| Boiling Point No. 08 - December 1985 |
An A.T. Event for Women
Tech and Tools was the first international womens AT event held during the NGO Forum for the Womens Decade in Nairobi. It was a collaborative undertaking of the Appropriate Technology Advisory Committee (Kenya), the International Womens Tribune Centre (USA) and the World YWCA (Switzerland and Fiji).
Approximately 70 technologies in 6 technology areas were displayed within Tech and Tools at the University of Nairobi Sports Ground. These included : 17 energy technologies; 14 food processing technologies; 12 health and sanitation technologies; 10 small scale industry/income generating technologies; 10 communications technologies; 7 agricultural technologies.
*More than 800 people daily visited Tech and Tools and participated in the various workshops and programmes being held continuously. Most of these people tramped through the 'Energy Technologies' building which was crammed with a wide variety of new stoves. Mud, cement, ceramic and metal models for a range of fuels from around the world were all on display or demonstrating their efficient cooking powers.
The ITDG Stove Programme display covered aspects of collaborative programmes in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Gambia and Kenya. Demonstrations of the 'Noflie' stove from the Gambia were given to show the use of peanut shell briquettes to prepare meals. This generated a lot of interest and discussion on the use of agricultural residues as fuels.
The Energy Building was everyone's favourite venue at Lunchtime. Meat was barbequed daily in the specially designed 'Kimaki' meat roaster, corn was roasted on all types of improved 'Jiko' stoves and vast quantities of traditional ugali, stew, rice and beans were simmered on the 'Pogbi' and 'Community Worker' by Sophie, the Manager of the Rirui stove building workshop. Clearly many women were impressed and large numbers of orders were made for many of the stoves.
Through the hustle and hustle of the Tech and Tools event Damaris Okelo gracefully wound her way with a small stove balanced on her head.
"Firewood is one of the main problems in the rural area I come from, Homa Bay, South Nyanza, in Kenya" she said. "I'm so happy to have found out about this stove - they say it will burn charcoal and just a little will give a lot of heat and do a lot of cooking. Now I will not have to use so much firewood".
"I got transport the 400 km to Nairobi. I am going to take back my stove, and all that I have seen and learnt".
She said the main problems identified by the Komuto women in their area was a lack of firewood and lack of clean water. "In just one year we have planted 300 trees for firewood and raised money to dig a shallow well.
We have also planted pineapples for our families to eat, made six traditional beehives to get honey, and made a fish pond. We are planning to have rabbits too.''
Ms Okelo was just one of the many who came away from Tech and Tools with ideas, contacts, information and inspiration, if not with charcoal stoves.
(Extract from Forum 85 Newspaper, July 22 by Seona Martin)