How does appropriate technology change lives in the developing world? The story of life saving stoves in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Too often in the past, the West has tried to apply western technology to the problems of the developing world. Whilst this sometimes works, more often, the results have been a waste of money, as local people lack the skills and parts to repair expensive items when they go wrong. They cannot afford to buy replacement units for those which wear out or break.

Appropriate technology is designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community it is intended for (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appropriate_technology).

An example of this is the use of fuel efficient stoves in the DRC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8580967.stm

These cut the amount of fuel needed, give work and security to women who make fuel from waste, and reduce deforestation for fuel and reduce the amount of time women have to spent collecting wood, during which time they are vulnerable to attack. Check the link above for details.

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