March 2011: Big success of the sale of subsidized solar ovens in Lalibela, Ethiopia. The people in this area now have seen the cookers function, and understand the benefits of these solar ovens, that we began to offer to them on a subsidized basis in early 2011. (Read more)
November 2011: At the beginning of this year, Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA-REC/N) invited Clara Thomas and Henk Crietee to provide training in various locations in Northern and Southern Ethiopia. Representatives of participating NGO's, mainly women, learned about the Integrated Cooking Method, public promotion, and project planning, as well as how to create a small production enterprise. Mesfin Kinfu, from HoA-REC/N, accompanied Clara and Henk and acted as translator and co-trainer. In October Clara and Henk attended a workshop in Ethiopia at the start of the large renewable energy project. Their contribution was important and highly appreciated by the participants.
October 2011: A few years ago, Addis Ababa University consolidated all environmental activities in the Horn of Africa under the umbrella of one organisation. This included scientific institutions as well as private civil society organisations and led to the creation of HoA-REC/N. At present, more than 50 institutions and organisations from Ethiopia, Somalia, (Eritrea), Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan have become HoA-REC/N. members.Its principal objective is to stimulate and coordinate environmental activities "on the ground". Partnership programmes in the field of renewable energy play a central role. The European Union and the Netherlands Embassy. The Netherlands development organization SNV and the German organisation GIZ (German International Development) provide technical support. Solar Cooking Foundation The Netherlands, SCN provides support solely in the field of Integrated Sustainable Solar Cooking. At the end of this year, HoA-REC/N is moving to a new building in the Gullele Botanical Garden close to the centre of Addis Ababa. This building is part of a projected eco-village. This will simultaneously promote environmental awareness among the public at large and a number of environmentally friendly technologies such as solar energy, bioenergy and various energy-saving building techniques. A large project financed by the European Union focuses on the creation of a number of so-called Renewable Energy Technology Centres in Ethiopia. HoA-REC/N takes on the management and coordination of the centres. The NGOs involved in the project, take on the implementation. SCN provides technical assistance to the Project and some co-financing.
October 2010:A new Integrated Sustainable Solar Cooking (ISSC) project in the Horn of Africa is coordinated by Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA-REC/N). They are part of Addis Ababa University’s environment department and last year organised a very successful Integrated Cooking Method conference in which 24 NGOs from the Horn of Africa participated. One of the results of this conference is a new project now being developed in the Horn of Africa, in Ethiopia. The Burayou technical school outlined an excellent project proposal with a budget of € 16,000. The Ethiopian NGO Agohelma, as a member of HoAREC/N, has concluded an agreement with the technical school to implement the project and to provide the funds as well. For many years now, the school in Burayou has been developing wood-saving cooking appliances, including a production line. It did not therefore come as a surprise that there was considerable enthusiasm for the production of solar ovens and hay baskets. The project proposal has allocated the various responsibilities of the school, HoA-REC/N and NGO Agohelma as follows:
HoA-REC/N is responsible for the coordination of the various Solar Cooking (ISSC) projects and the exchange of technical expertise, as well as for the organisation of training programmes and funds;
The NGO Agohelma is responsible for the provision of financial means, the ordering of production materials and the progress and final reports;
Agohelma and the technical school will jointly arrange for the promotion and distribution of the newly produced solar and other cooking appliances in less-favoured urban districts of Addis Ababa and vicinity;
The Burayou Technical School will act as entrepreneur for the time being and is responsible for the production and storage of cooking appliances. They will assist in the promotion of and information about the ISSC concept through the school’s information centre. The school will handle the training of female ISSC instructors and be involved in the organisation of instruction programmes for end-users and customers.
Solar Cooking foundation the Netherlands SCN can organise on request training in all fields mentioned. Requests for financial support can be submitted to SCN for project proposals, including detailed budgets, in consultation with HoA-REC/N.
December 2009: Our project began when a friend went to the area on an "eco-tourism" vacation. She saw that there were some real needs in the area outside of Addis Ababa related to cooking food. Ethiopians have to spend hours a day looking for cooking fuel or they have to sell a portion of their food to pay for fuel. Lung conditions and eye problems are rampant from cooking indoors. Jane Farley, David Robinson, and a few others are taking trips every 3 months to see if they'll use solar cookers and then teach them about solar cooking. Each time they go they plan to take Solar Cooking International's CooKit kits and will be teaching a graduating class at a trade school how to make them this March. So with a combination of CooKits and solar cookers made from materials found in country they are spreading the good news about solar cooking and its benefits. They left 5 cookers in January with 5 families and part of the goal for March is to see how the families are using them and see if any re-training will be required. It's just an example of how a small group of civic-minded people can affect positive change on the other side of the world.
November 2009: Initial pioneering work by Ato Guillilat, executive director of Partnership for Integrated Sustainable Development Association, led in 2007 to a small-scale integrated solar cooking pilot project with Solar Cooking Netherlands (SCN) in villages around Debre Zeit. According to SCN Chairwoman Clara Thomas, initial results were promising. In 2008, plans were developed for a regional production and promotion center for integrated solar cooking and water pasteurization. The center, which opened in March 2009, includes space for training, assembly, sales, and cooking demonstrations. In the pilot project, approximately 1,500 households across four villages have adopted integrated solar cooking methods, maximizing their cooking fuel savings by using solar CooKits whenever possible, fuel-efficient stoves (based on a design by GTZ) when necessary, and retained heat devices to continue cooking after food is removed from either heat source. Janny Poley, first secretary for environment and water for the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa, was impressed by the project and introduced it to Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HOAREC/N) at Addis Ababa University. Under Poley’s leadership, HOAREC/N held an integrated solar cooking workshop in March 2009. For more info...
January 2009: In Ethiopia Steve Harrigan of Solar Clutch made solar cookers with the Ethiopian and Somali people at the Agape Reading Center. The Somali people are already refugees in Ethiopia and in great financial need. Solar cooking is a free source of energy to that allows them to cook without having to use firewood. An Ethiopian couple also was excited to learn how to make solar cookers because they run an orphanage near the Somali boarder and have 30 little mouths to feed 3 times a day! We made cookers from the wheel chair boxes that had been donated to the handicap people of Ethiopia. A double use of the resources God has put at our disposal. If you would like to help provide solar cookers for this orphanage please contact Solar Clutch.
December 2008: 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.
November 2007:Solar Cooking Netherlands (SCN) has teamed up with Partnership for Integrated Sustainable Development Association (PISDA), a local non-governmental organization, to introduce solar cooking in four rural villages around Debre Zeit. PISDA has worked with female heads of households on a number of projects, such as tree planting, fuel-efficient wood stoves, and savings and credit associations. SCN’s Clara Thomas, along with PISDA’s Ato Guillilat, left early mornings on a two-wheeled horse wagon to visit the four rural villages. They first introduced solar cookers to village elders, and then spent a week training a group of solar cooking instructors. A year-long initial program was agreed upon to ensure continued follow up in the form of monthly collective solar cooking meetings to share experiences and advice. The project will likely expand next year. A local solar fabricator in Addis Ababa — Bereket Solar — will produce CooKit solar cookers by hand for the project. Towards the end of 2007 he will transfer his experience and knowledge to the women in rural areas so that they can make their own CooKits. Injera, a pancake-like bread, is a local staple that cannot be cooked with simple solar cookers. (It requires a 60-centimeter diameter pan and baking temperature of at least 220°C.) A research program is underway to find a solar method for baking injera. The present cooking culture does not permit introducing collective solar injera baking through a large bakery or otherwise. In the meantime, injera will continue to be baked three times per week on a fuel-efficient wood stove.
January 2007:EG-Solar reports that in the spring of 2006 it asked its supporters to donate money to pay for materials to build 150 parabolic solar cookers for poor Ethiopians. The children of these lucky families now do not have collect firewood and can attend school. EG-Solar is accepting donations to bring cookers to more families in Ethiopia this year.