How a pump is changing the economy of a nation - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-09-2002, 01:23 PM   #1
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How a pump is changing the economy of a nation

This is really cool (note the quote from Jesse Helms on page 3 and consider how far Bono has brought that guy):

Here's a clip from the article:

In a village in southern Kenya, a barefoot farmer stands at the edge of a crumbly field. The hot wind rattles his neighbor's desiccated corn like maracas. It's the standard setting for an African disaster story - roll the footage of drought, famine, disease, displacement, overpopulation, war. Except that it's not.

The farmer is John Wangai, and he is poised atop his MoneyMaker Plus, a manual irrigation pump made by a Nairobi-based nonprofit company called Appropriate Technologies for Enterprise Creation, or simply Approtec. As Wangai shifts his weight back and forth, seemingly dancing a samba on the small blue steel contraption, water courses up from a hand-dug well. The pump pressurizes the water, sending it spraying through a crude sprinkler over neat rows of green spinach, kale, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and onions. Just two months ago, his half-acre garden had been dry and sparse, providing enough to feed his family but no extra to sell at market. He'd been watering plants with the standard tool of subsistence farmers - the bucket - and considered irrigation something for wealthy farmers and lucky participants in foreign-aid programs. Then Wangai saw a MoneyMaker demonstration at a local seed store. At $38, the pump would cost more than one month's wages and use up his family's entire savings, but it was a price within his reach.

And one well worth paying. Wangai says he's already making $5 to $12 per week on his newly commercial farm, enough to consider buying this rented land and getting some chickens. He's thinking about sending the kids to college, eventually, or at least making sure they don't drop out of school as he did. While he talks, Wangai moves his hands like he's climbing a ladder, pulling his family from rung to rung: from subsistence living to a middle-class existence.

This is a story about a pump - a relatively simple tool that hides its advanced engineering. All of 2 feet long, 1 foot wide, and 25 pounds, the MoneyMaker Plus is small enough to be carried on a bicycle, simple enough that it can be installed by the farmer and repaired without any tools, and powerful enough that it can irrigate 1 acres a day. It's a low tech tool in a no-tech region - farmers in one town saw a new MoneyMaker pump and asked if it was a video camera. Most important, it's a technology that gives hope to people used to facing many problems and few solutions

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Old 04-10-2002, 12:05 AM   #2
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Very interesting article...thank you for posting it. These are the kind of dreams we have to dream and make reality....

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Old 04-10-2002, 10:28 AM   #3
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Good stuff. Thank you very much for posting it.
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