Almost Self-sufficiency in an Urban Slum

Rural folk moving to the city is a serious problem in much of the world. The typical result is that you get people who used to be self-sufficient now in a situation where they cannot be. They don't have the space to grow their food, they don't have useful skills for employment and there is usually no safety net. While the best approach is to discourage them from making the move, generally by bringing services such as education and health care to the campo, it doesn't work for everyone.

On the other end are typical NGO hand out programs which tend to create a new culture of handout-dependent urban dwellers. We all have seen the results. Well, a UK-based NGO, The Haller Foundation, seems to have a better idea. I haven't investigated their successes but I like their ideas. Partly because they are about as low tech as you can get and partly because they seem to look at the whole system rather than just addressing a single problem.

I recommend the video called Urban Slum Garden. Nothing pretty but is just a few minutes you can see how a truly slum house in Kenia ends up with pure water, fresh food including fish, cooking gas, a food cooler and more.

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Using UV to sterilize the

Using UV to sterilize the water (assuming suffient exposure time) is very clever and low-tech.

Here's a site on it, with the suggestion of using ziplock bags an alternative to the plastic bottles:

Rebecca Brown

What great ideas!

Can't thank you enough for the video link.

Great, realistic thinking with real solutions that can work in so many places in the world!

good find Phil...

I would totally do the gas thing... and hour and a half's worth of gas a day is awesome.

I'd have to follow around our neighbor's cows with a big pooper-scooper though :)

Doors of hope fly open when doors of promise shut. -Thomas D'Arcy McGee

I'd compost and garden

no fish, no cowpaddies. i draw the line at bad smells.....

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

Really interesting and Inspirational

I am always amazed at the interesting content posted to the NL site.

Thank you,