Last updated: 12 September 2016
McDonald Ganisyeje showing the Minister of Tourism Hon. Daniel Liwimbi MP and other top government officials from the Ministry and Department of National Parks and Wildlife how the solar cookers work.
- October 2015: - In June 2015, United Village Transformation, led by Claudia Sansone, adopted a rural village near Daeyang Luke Hospital in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. The United Village Transformation team opened a preschool and provided agriculture and medical resources to the village. They also distributed several CooKits. Claudia Sansone reports that the villagers were very enthusiastic about the solar cookers and were eager to begin using them.
- September 2013: Inspiration from Solar cookers International fosters a CooKit introduction project in Malawi - Claudia Sansone, whose interest in solar cookers began when she met with current Solar Cookers International board member, AJ Lederman, and then SCI board member Pat McArdle, at a UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York in 2011. Sansone says that after she read McArdle’s novel Farishta, she was convinced that solar cooking could be successfully introduced in Malawi. With guidance from SCI executive director Julie Greene in Sacramento, California, USA, Sansone purchased several CooKits. She used these cookers to make templates, and then produced a number of the solar panel cookers to distribute. Traveling with her family to Malawi, she hosted classes and demonstrations on solar cooking with the CooKits. With a friend, she taught the women at Elizabeth Chikoya’s Women’s Development Center and members of the Gogo Grandmothers how to make more solar cookers with locally available materials. Read more at: Malawi and Solar Cookers International
- November 2012: Update from the Care and Support Network - The Care and Support Network is producing both parabolic solar cookers and CooKits and the women from Chimwemwe Centre produce briquettes from waste papers, sawdust, and maize husks as alternative source of energy. The theme of the function for this year was ‘Tourism and Sustainable Energy’ hence our presence there. We explained to the top government including the Minister of Tourism who visited our stands that use of solar cookers and briquettes is an alternative source of energy to using firewood and will help us protect our forests that are being depleted at an alarming rate. The Minister was impressed and bought one parabolic solar cooker the same day. Leading by example J! Land and Lake Safaris, a Tour Operator where McDonald Ganisyeje works full time provided logistical support for the solar cookers to be available at The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre where one of the parabolic solar cookers is stationed for demonstrating to the public. Land and Lake Safaris also provides waste papers from the office through the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre where the women collect them and make use for making the briquettes.
An unusual sponsor of solar cooking in Malawi has been the non-profit organization, Peace Child International. One of its programs called Be the Change (BTC), challenged young people to make a difference in their communities. In Malawi a portion of youth action work focused on solar cooking. One young man proposed to his colleagues that they make and sell solar cookers as a BTC project. With a very small budget, they did all planning and implementation of the project. By 2001,the group had been able to provide 50 village families with solar cookers in 9 different villages. The group reached out for support from organizations in Germany and Austria, and was also aided in locating reflective materials by a Malawian business, Universal Industries. (Source: Solar Cooker Review, November 2001)
A quite different type program in Malawi was reported on at the [[Kimberly meetings]] in South Africa in 2000. The country has excellent solar insolation possibilities, and severe deforestation in some areas. The Department of Energy Affairs has established a Renewable Energy Program, which promoted a range of renewable devices, including solar cookers. Using box cookers sold through a micro-financing scheme, the project intended to establish distribution centers across the country. A private business, the Zako Solar Cookers Industry was the principal manufacturer of ovens, and nongovernmental organizations were assisting in the distribution.
To begin, a national planning workshop was held. Various stakeholders came together to divide up the tasks involved in presenting a series of demonstrations on energy saving measures. Participatory principles were stressed and a choice of optional renewable energy modes offered to people. The foci of the project included both arresting environmental degradation and the reduction of poverty.
Information presented at Kimberly described the program at a very early stage. Follow up to ascertain results of the project had not yet been accomplished. This project, started by governmental initiative, was an important development in Africa, where the bulk of solar cooking work has been done through non-governmental organizations, many from outside the continent (Kimberly, p. 67).
Climate and culture
Solar Cookers International has rated Malawi as the #20 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 Malawi with fuel scarcity but ample sun in 2020 is 2,700,000.
Malawi has a renewable energy component in its school curriculum.
- Wikipedia article on the climate of Malawi
- Discussion of southern Africa's suitability for solar cooking
- Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables
Articles in the media
- September 2016: Poverty, Drought and Felled Trees Imperil Malawi Water Supply - New York Times
Manufacturers and vendors