Last updated: 28 April 2015
AfriAfya, the African Network for Health Knowledge Management and Communication is a consortium of health NGOs that was set up in April 2000 to explore ways of harnessing information and communication technology (ICTs) for community health and development in rural and marginalized communities in Africa. In 2007 they also began the Solar Cooking project when AfriAfya received funds through GlobalGiving. Initial projects have taken place in Kenya. They are educating rural and marginalized communities on how to harness solar energy for cooking. Using CooKits, the project team sets out to areas where wells and taps have run dry and the scorching sun consumed almost every bit of vegetation. The CooKits' are cheap, easy to make, and ensure minimal amounts of water are used in cooking. The sunshine is plentiful, and what many consider a curse in these arid lands is a blessing in disguise.
AfriAfya is spearheading the program in collaboration with Solar Cookers International. They identify communities which could benefit massively from this technology and then organize demonstrations, where they introduce the concept and train a few community members on how to use the solar cookers. AfriAfya also takes this as an opportunity to provide these communities with relevant health and development information such as the need to pasteurize drinking water using the solar cookers to curb waterborne diseases.
Recent news and developments
- May 2010: AfriAfya took the 'solar-know' to the Mara Division (Rift Valley Province). About 22 Maasai women and 5 men attended the demonstration and their excitement was quite evident. These women of different ages and literacy levels learned how to reduce the cost of living by using this alternative method of cooking. Many of them have been sending inquiries to our office seeking to get more 'cookits' and training on making the solar cookers.
- September 2009: The team set out to Kilibasi Division (Coast Province). In this arid land characterized by scanty vegetation and dried out wells, the community members were invited to Kilibasi Primary School for a solar cooking demonstration. There were about 20 women and 10 men, and several children eager to learn this new technology. They were also taught the water pasteurization technique. The use of cookits at Kilibasi is helping the school prepare meals for the children as part of the School Feeding Programme initiated by the Kenyan government.
- August 2008: There was a training at Mitaboni, and 5 men were among the 15 rural womenfolk who were to be shown how to make CooKits. They were also shown how to pasteurize drinking water using the solar cookers; the drinking water in their wells was tested in their presence and it was found to contain high concentrations of e-coli bacteria and other micro-organisms.
- August 2007: The Solar Cooking project officially began in August 2007 when AfriAfya received funds through GlobalGiving. The first solar cooking demonstration was then conducted in September 2007 in Mitaboni Division (Eastern Province). About 45 women attended the demonstration and they were all in awe seeing how much can be done with solar energy.
Articles in the media
- February 2011: Solarcooking for the rural and marginalized communities - National Geographic, Global Action Atlas
Anne B. Njeri
Admin and Finance Officer
Tel. +(254) 020 6009520
Fax. +(254) 020 6009520