Friday, February 24, 2012

Kenya’s Gold Garbage

James Archer invention

Arch. James Howard Archer was born in 1937 in Nairobi. He graduated the Oxford School of Architecture in 1960. He is credited with the architecture of many buildings in Kenya, notably Nation Centre and Lonhro Towers. However, his passion to make Kenya’s slum dwellers benefit from the piling mass of rubbish in their neighbourhood is outstanding.
Archer came up with a ground-breaking invention; popularly known as Jiko ya Jamii (Swahili for community cooker). The cooker which is strategically placed in Kibera’s Laini Saba has alleviated the problems of the people in Kibera. From sellers of perishable foods, mothers preparing meals to one having a hot shower before work, the cooker has benefited the people.
The cooker is fuelled by the trash collected in Africa’s second largest urban slum (Kibera). The garbage is then burnt at over 800-degrees thus maintaining the cleanness of the environmental. The cooker has caught the attention of international bodies such as United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Environmental programme, as well as from NGOs.
In 2008 the community cooker did win a prize in the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. Kenya is seeking alternatives to charcoal and wood currently used in many Kenyan homes and the cooker is a step towards realisation of an energy sufficient nation.

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