When faced with a problem the general process in solving it would be to firstly identify the problem, then research various ways to formulate ideas on how to solve that problem, then finally implementing those ideas.
This problem solving process depending on different circumstances could prove to be timeous as well as expensive. This places Africa and other developing countries at a disadvantage, as it adds to the many stumbling blocks that already exist in regards to social development. One very practical example of this would be land-mines that litter regions across several African countries.
This creates a structural barrier for development as it prevents people from developing the land as they cant access it to begin with.
Baart Weetjens has developed an innovative way to eradicate these land-mines. He has trained rats to sniff out land-mines. This method is highly effective as no people are put in danger as well as it being very cost effective. It also empowers vulnerable communities in tackling difficult and expensive detection tasks by using a resource that they have in abundance. As they are not totally dependant on foreign aid. He also trained rats who have an incredibly high sense of smell to identify persons with TB, which emits specific odours.
This is a perfect example of the anecdote of working smart not hard whereby certain situations need a specific innovative way of thinking. In terms of thinking many people tend to focus too much on thinking out of the box and instead should throw the box away.
Weetjens said further that his creation challenges peoples perception of the resources surrounding them. It also forces them to harmonise more with their surroundings and in doing this could create a sustainable world.
This manner of thinking should be adopted by us as South Africans as we too have many obstacles to overcome such as poor education,inadequate infrastructure, a major lack of housing, labour and social development. We are also a society too focused on putting things in different boxes, be it race or social groups.
We should try being more innovative and throwing them away.
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