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Big success of the sale of subsidized solar ovens in Lalibela (Ethiopia)

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Ethiopia solar

Lalibela, Ethiopia. January 2010

In 2008 Sol solidari started to introduce solar ovens in Lalibela and in the Abune Yosef mountains. The solar ovens are a kind of sealed boxes with glass in the upper part. The solar rays that come into the box cannot go out of it and the inside heats up like a conventional oven. This oven is less expensive than a solar cooker, but it is also slower. The idea is to be able to cook without supervising the food whilst cooking; although the preparation of the food will take several hours.

In a first phase of the project the solar ovens were given free to the families with the biggest needs. These families were chosen by the kebeles to promote the knowledge of this new technology. In this way 166 ovens were given during the years 2008 and 2009.

Now that the people in this area have seen the functioning and the benefits of these solar ovens we took a start, in 2011, to sell them subsidized. If each solar oven (made in Addis Abeba) will cost us 45 Euros we will subsidize 80%, thanks to public and private donations, and the client only will have to pay 20%, about 8 Euros.

At the end of February we sent a first transport of 72 solar ovens to Lalibela. A local tradeswoman offered to sell them in his shop in exchange for a commission per sold item. Her shop is situated in a busy part of Lalibela; as soon as she exposed a solar oven in her shop, word went round that solar ovens were for sale there.

To our big surprise all 72 ovens were sold in only two days! Also many more women expressed their desire to buy one directly whenever they arrived. So, as soon as we will have the money to subsidize 100 ovens more, we will order them and transport them to Lalibela.

Ultimately this is another step forward to make use of a source of wealth that will never turn its back on us: the sun.

Contact

See Sol Solidari.

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