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close this bookFunctional Adult Literacy (FAL) - Training Manual (DVV, UNICEF; 1996; 106 pages)
View the documentAcknowledgment
View the documentForeword
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsUnit One: Functional Adult Literacy and Its Implications
Open this folder and view contentsUnit Two: Facilitating Adult Learning
Open this folder and view contentsUnit Three: Facilitating FAL Classes
Open this folder and view contentsUnit Four: Organising and Managing FAL Programmes
close this folderUnit Five: Integrating Functional Adult Literacy in other Development Programmes
View the document5.1 Integrating FAL with other Key Players
View the document5.2 Integrating FAL in Income-generating Activities
View the document5.3 Integrating FAL in Labour/Energy Saving Technologies
View the document5.4 Integrating FAL in Health Education
View the document5.5 Integrating FAL in the Civic Life of the Community
Open this folder and view contentsUnit Six: Monitoring and Evaluating Functional Adult Literacy Programmes
View the documentAnnex 1 - Sample Lesson Plan for Luganda Learners
View the documentAnnex 2 - Sample Lesson Plan for Runyankore/Rukiga
View the documentAnnex 3 - Sample Lesson Plan for Lusoga

5.3 Integrating FAL in Labour/Energy Saving Technologies

a) Introduction:

Literacy skills are expected to improve the learners’ performance in labour/energy saving technologies. The present technologies in most households do not use labour/energy-saving technologies. As a result a lot of time and resources are consumed and this in turn puts a strain on functional adult literacy programmes.

This topic is therefore intended to enable the participants think through a number of appropriate technologies and be able to relate them to the functional literacy.

b) Objectives:

By the end of the session, the participants should be able to:


• describe the different types of labour/energy-saving technologies.
• identify the problems solved by labour/energy-saving technologies.
• mention at least 4 advantages of using labour/energy-saving technologies.
• explain the relationship between functional adult literacy and labour/energy-saving technologies.

c) Time: 1 hours 40 minutes.

d) Learning Aids: Newsprint or cards, markers, masking tape or blackboard and chalk, drawings of some of the known technologies, e.g. improved mud-stove, a crib.

e) Procedure and Learning Points:

Step 1:

[15 min.] Facilitator introduces a role-play of a woman telling her children to rush to the well for water after a heavy downpour. The facilitator poses questions about what the problem is in the role-play, its causes and possible solutions. This is followed by discussion and where possible participants agree on the problems, its causes and solutions.

Possible Responses:



• No water source nearby.
• No facility for tapping rain water.



• Lack of awareness/exposure.
• Poverty.



• Awareness creation about water technologies.
• Training about a number of rain-water harvesting technologies.

Step 2:

[10 min.] Facilitator brainstorms participants on what they understand by labour/energy-saving technology. Key ideas in participants’ definitions are identified.

Possible Responses:

A labour/energy-saving technology refers to ideas, methods and techniques that encourage economising the use of labour/energy resources so that there is a reserve for future use.

Step 3:

[30 min.] In a buzz session of 2 or 3 persons, participants are asked to identify the activities they usually carry out and the technologies applied. Where technology is unsatisfactory, an alternative should be proposed. The responses are presented and discussed.

Possible responses:


Current Technology used


Proposed alternative Technology





1. Food production.


• Manuring.


• Mulching.


• Ox-ploughing.

2. Food storage.


• Cribs.


• Covered pots.


• Cupboards.

3. Food preparation.


• Improved stoves.


• Steaming (oluwombo)

4. Water harvesting.


• Water tanks.


• Protected tanks.


• Protected springs.


• Charcoal filters.

5. Water collection.


• by use of bamboo pipes.


• wheelbarrows.


• bicycle.


• donkey.

6. Water storage.


• water jars, pots, tanks.

7. Food preservation.


• drying.


• chemicals.


• salting.

8. Light in homes.


• biogas.


• beeswax, candle


• ventilation


• windows

9. Building and cleaning the home.


• bricks (sun-dried, burnt)


• iron sheets


• planting grass in the compound.

10. Health animals.


• racks.


• animal house.

11. Transportation of goods & services.


• wheelbarrows and local stretches.

Step 4:

[10 min.] Facilitator then displays the following pictures for discussion. Participants comment on the use of such technologies and the extent to which they are labour/energy saving.

Portable Solar Food and Crop Dryer (Dries and disinfests food and crops prior to storage)

Description: This is a portable version of the SOLAR FOOD AND CROP DRYER. It consists of a double-walled box structure of wooden construction, literally a box within a box. The 6 cm annular space between the outer and inner walls and the 6 cm double bottom space is packed with suitable insulating material such as dried grass. External dimensions are 2.6m x 1.2m x 0.20m. the dryer is supported 15 cm above ground on four legs. Air inlet holes are provided in the bottom by drilling through battens which support the inner box. Air outlet slots are cut in the upper edges of the long sides of the box. A cover and drying trays are used.

Maize Crib (Temporary storage and post-harvest drying for maize on-the-cob)

Description: A large rectangular store 3.8 x 1.2m. x 1.6m. high constructed of or bamboo wooden poles and covered by a thatched grass or hessian/cement roof in which a 3:1 sand/cement mortar is used. Two hinged doors 1.5m. wide are located at the front. The crib is supported 1.25m. off the ground on stilts, fitted near the top with rat guards in the form of inverted tin cones or thorn branches.

Function: To provide temporary storage and allow post-harvest drying for maize on the cob.

Specific Advantages: the store is constructed almost entirely from locally available materials. No special skills are required to build the store thereby minimizing labour costs. The store protects the maize from rain and rats and allows cool ventilation. An alternative hessian/cement roof can be constructed under skilled direction.

Disadvantages: The crib may be useful for temporary storage prior to effective drying and enclosed storage. It is not recommended for long term storage.

Durability: The maize crib will last for several years depending on climatic conditions and maintenance. The thatching will require renewal after about 5 years but the hessian/cement roof should last the life of the crib. The stilts can be protected from insect damage by using cedar posts or by coating them with oil or bitumen.

Labour Content: 10 man-days.

Tools Needed: Machete (panga), hammer for cement roof, trowel, float, scissors, knife.

Materials Needed:


1) sufficient amount of bamboo or wooden poles.
2) string or wire.
3) kerosene tin tops.
4) used car tyre for door hinges.
5) grass for thatching or:


3 bags cement;
250 kg sand;
16 metres hessian cloth;
1 kg 2.5 cm nails.

Small Cement Water Jar (Stores 300 litres of roof water)

Description: A thin walled container which can be built in various sizes up to 1000 litres. A circular sand/cement mortar base is cast first and a tough, shaped cloth bag is placed on the base. The bag is then packed full of sawdust, dried grass (or other suitable filling material) to form a mould. A circular former to provide a mould for the top opening is placed on top of the bag and a 2:1 sand/cement mixture is then plastered onto the bag in two 0.5 cm layers leaving a circular opening at the top. After the cement has set, the stuffing and bag are removed and can be re-used for further jars.

Function: To provide an effective roof water catchment container or pest-proof grain storage jar up to 1000 litres capacity.

Specific Advantages: All purchased materials for construction are easily obtained in most towns at low cost. The jar can be constructed by a trained worker in a short time with the assistance of one unskilled labourer. The smaller water jars can be rolled from place to place.

Durability: If properly made and cared for the jar should last for at least 10 years.

Labour Content: 3 man-days.

Tools Required: Shovel, trowel and float.

Materials Needed (for a 300 litre jar):


1) *4 metres of hessian or Amerikani cloth for bag.
2) ½-bag cement.
3) *Strong Twine.
4) 1 bag riverbed sand (as fine as possible).
5) *Needle and thread for sewing bag together.
6) Handful of motor grease or soap.
7) *1m. of 3 cm. wide galvanised metal strip.
8) 40 cm. heavy wire for jar lid handle.


* can be used repeatedly.

Large Cement Water Jar. (Stores 2,500 litres of roof water)

Function: to provide an effective roof-water storage container up to 10,000 litres capacity.

Specific Advantages: The construction costs of a large water jar are much lower than a comparably sized metal tack, particularly if several are built in the same locality.

Disadvantages: Unless large quantities of stuffing material are easily available it has been found that a size of 2,500 litres is a practical maximum.

Durability: If properly made and cared for the jar should out-last the average galvanised iron tank.

Labour Content: 7 man-days.

Tools Needed: Shovel, hoe, trowel, wire cutters and float.

Materials Needed (for 2,500 litre tank):


1) 5 bags cement.
2) 500 kgs. sand.
3) 12 sq. metres 2.5 cm. wire mesh reinforcing.
4) 600 kg. crushed rocks.
5) 10.5 metres strong cloth 1.22m. wide.
6) Needle and thread.
7) 200 kg. ballast 2.5 cm.

(Note: The bag may be used again to manufacture additional jars).

Metal Stove with Clay Lining.



- Prepared as recommended.


- Cut to size of maize cob.

How to use:


• When food is ready for cooking use small pieces of firewood to light the fire.
• When lit put up to 4 pieces of firewood on the fire.
• Place the pot on the stove.
• Add a few more pieces more as necessary through the door until the food is boiling.
• Shut the door of the stove to simmer the food for as long as necessary.



• Protects the fire and concentrates fire on the pot.
• Can be moved from place to place.
• Can use other types of fuels such as maize cobs, stalks, etc.
• Can use different sizes of pots.



• There is a danger of tipping over especially with large pots - Keep young children away.
• close the door of the stove every time you are cooking.
• Do not use water to put out the fire - it may crack the clay liner.

Improved Cooking Stove. (Made out of mud soil and clay)


• Uses little firewood.

• Cooks faster.


• Can cook 3 or more pots at a go.

• Uses locally available materials.

Facilitator’s statement:

[5 min.] There are as many technologies as possible depending on the purpose to which the technology is to be put. The variety of the technologies to a large extent depends on the innovativeness of the people and their ability to make adaptations.

Step 5: Buzz group.

Participants form groups of 5-7 persons and facilitator assigns them the following tasks:


a) Apart from being labour/energy-saving what other advantages do these technologies have?

b) What is the relationship between FAL and labour/energy-saving technologies?

[30 min.] Groups present their work which is discussed.

Possible responses:

Other advantages:-


- These technologies are easily affordable.
- They are easily adaptable.
- Their raw materials are easily accessible and locally available.
- They release energies for use in other ventures.
- They promote increased food production.
- Services are easily and cheaply rendered.
- They preserve food to avert famine.
- They are a source of income especially for the poor people.
- Because of the above advantages, they motivate adult learners to learn more.

The relationship between FAL and Labour/Energy-Saving Technologies:


- The skills of literacy promote the innovative spirit of learners.
- A literate person is able to learn about a given technology.
- A literate person is able to follow instructions and hence apply them more efficiently.
- He/She is able to order for desired technologies.
- He/She is able to use/manage the technology confidently.


There are many types of labour/energy-saving technologies. It is therefore important that adult learners are encouraged to identify them so that they can select the appropriate ones. Similarly, literacy skills if applied correctly, promote the use and management of a variety of labour/energy-saving technologies. At the same time, labour/energy saving technologies can save time for adults to attend FAL classes and other activities.

f) Assessment:

[10 min.] What labour/energy-saving technologies would you introduce/promote in your area and why?

g) Follow-up:

Arrange an observation visit to a nearby place for participants to identify the technologies in use and to assess the extent to which they are labour/energy saving.

What to possibly observe:


- Home appearance (main house, kitchen, animal shelter, granaries, pit-latrine)
- Water utensils.
- Means of food production, preservation, storage and preparation.
- Means of transportation of people and goods.
- Look at the technology used


- Can you afford it?
- Can you learn it?
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