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A lidded earthenware pot is fitted inside a larger pot with an insulating layer of sand in between. This sand layer can be kept cool by adding water at regular intervals (generally twice a day), thus providing a refrigerated storage space at minimal cost.
Credit: Practical Action
Practical Action is a development charity with a difference. We know the simplest ideas can have the most profound, life-changing effect on poor people across the world. This is why, for over 40 years, we have been working closely with some of the world’s poorest people using simple technology to fight poverty and transform their lives for the better.
Food preservation is an important issue. Most people living in rural areas and many living in urban areas for that matter cannot afford to buy an electric refrigerator and an alternative method such as the clay refrigerator can act as an appropriate substitute.
The potteries association in Al Fashir made and sold over 50 ceramic refrigerators in 2007 which cost $20 to buy. The ceramic refrigerator has proved very successful and it has been tested with a number of different vegetables. For example tests have shown that these foods can be kept fresh for the following amount of time: 1. Tomatoes – 3 weeks; 2. Bamiah - 2 week; 3. Okra – 2 weeks; 4. Rocket - 5 days.
Some DIY technologies require specialized materials or special training. If your organization is interested in this technology, you are what we call a ‘technology seeker’, and funding for materials or training for this DIY technology may be available through Kopernik.
Technology seekers interested in becoming part of Kopernik can do so by filling out the registration and proposal form downloadable here. Once the registration form is submitted, Kopernik will review the application and conduct due diligence to determine whether the organization meets the requirements of Kopernik. For more information click here.