August 06, 2003
Multifunctional Platform in Benin
The UNDP has for some time been running a multifunctional platform project in Mali. This platform is built around a simple diesel engine that is connected by belts to various tools, such as a cereal mill, seed press and battery charger. Unfortunately, many of the platforms we saw in Mali were out of order and had the appearance of being neglected for some time. Here in Benin, we've found locally-made, motor-driven mills chugging away in just about every village. Kemon alone had at least four such mills. I found this large mill at the small marche in Parakou.
In this case, the mill was being used to grind dried corn into flour. This machine took about fifteen minute, and four passes, to completely grind a large bowl of corn.
According to the mill owner, the diesel motor was over 30 years old, and had been in constant operation.
Similar to the UNDP MFP installation, the motor was cooled using a pair of water tanks.
It was hard to get good pictures of the mill, due to the sudden appearance of a mob of extremely excited little kids who all wanted their picture taken. Digital cameras like the one I brought, with a little LCD display on the back, were a big hit with kids and often caused these kinds of mob scenes.
Posted by Timothy Prestero at August 6, 2003 02:51 PM