchange of experience, it became clear that in spite of the large amount of positive experience in the field of the promotion of rural trades which the GTZ can now fall back on, there is still a need to continue this process of discussion. Therefore it was agreed to form a working group for "Promotion of Rural Crafts and Trades". It will be the task of this group to conduct the discussion in such a way that the conceptional considerations and technical experience result in a policy paper on the promotion of rural trades.
Solar Energy for District Hospitals
by Walter Jahn
Electrical power supply has always been a problem in Kissidougou, a district town in Guinea, 600 km east of Conakry. At most, there is power for a few hours in the evening. The fuel supply for diesel generators is also unreliable, apart from the maintenance problems for such generators. Thus the district hospital with 150 beds had to be run almost entirely without any power supply.
During 1984 the hospital was furnished with solar-powered equipment which was considered essential for the hospital. A photovoltaic solar generator with a maximum power output of 770 Watts supplies energy for two operating theatre lamps, one refrigerator (45 litres) and twelve fluorescent lamps of 20 Watts each. A sufficient battery capacity of 350 Ah permits the system to work continuously day and night. It has an emergency. storage unit for 48 hours should there not be enough sunlight for two consecutive days. This photovoltaic system including the equipment costs approximately DM 43,000 (approx. US$ 16,500).
Instrument and dressing sterilizers are essential equipment for the operation unit. For this purpose a solar steam sterilizer (autoclave) was designed using solar vacuum tubes for steam generation. The design is unique and a first prototype was built for the hospital. A solar hot-air instrument sterilizer has also been designed and a prototype built to be tested at the hospital.
This equipment for the Kissidougou hospital and its test run is part of a project which is analysing the energy requirements for hospitals at isolated locations in developing countries and which is looking for ways to use renewable energy sources. A full description of the project was given in "gate" No. 3/83 including some technical details on the newly-developed equipment.
In May 1985 we made a first summary of the experience gained in Kissidougou.
The photovoltaic power generation for light, operating theatre
lamps and a refrigerator showed very satisfactory results and the system now
ensures a 24-hours' power supply for the operation unit at the hospital. The
special low-powered bulbs for the operating theatre lamp with 3 x 15 Watts
proved sufficient in lighting strength.
The solar-powered autoclave with high-performance vacuum collectors is regularely used. A kerosene burner can be used should there not be enough sunlight. There is, however, still room for improvement. The distiller which provides the feed water is not efficient and operating the autoclave with several levers requires some experience. These deficiencies resulted in improvements which will be incorporated into the second prototype.
The hot-air sterilizer prototype went through several test runs and reached a temperature of 160°C under good sunlight conditions. The minimum sterlizing temperature should be 140°C. Except for minor improvements necessary for the handling of the sterilizer, the design can be recommended for use. The design is suitable for local manufacturing.
The overall aim of the project is to provide detailed information for hospital operators and planners on how to save energy and, where appropriate, how to use renewable energy. This can then be followed by specific programmes and campaigns to implement and disseminate project results and recommendations.
The results of the first part of the project were presented in a study (in German) published in June 1983. This contains an analysis of the energy requirements for hospitals (based on a survey of hospitals in developing countries), a market survey on medical technology and technologies for utilizing renewable energy and identification of new products to be developed in the future.
The aim of the second part of the project was to close the existing gaps by developing solar-powered sterilizers and operating theatre lamps and by concluding an on-site test run.
To complete this research project the following steps will be taken:
· Publication of results obtained so far.
· Construction of improved solar autoclaves to be installed and tested in hospitals.
· Analysis of the energy requirements and drafting of a comprehensive plan for several sample hospitals, and furnishing them with the appropriate equipment.
· Publishing of a manual for hospital operators and planners.
Natural Pesticides - a Potential Alternative to Chemical Pesticides?
Most of the readers of our quarterly "gate" are - we are quite
sure - aware of the high risks and the dangerous side-effects accompanying the
ever increasing application of chemical pesticides.
Since the problem was recognized by the experts, many research programmes have been going on in order to reduce the quantities of the dangerous chemical pesticides. For example, the ultra-low-volume spraying technique helps to reduce the quantities applied, a properly managed pest-monitoring system makes it possible to replace automatic, "blind" application by selective use in cases of reported inbalance.
On the other hand, in the industrialized countries of Europe more and more farmers are switching over to methods of biological, natural or organic farming, thus replacing chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides by natural methods. After several initial years of trials and transition problems, most of them produce roughly the same yields as before the changeover.
As far as plant and stored crop protection is concerned, a huge reservoir of diversified traditional know-how in the field of biological or natural pest control methods is still available worldwide. Here the farmers have much more knowledge than the,scientists. To tap this valuable source of traditional knowledge, to document the most interesting methods and keep it available for others, GATE has started a small research project.
Some examples: In India and other Asian countries the Neem tree (Azadirachta Indica) has been known from ancient times for its pesticidal and repellent properties. Neem cake-left over after oil-pressing - is used in the soil for fertilizing and for controlling nematodes, powder from dried Neem leaves is applied to stored cereals in order to avoid loss through insects.
Brother Morus (Tanzania) wrote in a letter about the application of Marechea seeds (Crotolania ocho-lenca) by African farmers. The seeds-applied in layers between sacks filled with grain - "repel" the harmful insects. This has been demonstrated in many tests. The Marechea plant is also used as green manure, as weed surpressor and fodder for cattle and fish.
The aim of the first stage of GATE's project on natural pest control by plant ingredients is to collect information - in as much detail as possible - on traditional technologies that are still actively in use and to establish contacts and links with persons and institutions engaged in this promising field.
In a second stage, the results of the first phase are to be compared with the scientific data available, checked for their relevance and their transfer potential and tried out under test conditions as close as possible to the target group.
Dear Reader, please write to us (GATE staff member K. Rudolph, for address see p.2), if you know anything about:
· traditional or recently developed methods of biological
· persons or groups active in that field or also, if you are interested in being informed about our preliminary results, which will be available in spring 1986.
We shall be most grateful for any information provided by our
This book eloquently argues the case for appropriate technology- that is, for capital-saving, labor-intensive technological models geared to the needs and capacities of those who need help most.
Part 1 of the book discusses the basic principles and problems of appropriate technology, while Part 2 describes in detail its practial applications in agriculture, food processing, animal husbandry, village transport, pottery-making, textile-spinning and weaving, tanning, footwear manufacture, cottage industries, public health, energy, and other vitally important areas. Appropriate Technology concentrates on situations and accomplishments in the author's native country, India, but his discussion is applicable to all areas of the world.
Ram Das: "Appropriate Technology. Precepts and Practices". US$ 11.95 per copy plus US $ 1.00 postage and handling. Obtainable from Vantage Press, Inc., 516 West 34th St., New York, N. Y. 10001, USA.