Last updated: 27 June 2017
From 2012 to 2014 the Macedonia Ministry (NGO) in collaboration with Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society from Canada provided 100 solar and 100 fireless cookers to 100 families in the Arusha region of Tanzania. They also conducted workshops on how to cook with the solar and fireless cookers. The training was successful, cooking ugali (hard porridge), rice, vegetables, meat, beans, and milk tea. They were excited to enjoy food cooked with solar cookers. The result of using the cookers has reduce tree cutting, and eye and chest problems due to smoke was reduced by 40%, students are going to school since the money which used for buying fuelwood and charcoal is now saved and used for other purposes including medication and school fees.
Most significant projects
- January 2013: Solar Circle shares insights they have learned in Tanzania - The NGO Solar Circle has learned many things from their solar cooking program in Masasi, southern Tanzania. People will use solar cookers if they are efficient and affordable, which is often a problem for subsistence farmers who are most in need of the cookers even when the cookers are heavily subsidized. However, they have also learned that people will work hard to earn a solar cooker. The group has created a bartering system with community leaders. The community chooses a service project and the beneficiaries organize and oversee the effort. Participants earn a solar oven for their involvement. As of 2013, the program had distributed more than 3000 solar ovens, and built 40 houses for people who are sick, elderly, widowed, or disabled. Because the community chooses the project and beneficiary, there’s an eagerness to work together. Surrounding villages have heard of the cookers and the program, so spreading the word has been easy. They cannot keep up with demand. The barter program relies on external help with finances, but community service represents the same effort that of money earned in outside employment. Solar Circle values that effort, and raises what money it can from friends to expand the program.
- See other Most significant solar cooking projects worldwide.
- January 2017: Solar cooker use follow-up: - Solar Cookers International recently reported the results of the SCI Adoption & Impact Survey from two projects in Tanzania. Half of the women surveyed began solar cooking five years ago; the others, three years ago. They are, each week on average: using their solar cookers 5 times, retained-heat cookers 5 1/2 times, and pasteurizing water 3 times. 70% state that neither themselves, nor their family, are experiencing any health problems related to cooking fire smoke since they began solar cooking. Money usually spent for traditional fuels is used to increase the family food budget.
- July 2016: Villagers in Tanzania benefit with solar cooking - Thanks to Solar Cookers International, supporters and a partnership with the local Tanzanian organization, Macedonia Ministry, thirty women in the village of Rau, Tanzania are now using solar box cookers, fireless cookers, and water pasteurization indicators for purifying water. Firewood use is now down 34% and charcoal use is down 45%. More information...
- March 2014: Update from 2012 to 2014 The Macedonia Ministry (NGO) in collaboration with Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society from Canada provided 100 solar and 100 fireless cookers to 100 families in the Arusha region of Tanzania. They also conducted workshops on how to cook with the solar and fireless cookers. The training was successful, cooking ugali (hard porridge), cooked rice, vegetables, meat, beans, makande (beans mixed with maize), and milk tea. They were excited to enjoy food cooked with solar cookers. The result of using the cookers has reduce tree cutting, the eye and chest problems due to smoke has reduced by 40%, students are going to school since the money which used for buying fuel wood and charcoal is now saved and used for other purposes including medication, school fees.
- February 2014: Solar cookers on their way to Tanzania, Pakistan, and Iraq - A.G. Karim of the Lady Fatemah Trust, reports that 550 solar cookers have been shipped to Arusha, Tanzania. As soon as more sunny returns, a trainer from Kenya will come and help train a group of volunteers to run user workshops. The group is also in the process of shipping 2,500 solar cookers to Pakistan, and Andreas Fasoulides, living in Cyprus is scheduled to come to train volunteers. Once the program in Pakistan is underway, the Trust plans to ship solar cookers to Iraq to provide villagers in the desert with a solar cooking alternative, as they currently burn either dried branches of dates or kerosene.
- February 2014: Members of the Global Resource Alliance demonstrate the importance of permaculture for the future welfare of the citizens of Tanzania.
- November 2013: Islamic charity sends 500 solar cookers to Tanzania - The London-based Islamic charity, Lady Fatemah Trust (LFT) has shipped 500 solar panel cookers to the Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania. These highly-reflective waterproof versions of the traditional CooKit were designed by UK inventor Matthew Rollins, and are intended to reduce the amount of time spent by women and children foraging for firewood. Faustine Odaba, who is conducting the training sessions, will show the women how to cook local foods with these solar cookers that have been manufactured in the UK and shipped to Tanzania on pallets. Although LFT reports that the newly designed solar cookers do not require the use of a plastic bag to surround the cooking pot, they also report that next year LFT will supply foil trays and clear domes to be used as greenhouses over the cooking pot to improve cooking efficiency. LFT is in discussion with Odaba about the introduction of retained-heat cooking technology to be used alongside the solar cookers.
- January 2013: Macedonia Ministry provides solar and fireless cookers for widows - Widows in Tanzania live with an unjustified stigma, that can often include abuse. Despite the government's efforts to help educate the public, prejudice still exists. Unfortunately, due in some part to AIDS, the number of single parent households are on the rise. In 2010 and 2011 the Macedonia Ministry in collaboration with the nonprofit, Kyoto Twist, provided more than seventy-five widows with solar box cookers and fireless cookers in the city of Moshi, within the Kilimanjaro Region. These cookers have helped save the environment as fewer trees are cut for fuelwood. The income incentive program has allowed the women to pay the fees to send their children to school, and be able to get them medical attention. They are happy and want this project continued.
Wide ranges of projects are found in Tanzania, many located in schools, missions, or local training centers. Solarafrica, a Zanzibar organization, has promoted both basketry and solar ovens on the island of Zanzibar for many years, sponsored by the Esperanto Club of Lund, Sweden. Early in the development of connections between the two areas, the shortages of fuel for cooking were noted. Swedish participants have developed a number of simple technologies that can be locally made, such as parabolics of cardboard lined with foil, and another formed from a large flat basket. (Solar Cooker Review, Sept '02).
Yet another project on Zanibar, sponsored by a German group, Mama Earth, uses both parabolic cookers and boxes, preferring to cook some food in the slower box and the parabolic for "speed cooking" rice, and also for dying plaited palm leaves for craft use.
In addition, the group is experimenting with the use of flattened beer cans as reflectors in a frame of wood or metal for homemade cookers.
The GEF Small Grants Programme funded a project by the Kagera Community Development Trust, Bukoba - KADET in 1999 that produced 40 solar box cookers. Progress reports showed that the technology was replicated in various parts of Kagera region.
Another German group, Solar Cooking Zanzibar, is also located on the large island offshore from the mainland of Tanzania. The focus of this group is craft and artisan development; they have used solar cookers to dye fabrics and basketry material for craftwork. Some of the profits have enabled members to purchase solar cookers for their own household use (Solar Cooker Review, Aug, '02). The German electric utility, Bayernwerke, has made possible the provision of parabolic cookers for a local fishing village, as well, and a number of sponsoring organizations have made possible the building of a workshop and solar powered kitchen. (Solar Cooker Review, Aug '00).
On mainland Tanzania, a religiously affiliated group, EAG (T)Church - MJIMWEMA in Kigoma produces locally made parabolic or "bowl" type cookers. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania in Morogoro Province has conducted research on fuelwood use, and then began using parabolic cookers, sent from Germany, for cooking, pasteurizing water, and firing clay bricks. The Kilimanjaro Biolgas and Solar Centre sponsors many types of renewable energy and has been active in solar cooking promotion for many years. (SCI Rev Dec 00). Many of the devices promoted by Anna Pearce (see "multiple-nation" promoters section above) are in use in Tanzania, particularly the "Anahat" cooker/hatbox combination. Other organizations working in Tanzania are the Ilemi Secondary School of Mbeya, Net-Score of Malinyi, and Solar Innovations of Tanzania.
In the summers of 2001, 2002 and 2003, Project AHEAD, an American NGO, demonstrated the use of solar cookers for water pasteurization in two areas of Tanzania, first in Shinyanga District, in the northwest of the country, and the second in Kisarawe, near Dar es Salaam. National and district health officers have attended workshops on the technologies of water testing for contamination, followed by demonstration of the use of solar cookers for water pasteurization. In the summer of 2003, household surveys were conducted in both districts to serve as baseline data and an evaluation tool for a large project to be mounted in the period, 2004-2006, funds permitting. This will be the first major demonstration project focused on the use of solar cookers for this purpose. Because of the innovative nature of this project, a case study on this topic is included with this report.
Climate and culture
Solar Cookers International has rated Tanzania as the #9 country in the world in terms of solar cooking potential (See: The 25 countries with the most solar cooking potential). The estimated number of people in Tanzania in sunny areas of the country but with fuel scarcity in 2020 is 7,500,000.
Tanzania is experiencing a demographic and an environmental crisis. Tanzania has a population of around 37 million. It has a fertility rate of almost five children per woman. This rapidly growing populace places extreme pressure on the environment. For example, forests are being diminished rapidly in significant part by demand for fuel wood. A case in point: between 1960 and 1980, the Amani forest in Tanzania was reduced by 50%. For every 28 trees cut in Africa today, only one is planted.
As forests around communities are degraded, women and children must forage for fuel wood further and further from home. In some places, women must camp overnight in the bush. When the distances become too great, some families must pay 25% to 50% of their income to buy cooking fuel.
- Wikipedia article on the climate of Tanzania
- Discussion of eastern Africa's suitability for solar cooking
- Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables
- Find a Kiva microfinance partner in Tanzania.
- See general guidance on raising funds through grants and donations
- January 2017: Up Scaling Solar Cooker Project in Kilimanjaro and Manyara Regions in Tanzania - Sperancea Gabone
- July 2008: East Africa Report - Karyn Ellis
Articles in the media
- June 2017: Solar Energy Powers Clean Water, Business Opportunities For Refugees In Tanzania - NDTV
- October 2015: Clara Ibihya finds opportunity in renewable energy sector - The Citizen
- February 2015: How Results Based Financing is spurring solar market development in Tanzania - SNV, archived
- December 2007: Brit Olam's Student Delegation Member Teaching Solar Cooking
- October 2007: Purdue students build solar oven for use in Tanzania - Purdue University News
- December 2006: Student sows seeds of community-helping technology in Africa
- December 2000: Solar Water Pasteurization in Tanzania - Bob Metcalf
Audio and video
Audio and video
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- September 2016:
- September 2014:
- October 2006:
Manufacturers and vendors