A “New” Type of Technology

What are the first thoughts when you hear the word technology? Computers. Smart Phones. Technology goes past these traditional thoughts. Innovation in science and technology will allow people to help themselves in areas they see fit. Science can lead to developments in fighting disease, reducing the child mortality rates, and increasing agricultural productivity. The things we take for granted including clean water and sanitation are major problems that continue poverty in developing countries. Proper implementation of new technologies could alleviate poverty in many countries.

A child in India surviving on dirty water due to lack of access. Picture taken from here.

So what exactly do these “new” technologies include, you ask? They include ways to allow people access to clean water, energy generation, and agricultural productivity. For water purification, research is being completed to take particles out with magnetic iron oxide. The solution is created with iron oxide and coconut oil, which is easy for people to implement. Cooking over an open fire also contributes to pollution. Researchers are looking for a way to create a smokeless stove that could reduce the number of health problems people have from pollution.

A woman in Ghana cooking over an open flame. Picture from ARG Blog

Although these solutions are not typically thought of as technology, they are and can be more effective. Taking care of basic needs is the first step in alleviating poverty because nothing can come from it otherwise. The technologies that are helping with basic needs are finding solutions to what the community views as important. IOP¬†is an organization that is “devoted to increasing the practice, understanding, and application of physics” (www.iop.org). They reported the previously mentioned solutions by other researchers. Working together can create innovative and creative technologies to alleviate poverty.