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Pay for Pee Keeps Indian Town Clean

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

The task is huge: 2.6 billion people, or 41 percent of the world’s population, is without access to basic sanitation. As a result, most have to make do and defecate or urinate wherever they can. In crowded urban areas, the result is an unpleasant source of disease and filth that fouls living spaces and sickens or kills many people.

In Indian cities, between one-quarter and one-half of the population, mostly slum-dwellers, has inadequate or no provision for sanitation.

Many government-built communal toilet blocks are in a sad state. They are overburdened by queues of people that can stretch a mile-long in the mornings. They can also be too expensive for many slum dwellers. Often government-built toilet blocks are in disrepair after just three months, and people return to defecating in the streets.

In 2008, the International Year of Sanitation (http://esa.un.org/iys/), more than 330 million people in India do not have access to proper sanitation facilities. And in the case of the remote town of Musiri in Tamil Nadu state, many residents relieve themselves on river banks, leading to infectious diseases like diarrhoea.

But an ingenious scheme is keeping streets clean and people relieved. Rather than viewing human waste as an expensive problem and annoyance, poor residents are being paid up to a dollar a month to use public toilets. By paying people to use the toilets, the government avoids having to run campaigns to get people to change their habits.

“In fact, many of us started using toilets for urination only after the ecosan (ecological sanitation) toilets were constructed in the area,” S. Rajasekaran, a truck cleaner, to The Times of India.

The urine is being collected to be used as a crop fertilizer by the state’s agricultural university (http://www.tnau.ac.in/ ). About 150 residents use the eco-sanitation toilet daily. It is designed to collect faeces as well: it too is used as fertilizer.

“We’re motivating people to know the value of their urine,” Marathi Subburaman, who came up with the novel idea, told CNN. “The urine that is collected goes into fields for paddy crops, and of course the faeces becomes good compost in a matter of months.”

Subburaman’s non-profit Society for Community Organization and People’s Education (SCOPE) has teamed up with Tamil Nadui Agricultural University and are studying how much urine is needed to fertilize a field.

“Next year, we can install urine banks so we can sell the urine to farmers,” he said.

The locals are given cards and each trip is recorded. At the end of the month, the cards are handed in and the money collected.

The average amount paid out is based on the assumption most people need to go twice a day.

If some get cheeky and try to make more money from pretending they need to go to the toilet, there is a solution: “If they ask to go three, four times a day, then something’s wrong,” Subburaman said. “We ask them to go to a doctor.”

Another successful model is the Indian NGO SPARC (Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres) (http://www.sparcindia.org/). SPARC is an Indian NGO established in Mumbai in 1984 that began working with women pavement dwellers.

It has been designing and building toilet blocks in Indian cities, bringing access to toilets and washing facilities to hundreds of thousands of poor urban Indians. It has built toilet blocks for 400,000 people in eight Indian cities. It trains community groups to build, manage and maintain the toilet blocks. It has also proven that local groups can take on the management and costs of providing toilet facilities.

Resources

  • World Toilet Organization: The global non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions. Website: http://www.worldtoilet.org
  • World Toilet College: Established in 2005, the World Toilet College (WTC) started as a social enterprise, with the belief that there is a need for an independent world body to ensure the best practices and standards in toilet design, cleanliness, and sanitation technologies are adopted and disseminated through training. Website: http://www.worldtoilet.org/ourwork3.asp
  • Official website for the 2008 International Year of Sanitation. Website: http://esa.un.org/iys/
  • Waste has expert knowledge on domestic solid and liquid waste management and sanitation issues. Its website offers a comparison of designs and methods for toilets. Website: http://www.ecosan.nl/page/353

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=m5GYBgAAQBAJ&dq=development+challenges+may+2012&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsmay2012issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2023

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Rats a Solution in Food Crisis

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

The global food crisis continues to fuel food price inflation and send many into hunger and despair. Around the world, solutions are being sought to the urgent need for more and cheaper food. Right now there are 862 million undernourished people around the world (FAO), and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for food production to increase 50 percent by 2030 just to meet rising demand.

The crisis is forcing many countries to turn to other food sources to feed their populations. As the price of poultry, cows, sheep,pigs and seafood rises, rodents are coming more and more into the picture, in particular, rats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat). For example, in Africa, farming the cane rat is seen as a better option than chickens, because they are easier to care for.

Using rats as a food source draws either disgust or amusement from many, but eating rat meat has a long history. Rats are being actively farmed and processed for food in countries as culturally diverse as Nigeria, Cambodia and India.

In Thailand, fast-food vendors are enjoying a rat boom, selling them poached, fried, grilled or baked. They claim they are tastier than other meats and are healthy because they come from rice fields.

In Cambodia, spicy rat dishes are increasingly appearing on menus as people can’t afford more expensive meats. Inflation has pushed the price of beef out of the reach of the poor. A kilogram of rat meat now sells for around 5,000 riel (US $1.22), up from 1,200 riel (US $0.29) last year.
But beef goes for 20,000 riel (US $4.88) a kilo.

“Many children are happy making some money from selling the animals to the markets, but they keep some for their family,” agriculture official Ly Marong told The Guardian newspaper. “Not only are our poor eating it, but there is also demand from Vietnamese living on the border with us.”

Cambodians have found it easier to catch rats as the rodents flee flooding in the Mekong Delta. Marong says Cambodia is exporting more than 1 tonne of live rats a day to Vietnam – a newly booming income source for the country.

In India, the secretary of the state for welfare in the state of Bihar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bihar) has called for more rat harvesting and eating to beat the rising prices of food. Vijay Prakash sees another benefit to rat eating: killing the rats will help keep the population under control and reduce the amount of grain stocks being devoured by the voracious little eaters.

At present, over 50 percent of Bihar’s grain stock is destroyed by rats.

Practical Prakash realises he has a sales job on his hands, and is currently meeting with hotels and restaurants to include rat on the menus and make the dishes appetising.

“Some socially deprived people in Bihar have always consumed rat meat. If they can eat rats, why can’t the rest of the people?” he told India’s The Week. “This will help in mitigating the global food crisis. We are sure that it will work wonders.”

In Bihar, the traditional rat eaters are called the Musahars – a group looked down upon as ‘untouchables’ in India’s caste system of social hierarchy – who have always made their living by hunting rats in the rice paddy fields.

“We’d like to have a network with other experts to boost the rat meat business” said Prakash. “We will encourage and help the Musahars to organize rat farms in order to commercialise rat meat. The government has decided to engage the Musahars in commercialisation of rat meat for their overall development.”

Estimates place the number of Musahars at 2.3 million people, many of whom are considered the most deprived and marginalised in Indian society.

While Bihar is in the north-east of India, rat eating in the South of India has reduced the amount of chicken eaten.

In the rural south-eastern part of Bangladesh, villagers have had to turn to rats as a food source because they have done so much damage to the local crops.

Deploying hill traps during the once-in-50-years bamboo blooming season, the villagers try to stop the rats from eating the seeds. The seeds are so nutritious for the rats, it causes them to breed four times faster than normal. The growing rat population then moves on to eating the local crops of rice, ginger, turmeric and chillies.

The rats are now so plentiful, they have become a major food source.

But as is being shown in Africa, rats, and in particular, cane rats, do not have to be a meat of desperation. Large cane rats have long been eaten as bush meat – a Food and Agricultural Organization report found rat made up over 50 percent of the locally produced meat eaten in some parts of Ghana.

Now a concerted effort is underway to change the perception of cane rat and even turn it into an exportable meat.

Cameroon’s first commercial cane rat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cane_rat) farm opened this year in the capital, Yaounde. It is meant to be a training farm to show others how to commercially raise cane rat for food. The feisty rats are very large, the size of a small dog. They are said to taste “succulent, tender, sweet.” Cameroonian rat-meat entrepreneurs are also very ambitious, telling the BBC they want to win people over to cane rat meat around the world. One day, they would like to see cane rat as an acceptable meat that can be served on airplanes and in the finest restaurants.

Pioneering work in developing techniques for breeding cane rats in captivity has been going on at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria (http://www.ui.edu.ng/) since 1973. It has been so successful, commercial large-scale rat farming is growing in Southern Nigeria.

Farmer Ade Olayiwola of Ibadan, Nigeria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibadan) told the Tribune Agriculture journal that cane rats are a high-profit, low-stress animal to farm.

“It is more assuring than the poultry business which could bring fortune to you in the day, but could also bring unexpected problems suddenly, to the extent that if care is not taken, one may run into serious financial crisis as well as other problems,” he said.

Resources

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=m5GYBgAAQBAJ&dq=development+challenges+may+2012&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsmay2012issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2023

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Mongolian Rock and Pop Book: Mongolia Sings its Own Song

Publisher: UNDP Mongolia Communications Office/Press Institute of Mongolia

Managing Editor: David South

Editorial Advisors: Ts. Enkhbat, Mustafa Eric, David South

Author and Researcher: Peter Marsh, Indiana University

Copy Editor: N. Oyuntungalag

Production Editor: B. Bayarma

Published: 1999

ISBN 99929-5-018-8

In the Mongolian language, the book explores how Mongolia’s vibrant rock and pop music scene led on business innovation and entrepreneurship in the country during the transition years (post-1989). Written by an ethnomusicologist, it details the key moments and events in this story, while splicing the narrative with first-person interviews with the major players.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2023

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Hip-driven Pump Brings Water to Parched Fields

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Finding ways to increase agricultural productivity is key to expanding food supplies and making farming pay. With the world’s population continuing to rise and becoming more urban, there is a pressing need to improve both the quantity and quality of food supplies.

The many small-scale farmers across the global South – and their high levels of poverty – demonstrates the urgent need to change the way farming is done.

Based on Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) census data, it has been estimated that some 525 million farms exist worldwide, providing a livelihood for about 40 per cent of the world’s population. Nearly 90 per cent of these are small farms with less than 2 hectares of land (Nagayets, 2005). Average farm sizes around the world run from 1.6 hectares in Africa to 121 hectares in North America.

Small farms occupy about 60 per cent of the arable land worldwide and contribute substantially to global farm production. In Africa, 90 per cent of agricultural production is derived from small farms (Spencer, 2002).

One social enterprise is pioneering the development and selling of innovative farming tools for these small-scale farmers to increase their efficiency and make their lives better and more profitable. The MoneyMaker Hip Pump is a lightweight irrigation tool designed to be used by anyone, but aimed especially at women farmers. It helps to increase the amount of water that can be pumped into a field during the dry season. To date, the makers of the pump, Kickstart (kickstart.org), claim to have sold 190,000 pumps. It can irrigate up to 0.40 hectare of land.

Kickstart, which calls itself a non-profit promoting technology and entrepreneurism in Africa, develops and markets simple agricultural tools for Africa’s rural poor so they can improve their businesses. The company estimates it has helped 600,000 people since it was founded in 1991.

The MoneyMaker Hip Pump was launched in stores in 2006 and received a sales and marketing push in 2008. It sells for US $30 and weighs 4.5 kilograms. Kickstart says the pump’s most effective attribute is its simple pivot hinge. This pivot hinge allows the user to combine their body weight and strength from their legs with sheer momentum to power the pump rather than straining upper back and shoulder muscles – something that is very hard on farmers’ bodies and leads to repetitive strain injuries that shorten a farmer’s effective working life.

The pump can pull water from 7 metres and push water up a field for 14 metres.

Kickstart says that by early 2012, it had sold 32,037 pumps.

Reporting in a paper for the World Bank, Vincent Nnamdi Ozowa found smallscale farmers needed five things that will make a big difference to their productivity: better access to information on new methods, scientific advances and timely market updates; better education and improved literacy rates;access to credit; better marketing; and better technology that minimizes drudgery and improves efficiency.

In 2011, Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World report found small-scale agriculture could be key to tackling world hunger and poverty. It urged a move away from industrial agriculture and towards small-scale farming in sub-Saharan Africa, believing it could make big gains by being more efficient and reducing waste.

Kickstart has found communities are receptive to the idea of using the pumps and building agro businesses.

“These are people who are already entrepreneurs, so it is not like we are sensitizing them; they are people who are trying to find ways to make money,” Kickstart Tanzania’s Anne Atieno Otieno told AllAfrica.com.

“When we meet them in the communities we talk to them about the value of irrigation versus relying on rainfall. Most of them are used to having to wait for the rain. At the time we were working with the Super MoneyMaker pump, which is a bigger, more expensive pump. They asked if we could make a low entry pump, which we passed on to our tech deputy and that is how we came up with the MoneyMaker Hip Pump.”

It is part of a range of products Kickstart makes to aid small farmers become more productive (kickstart.org/products).

KickStart believes that self-motivated private entrepreneurs managing smallscale enterprises can play a dynamic role in the economies of developing countries.

These entrepreneurs can raise small amounts of capital (US $100 to US $1,000) to start a new enterprise. KickStart then helps them to identify viable business opportunities and access the technologies required to launch the new enterprises.

Kickstart also uses something called a Mobile Layaway service to make it easier for farmers to afford a pump. This service lets farmers pay off the cost of the pump in small instalments by mobile phone. The farmer can choose how large or small the instalment is according to their means.

“Speaking to the women, and going out into the field and speaking with farmers, we identified a major obstacle – purchasing power, the ability to buy the pump. In Africa, in the field, the pump is a capital item,” Otieno said.

“They really have to organize themselves to be able to save for it. And so when we were speaking to the farmers, many were asking us, ‘Can you come up with a credit facility?’ or some system whereby they could purchase the pumps, because many of them wanted the pump but they were not able to afford it.

“The program works through a mobile phone service, MPesa (http://www.safaricom.co.ke/index.php?id=250) … so the farmers are able to save money, and send money through that program.”

Kickstart recently received an award from the US State Department and the Rockefeller Foundation for “transforming agriculture for women by harnessing technology and spurring entrepreneurship.”

Published: April 2012

Resources

1) Information Needs of Small Scale Farmers in Africa: The Nigerian Example by Vincent Nnamdi Ozowa. Website: http://www.worldbank.org/html/cgiar/newsletter/june97/9nigeria.html

2) The New Harvest, Agricultural Innovation in Africa by Calestous Juma. The book outlines strategies for making Africa self-sufficient and argues Africa is

capable of feeding itself in one generation. Website: http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/20504/new_harvest.html

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2023