We develop simple, sustainable and locally producible technical solutions for everyday problems in developing countries.
At the moment we are working on an improved cooker/heater for the people of northern Vietnam.See more in "Oven projects"
We, Daniela and Peter Limacher, travelled extensively through Southeast Asia in the winter of 2014/2015. In Sapa, Vietnam, we did a two-day tour with ETHOS around town, walking through the famous rice terraces and visiting the homes of local people.
In the after-tour talk we came across the topic of open fires. Almost everybody there cookes on an open fire inside. They sit in the smoke and still feel the cold, as the houses don't have insulation at all. We discussed ways of solving the problem and spontaneously decided stay in Sapa to build a masonry heater at the Home of So.
Our first project was a success, the oven worked nearly as planned. We enjoyed it so much, that we wanted to keep working on similar projects. We realized that we can use our knowledge of engineering to help people, and still keep living at home in Switzerland. That's why we launched ELOTA.
During our stay in Vietnam, we had time to work on a second project. We decided to build a compost-toilet with a bathroom. The design is simple, easy and cheap. And it solves two problems simultaineously: Firstly it creates a sanitary toilet, secondly you get valuable fertilizer, once the compost broke down all the feces. This tried and tested method was alread in use around the globe - thanks to www.humanurehandbook.com for the detailed instructions! The kids couldn't stop playing, once the shower was connected.
This project marks the beginning of our organisation. In discussions with Phil and Hoa of ETHOS the idea came up to build a masonry heater. We stayed in Vietnam to build the first prototype at So's home.