Last updated: 19 March 2016
Agrometeorological Applications Associates is a "SARL", a small society of engineering advice, which works with the application of meteorological understanding to agriculture in rural areas. In the past they have worked in the area of providing weather information by radio to villagers in Africa, and with issues related to cultures and crop preservation in Northeastern Africa. For several years they have concentrated on the use of solar energy in precarious areas, and on better use of water where there is not much. These two themes are especially focused on semi-arid zones and refugee areas. Their current activities are in Tchad. Agrometeo is very often working in collaboration with existing NGO's in Africa, sharing information and knowledge about new techniques. It also collaborates with AEROZULU for matters of meteorology and Aviation in Africa.
"I'm doing still the same thing for the last five years, showing refugee women from Darfur in Tchad how to cook solar because there is no wood in the desert ecology (17* North), and teach them how to help themselves to continue. Have the immense benefit of a super-committed team of 12 tchadian women and men, organised in an NGO called TchadSolaire, and the reward of the smiles of ten of thousands of refugee women when they do no longer have to leave the security of the camps to search for wood, have not to fight for a scarce bit of energy, stay clean and beautiful because there's no smoke, do no longer cough and have no running noses, do no longer have children that burn themselves on a fire, have time free to do and sell handiwork to get powder milk and tea and sugar, etc etc. We now have completed work in three camps, total of 70,000 refugees, plus the surrounding villages. But still 170,000 refugees to go. And we do other things, like recuperating shower water to grow within-household mini-plots of vegetables (a thing I started because I believed in it, but that gave results way beyond my imagination), and showing local blacksmiths how to make fuel efficient stoves from old paint tins and bits of metal scavenged off the abandonned tanks of the civil war in the nineties. The other point is to see how unequal things are in this world. This whole event covering about 440,000 person years, was done for about EUR 1.300,000, or way less than one Euro cent per person per day. Compared to my own bill for cooking and vegetables, I'm ashamed." - Derk Rijks
TchadSolaire asked a team of professional (among whom was Karyn Ellis) to evaluate our work and their report has been submitted. The report is still not released by the 'owners'. TchadSolaire, but the evaluation team said it was the biggest solar cooking project in the world. They also shared with us their thoughts on what we could do still better than we do it now. We use up to now exclusively the Cookit, as it was made by SCI, and we have added a means for protection against strong winds, as they occur in the area we work.
- March 2016: Derk Rijks reports: The total number of refugee families served and awaiting has changed, increased at this moment to about 36,000 households, but obtaining donor money for the start-up until self-sufficiency is not easy. The villages around the camps are being served in the same manner as the refugees. May be able to give more details on all this by the end of this year.
- See Derk Rijks.