Saturday, December 19, 2009

Postcards from the Base of the Pyramid

Snapped this on my phone in October, found lying in a pile of rubbish (not cool) in Magam-Tissa, between Kirinde and Bundala/Hambantota.

Technical digression: Two-stroke three-wheeler/autorickshaw/tuk-tuk engines need the right amount of 2T engine oil mixed into their petrol/gasoline tanks (no separate lubrication cycle etc). Hence the extra pollutants spewed into the atmosphere too.

Back to BoP stuff: In urban petrol/gasoline sheds you see a "buddy" Coke bottle sitting on an engine oil dispenser next to the petrol pump. This is precisely to measure out the amount of 2T engine oil needed when a three-wheeler/autorickshaw/tuk-tuk driver pulls in to pump some gas.

Well someone at the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Company has either used his brain (hooray) or stumbled upon a clever BoP marketing strategy (ok, not so great for the environment, like the sachets etc the soap companies sell). The sachet holds 40ml of 2T engine oil, apparently, according to the packaging, the right amount to per 1 liter of petrol when topping up your cheap-and-cheerful three-wheeler - the BoP's ubiquitous, do-everything, go-almost-everywhere workhorse.

Digression on sachets and BoP marketing - I keep asking people I know at Unilever whether anyone has figured out the environmental impacts of all those Lifebuoy river-baths and Sunlight laundry days in our nation's waterways, lakes and tanks/reservoirs.

View Larger Map

No comments: