Habari…  “Greetings”… in Kiswahili.

This week I took part in an informal hands-on Solar Cooking workshop sponsored by RUCOSUO. Two dozen members of a newly formed Terrat Woman’s Group, a community-based woman’s cooperative, took part in cooking, smelling and tasting food cooked by the sun.

This style of solar cooker is called a ‘panel cooker’. The reflectors work very well in equatorial regions when the sun is high overhead for much of the days. No glass is needed… just recycled cardboard, aluminum foil, white glue, tie wire and some sealing tape.

A drawback of this design is that it requires the use of store-bought oven-grade plastic cooking bags. While these specialized bags are reusable many times, they are not readily available in many locations.

Many hands making solar ovens
The women made solar cookers from cardboard and aluminum foil. Hands-on is the best and most fun way to learn about solar cooker construction. Training women as trainers is a priority!
Assembling the oven
The nearest store that sells tinfoil is in Arusha. It’s about 70 km away via a deplorable dirt road, which is a drawback to this design. However, this simple and truly elegant design works very well as a low-cost solar cooking option.
Solar oven ready to use.
The women cooked rice, potatoes, carrots and spinach. They also warmed up their ‘Maasai tea’ –  a sugary blend of tea ,50% water, and 50% milk.
A fun and tasty time was had by all.
Seeing, touching and tasting makes it believable!
Waiting for food to cook.
The women cooked potatoes, carrots, spinach, rice and made Maasai tea.
Master solar instructor and and world-class solar dedicated cooker, Ed Eaton, taught me this design while we were teaching at Solar Energy International (SEI) in Colorado.Lukas Kariongi the founder and Managing Director of RUCOSUO- Rural Community Support Organization and I participated in solar cooking with the women’s group in Terrat Village in Maasailand, Tanzania.

Lukas and Johnny enjoyed teaching this solar cooking workshop to the women’s cooperative Terrat Village. We are scheduled to teach another solar cooking workshop to the women cooperative in Orkesumet Village next week. Lukas as and his newly formed NGO are hoping to get modest Financial support be able to do a series of solar cooking workshops throughout the Simanjiro District.

The solar adventure continues!


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