Mohammed Bah Abba

2000 Laureate, Applied Technology
Nigeria, 1964-2010

Project Goal

Supply an innovative food cooling system to poor Nigerians

Location: Nigeria

"I developed the pot-in-pot to help the rural poor in a cost-effective, participatory and sustainable way."

Northern Nigeria is an impoverished region where people in rural communities eke out a living from subsistence farming. With no electricity, and therefore no refrigeration, perishable foods spoil within days. Such spoilage causes disease and loss of income for needy farmers, who are forced to sell their produce daily. Nigerian teacher Mohammed Bah Abba, who died in 2010, was motivated by his concern for the rural poor and by his interest in indigenous African technology to seek a practical, local solution to these problems. His extremely simple and inexpensive earthenware "pot-in-pot" cooling device, based on a principle of physics already known in ancient Egypt, has revolutionized lives in this semi-desert area.


days eggplants stayed fresh in Mohammed's first trials of the pot-in-pot, compared to the usual three days


pots produced in Mohammed's first batch


The cost, in US dollars, of a small pot-in-pot


pot-in-pots Mohammed had distributed by early 2005

Other 2000 Laureates