Authors: Rodrigue R. and Shayla A.
With the invention of the electricity-powered refrigerator, most of us enjoy food safety on a daily basis and take it for granted. However, this is not the reality of every human across the globe. Even though more than 87 percent of the world has access to electricty, one particular region stands out: Sub-Saharan Africa. Impoverished people of the region had to come up with alternative ways of ensuring food safety. Here is an alternative refrigerator which does not require electricity. It is called the Zeer Pot.
In arid and hot climates, food doesn’t stay fresh for long. Tomatoes get spoiled in a couple of days, carrots and okra are rotten after some time as well. With no means of preserving such crops, impoverished families are struggling to survive.
The Zeer Pot, also known as the pot-in-pot refrigerator is a genius solution. The cooling system contains one outer permeable pot and one smaller inner pot where the food is stored freshly. The space in between the pots are filled with sand and water which keeps the inner clay pot cool.
Below you can see an illustration of the Zeer Pot.
Picture Credit : Xiram
The evaporation of the liquid in between both pots draws heat from the inner, therefore allowing the clay to stay cool. This system only requires two things: a flow of dry air and a water source.
Picture Credit : Appropedia
Zeer Pots were re-discovered and popularized in the early 2000s by a Nigerian teacher by the name of Mohammed Bah Abba. By manufacturing and mass distributing Zeer Pots to the poorest, he was able to bring refrigeration to tens of thousands of impoverished farmers and homemakers, extending the life span from days to weeks. He has since been awarded the Rolex Award for bringing life-changing technology to people in need.
The Zeer Pot is extremely easy to build: you can create it from the provided blueprint delivered by Practical Action as well as the Christian NGO Tearfund.
Picture Credit : TearFund
You can also build one for 15$ as Forrest Steven did in his video below :
The Zeer Pot is the perfect DIY invention for people in need of practical food conservation in hot climate areas, as well as for people that would like to reduce their electricity consumption & the travelers moving with their Van or Tiny-House!
Online Sources: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.ELC.ACCS.ZS?end=2016&start=1990&view=chart