FEATURE-Sardine-tin lamps and wooden fridges: Meet Central African Republic's "frugal innovators"
By Inna Lazareva,
BANGUI, Feb 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The discarded sardine tins, used mayonnaise jars and old tomato cans jumbled together on Kouassi Bafounga's front porch look like a pile of trash someone forgot to throw out.
But retrieving a gleaming lid from the mess, he beams as if he has just found a piece of gold.
These everyday objects are treasure to the self-made inventor living in Bangui, the capital of war-ravaged Central African Republic, one of the world's poorest countries.
In his tiny house of crumbling bricks, Bafounga collects what others throw away - and turns it into something useful.
He cuts shapes from tin cans and fixes them together with glass, string and a little petrol to produce storm-proof lanterns.
Bafounga is a shining example of the "frugal innovation" movement that has its roots in India, inspired by the notion of "jugaad", a Hindi word meaning "improvising with whatever resources are available". This trend of doing more with less has spread all over the world.