:: Specific Design Brief
Action 3: Sustainable Power - further information
PRODUCT DESIGN KENYA, SRI LANKA
machinery might be required
In addition to the information given below, it would also be useful to look at
the background information on packaging, which gives further ideas on possible
juicing and packaging small enterprises.
Sunflower oil processing
Farmers have recently begun to grow sunflowers although at the moment they are
only used as an ingredient in animal feeds. However, those tests have proved to
be successful - sunflowers grow very well in the area. There is a demand for
processed oil locally but it can also be sold in larger quantities in local
markets such as Chuka and Kerugoya. It is also possible to extract oil from
peanuts grown locally.
Most local people buy oil produced by the big national companies such as BIDCO
and KAPA who buy local oil and filter and package it. They are all processes
that can be carried out at a local level. Filtering simply involves pouring the
unrefined oil through a gauze cloth.
To make oil processing a commercial success, they would need a press driven by
between 3 and 5 horsepower. They would also need to package it, with plastic
bottles favoured. ½ litre and one litre bottles would be needed for the national
market whilst 250ml would be appropriate for the local market. A method of
automatically filling bottles to the required level and of adding a label to the
bottle would also add to the commercial viability of such a small enterprise.
The label would also need to show that the product had been authorised by the
Kenya Bureau for standards (KBS).
Another possible small machine that would be valuable would be a method for
making sunflower cake from the processed plant. It is used as an ingredient in
animal feeds. Similarly a method for electrically sealing plastic bottles or
bags would speed up the process.
There is a regular demand for welding. Not only is it needed for repairs to
existing metalwork but people see it as a potentially lucrative market for
gates, door, windows etc. A small welding machine would require:
the capacity to weld 16
gauge or 1.2mm thick metal
low power consumption
and high efficiency driven by 4-5 kilowatts
core magnetic material
made from silicon steel
copper or aluminium
a hard heat-resistant
to run on 240 volts
- use of
a single phase ordinary plug.
safety would be a prime concern in UK, it is not in Kenya. There are nothing
like the same safety requirements and the ability for something to work
efficiently but cheaply is paramount. Increased safety increases cost and
therefore prices many products out of the market. I have seen machinery driven
by bare wires stuck into a socket.
Tobacco curing used to be the main small enterprise but farmers are
disillusioned with the low prices they currently receive from big companies
like British American Tobacco. However, if an electrically driven kiln could
be introduced to replace the existing firewood operation, then costs of
production would be considerably lower.
farmers use a clay kiln fed by heat from firewood that passes through a series
of pipes inside the kiln. Tobacco picked from the fields is laid over racks
higher up the kiln where it takes five days to be dried (cured) properly.
Initially the tobacco has to be heated at a temperature of 100F. After two days
it is increased to 140F. For the fifth day the temperature is raised to 160F. If
it is ever allowed to go beyond those levels then there is a danger that the
crop will be ruined.
The farmers buy
four lorries of firewood each season, each lorry load costing 4000 shillings.
Each kiln produces approximately 1500 kilos per season from two acres of tobacco
A process that
heated the kilns with hot air from the ballast load overnight and retained the
heat during the day would reduce costs appreciably. It would need to be capable
of maintaining a constant temperature.
One of the problems is that people do not accept new ideas readily. They have to
be convinced both that something will work and that it will sell. There are some
obvious possibilities - but they might need selling to the community.
A slow cooker that operated
on the overnight ballast load could be used for cooking local meat or
vegetable stews or soups that could be sold both to workshop holders and to
their customers. An element and adequate insulation would be the prime
A wood lathe for carpentry
drill for metals. Workshops are rented for 300 shillings per month, a figure
which Practical Action thinks to be ridiculously low. It is set to increase. There will also
be a charge for electricity use though at the moment there is no method
available for metering usage.
LIVELIHOODS & MARKET