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Case #767

Low Tech Refrigerating System Works!


Motivated by a concern for the rural poor and an interest in indigenous African technology, Nigerian teacher Mohammed Bah Abba sought a practical, local solution to the problems of perishable food storage. His extremely simple and inexpensive earthenware `Pot-in-Pot' cooling device is starting to revolutionize lives in this semi-desert area in a participatory and sustainable way.


STRATEGY: Produce an inexpensive and simple to use product to use for preservation of perishable foods where there is no refrigeration available.
WHAT WORKS: low tech (does not require electricity), small space requirements, inexpensive, locally or regionally produced from readily available natural products, culturally appropriate, allows safe food storage, frees up (women and girls' especially) time for better production activities or education, allows better planning for marketing small scale farming products, gentle on the environment
IMPORTANT POINTS: This project was self-funded with the help of capital from relatives, microfinance groups, a state educational institution, and UNDP. One would hope that it could become a self-sustaining business but the sales price of each item is low (intentionally) so that might be difficult. A plus is that the project has created employment opportunities at the factory. A big obstacle is making sure that users are educated about how to use the pot-in-pot safely and efficiently. This seems like a great project that fills an immediate need but also has many rippling positive social benefits.
Location: Nigeria
Action: Building
Setting: Third World
Extent of Action: Regional (within a country)
Issues: Environment
Year(s): 1995
Outcome successful
Source: The Ecologist, April 2003, p. 12


Mr Mohammed Bah Abba, No. 33 Lajawa Street, Salad Quarters, PO Box 10591, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria.
Prepared By: sl, 4/06
Rating: 1
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