LIMBS FROM LEFTOVERS
Mend - NEPAL
There's little in the way of formal support for disabled people in Nepal. Ganga Rayamajh's story is typical. Having lost both her legs as a baby, she had no option but to crawl to school, as her family could not afford to buy expensive imported prosthetics. But at the age of 17, thanks to New Zealand charity MEND, Ganga was finally fitted with artificial legs. Since then she has striven to improve the lives of other disabled people through local charity ASHA. In 2004, ASHA and MEND set out to develop a range of artificial limbs, tools and other mobility devices that would be within the price range of even the poorest Nepalese. They came up with an innovative cost-cutting solution – to use everyday wastes as their raw materials. Moulds for artificial legs, for example, are cast from aluminium cans, while the legs themselves are made, in part, from recycled plastics.
COOKING WITHOUT GAS
Foundation for Sustainable Technologies (FoST) - NEPAL
In 1995, Sanu Kaji Shrestha ran out of cooking gas. So too did nearly everyone else in Kathmandu, as a countrywide shortage set in. Demand was so great Sanu had to take three days off work to queue up for more fuel. This first-hand experience of his country's dependence on external energy supplies set Sanu thinking. He began to look into sustainable energy technologies for the domestic market, researching existing designs and adapting them for the Nepalese market. In 2001 he retired from his day job to concentrate on bringing low-cost, high-efficiency energy technologies to Nepal's rural and urban poor. Measures developed to date include simple yet ingenious solar cookers and briquette presses to make smokeless fuel from waste materials.
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