As a practical experienced engineer and inventor involved for years with projects for the
poor I have come to realise that many of the solutions offered in developing countries
are really quite unsuitable!
Some offer a quick solution but can do more harm than good in the long run.
What is on offer here are solutions that require people to get involved not only in trying
out a new idea but applying it as best they can in their circumstances.
Larger NGOs are welcome to freely adopt these techniquies, as have Solar Aid, Noar Foundation,
etc., but in many cases NGOs are not able to use this approach as donors insist on getting
quick measurable results. Handing out 'goodies' is often the only permitted policy!
But usually there are really no quick answers.
It has been shown over many years, but little known, that the leaves of a plant Artemisia Annua -
which grows almost anywhere - can cure malaria symptoms within 24 hours!
This discovery is so important that a wiki is being produced to give as much information as possible.
This wiki is found at http://artemisiaannua.wikispaces.com/
This website covers quite a range of topics so it is not possible to keep them all up-to-date.
For those seeking the latest info we provide leaflets/CDs by post or as pdf documents on request.
With such practical advice feedback/discussion is very important!
Here is a quick run through with one link per main topic:
We have been offering, for many years, simple techniques to help those in remote places to improve their
lot. One example is using the sun for cooking.
It is quite easy to make simple solar cookers like the Cookit
We offer a simple pv technique using just a few low cost components to build LED torches, etc.
Recently we have learnt of the need to replace oil consuming pumps that are becoming increasingly
expensive to run.
At the same time solar pv is becoming cheaper along with rechargeable batteries so we are organisng the testing
of simple set-ups in several African countries.
DIY Drip Irrigation
We are developing a very cheap simple drip system based on PVC tubing and wood screws.
Ask for details!
By using cheap small Chinese 12v pumps it is possible to lift water from a well and supply domestic water and/or
a drip system and thus save the time normally devoted to hand pumping for other jobs!
This is ideal where people have access to a car battery but solar pv panels are also useful.
DIY Balloon Biogas
We have started working on a project that will produce biogas from kitchen waste so allowing heating without
Cookit solar cookers
can be made with materials costing a few dollars that are found in even in the most remote spots and
thousands of solar cookers have been made by NGOs following our instructions. Visit
There is now a refective material used in home insulation that has been found to give excellent results
These have been used in the past but the knowledge has been mostly lost.
We have shown that sawdust, etc can be burnt, without pelletising, in a VERY simple stove – even a
modified bucket! Visit
Conservation Agriculture (No-till)
This is a simple agricultural technique that is slowly spreading round the world and seems of vital importance!
Even if you never intend to farm you should tell others about it!
Mosquito Traps, Repellents and Cure
It seems strange that many of our contacts use bed nets but have never heard of mosquito traps!
The simplest ones are made from a plastic bottle cut in half with liquid bait put inside.
Details on request.
There is a mixture containing boric acid that can be sprayed anywhere and kill all the mosquitous in the area!
Since malaria is of great concern we have supplied some of our contacts with chemicals/plant seeds
that might deter mosquitoes from entering rooms.
Perhaps of greater import is the news that there is a simple cure for malaria that is 80 - 90% effective!
This often means a drip system but many are expensive and the drip holes can soon get blocked!
However one of the best uses hosepipe which is pierced with holes into which fit ordinary wood screws.
By twisting the cdrews water flow can be regulated as desired!
We provide information about Irrigation using the skills of local potters making porous pots or with
This allows the water to get just to the roots of plants and so stops weeds growing!
Even better might be irrigation by Rope Wicks that we are now experimenting with.
Go to Title on left Irrigation - Minimal
For anyone living in an urban area here is one answer to any anxiety about climate change!
This technique is being adopted around the world wherever there is a shortage of money and space and
a need for fish, vegetables and fruit.
Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics to learn more.