ECHO Asia Intern
http://sustainabilityquest.blogspot.com/2011/06/add-water.html), it was decided that better pressure for the existing irrigation network in our main production plots was also needed. Once the rainy season is over, we will need to get water out of our pond, up a hill, and back down into the plots; however, our motorized pump keeps breaking. What to do? Appropriate technology to the rescue!
As an aside, there is an ongoing debate about the actual appropriateness of what has been labeled “appropriate technology.” Protagonists define “appropriate technology” as “using what you have to make what you need,” (Doerr).* Antagonists complain that the term is just a euphemism to soothe the consciences of those who don’t want to provide modern technological advances to the poor. The debate can go deep, and, initially, you may be tempted to side with the antagonists, but from our end, with our modern, electrically-run pump constantly on the fritz, we are championing the protagonists. Read a little further and see if you find yourself changing camps.
It just so happened that while we were sorting out our water needs and having a few choice words with our lifeless pump, several gentlemen from the Karen Baptist Convention (KBC)** in Myanmar came to visit UHDP as part of the Convention’s research into sustainable agriculture and appropriate technologies. Among them Saw Eh Lay and Saw Ler Mou had recently received training at the hands of an Australian engineer who taught them how to build a “rope and washer pump.”*** It was an opportunity too good to pass up. We “roped” them into helping us find an “appropriate” solution to our water pumping needs.
*Doerr, Elizabeth. "Introduction to Appropriate Technology." Internship Lecture Series. ECHO. Appropriate Technologies Demonstration Center, ECHO Farm, N. Fort Myers, FL. 2009. Lecture.
*** Designs and diagrams for a variety of “rope and washer” pumps” can be found on the Internet. Click http://echonet.org/repositories#152:d:ATWebBook.2007.pdf to view a demonstration pump on the ECHO Farm in N. Fort Myers, FL. Click http://echonet.org/repositories#146:d:PVC%20Hand%20Pumps.08.pdf for smaller “PVC Hand Pumps”.