March 17, 2023

No One Is an Island

This farmer is one of 86 producers in Potou, Northern Senegal, who irrigate their plots using solar energy. Their solar power plan was implemented with support of Cordaid/ICCO’s STARS programme. Photo: ©Cordaid/STARS

Editor’s note: This article is a reprint of a page that appears in print in Appropriate Technology Magazine, Vol 49, No. 2. It is published here with permission as a part of our collaboration with the magazine. For more, please see the magazine’s site:

“Prepare for the long haul as Russia’s attack on Ukraine reaches its first 100 days!” It’s a chilling headline which is devastating for the people of Ukraine and no doubt distressing for many of the inhabitants of Russia.

I realise that our efforts within this issue of Appropriate Technology to reflect the impact of the war on the peoples of developing countries will only ‘scratch the surface’ in many cases, but we felt it was important to add our voice to the global outrage.

Leading the way on this is a detailed assessment by Frank van Lierde, Editor and Communications Executive at Cordaid in The Netherlands who asks: “How can we stop crises like the Russian war in Ukraine from spurring food insecurity in Africa?”

Among many telling facts and figures, quoted by Frank, two comments stand out.
The first is from Idrissa Ba of Senegal, who says: “Let the war in Ukraine stop as soon as possible, in the first place for the sake of the Ukrainians. But let this war also be a wake-up call for us in Senegal, and so many other places, to develop and strengthen our own markets and invest more in our farmers and our food sovereignty.”

The second comes from Shyaka Revocatus in Rwanda, who adds: “And to firmly stay connected, on more equal terms, to international trade. Because no one is an island. And nothing is more critical than food, whether it’s wheat bread, maize bread, millet bread, or cowpea bread.” See pages 60-65.

The Silent Crisis

I am delighted that space was also reserved in this issue for a report on the webinar events which have already been run this year by AidEx 2022.

The headline item was especially crucial, probing what was described as the ‘Silent Crisis’, a title which led into an examination of mental health concerns amongst aid professionals. Specialist contributors sought to address the reasons for burnout within aid organisations, and what factors have led to this becoming a ‘silent crisis’ for the sector.

The session, which is still available for playback, drew a large live audience. See pages 56-57.

Ripple Effect

One of the UK’s leading relief, training and support charities, Send a Cow, has given itself a well-deserved makeover, duly re-emerging as the brightly named Ripple Effect.

It takes a lot to change something you’ve lived with for 25 years or so, but when you no longer actually send a cow anywhere, it makes sense to freshen things up.

Appropriate Technology has appreciated the work of the charity in recent years and its involvement in our pages. We certainly look forward to reflecting the ripple effect of the newly branded organisation. See page 7.

Dominant themes

I find it interesting to survey the completed draft version of each new issue of Appropriate Technology to see what themes have emerged, often not the ones I’ve planned from the beginning, but those which manage to infiltrate various items.

The issue which plays a strong underlying role in June 2022 is climate change and its capacity to disrupt all our lives going forward. This is a concern which has been pushed away from centre stage, first by COVID-19 and now by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Crucial as both those issues are, climate change remains an insistent threat.

Find this and other commentary in Appropriate Technology Magazine’s profile on our site. 

Appropriate Technology Magazine is a print publication by Research Information Ltd in Burnham, Buckinghamshire (UK). The magazine is a conglomeration of three, the original Appropriate Technology that was first published y Intermediate Technology Publications, International Agricultural Development and Gate Technology.

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