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Mali

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Last updated: 2 February 2016      
Sun and Ice school cookers in Mali, 1-19-15
Only the cooking food is out in the sun at this Mali school (Photo: Sun and Ice)

Events

See also: Global Calendar of Events and Past events in Mali

News

  • December 2015: Solar Cooking The Netherlands - KoZon reports: "We have carefully continued this trend in the latest project together with the Association des Femmes Ingénieurs du Mali (AFIMA) in Tiby, in the Segou area. Eight hundred and fifty Women have been trained. From this group, four cooperatives have been created. They were to continue as businesses that would disseminate solar cooking while being coached by AFIMA. However, our partner has decided that it prefers to continue with other charitable projects. We are therefore going our separate ways The new Renewable Energy Centre near Mbarara ISC information and promotion in Ethiopia for the time being. It is regrettable because AFIMA has been of great value in the dissemination of ISC in Mali. To ensure that the cooperatives will be able to continue, we are attempting to link them to the Togo Tilé project."
Braced Mali1

Photo credit: Braced

UNDP 1

Photo credit: United Nations Development Programme

  • June 2015: UNDP trains blacksmiths to build solar cookers - In its recently published Annual Report, the United Nations Development Programme highlighted its program in rural Mali which trained local village blacksmiths to build solar cookers, solar dryers, and water heaters. Local residents also had solar panels installed on their homes. Roughly 30,000 people have reportedly benefited from this program. Read more...
Sun and Ice school cookers in Mali, 1-19-15

Mid-day meal being prepared at Mali school - Sun and Ice

  • January 2015: Only the cooking food is out in the sun at this Mali school - Stephan Zech, with Sun and Ice, posted this photo of a mid-day meal being prepared at a school in Mali.
SDC11500

World Vision Mali trains students to use various type of solar cookers.

  • February 2013: Gnibouwa Diassana reports that World Vision Mali continues to be committed to training members of the community in Bla, including children, to solar cook. Instruction involves using various types of solar cookers. Besides being introduced to the technology, workshop participants practice local food recipes, bake cakes and bread with papaya, and learn to use their solar cookers to can mangos. He reminds us that solar applications are a simple solution for a complex problem.
KoZon Mali November 2012
  • November 2012: A successful project on integrated solar cooking in Ségou - In 2009, KoZon, a Dutch NGO promoting solar cooking in the Sahel, and AFIMA, a Malian NGO promoting the development of rural women, began a joint project in Ségou, a region of Mali where solar cookers had not been introduced. In five villages (Dioro, Babougou, Koila Bamanan, Kominé, Soké), they trained four groups of 25 women (selected by the village chiefs) in the practice of integrated cooking. They received kits containing: two CooKits, to cook meals when the sun shines; a fuel-efficient woodstove, for use when there’s no sun; and a heat-retention cooker to allow even more food to be cooked in the first two. In addition to a short hands-on training workshop, the project ensured that all participants were visited several times after the course to solve problems, and provide extra tips, and encouragement. In the final evaluation, in May 2012, external experts established that more than 80% of the participants--in some villages nearly 100%--used these technologies daily. As intended, they are now saving some 1,800 tons of fuel wood per year. The evaluators also found that many women appreciate having more free time each day, since they do not have to tend a fire when solar cooking or using the heat-retention cooker. They use their time for other activities including running small businesses. Buying less firewood also saves them a lot of money. It’s no surprise that the evaluators spoke of integrated cooking as a great means of relieving poverty!
See older news...

History

The Sahelian nation of Mali is the site of several solar cooking projects. Desertification is of course an immense problem in this part of Africa. Only 10% of the land has any forest cover, and deforestation continues to occur. As in other areas, clearing land for agriculture and grazing is assumed to be the principal reason for the forests' decline, but there is also recognition that over 70% of wood production is used for cooking. Solar cooking offers one way to stem this unwanted development in Mali.

Researchers at the University of Torino, studying the problem, have experimented with a wide range of fuel-saving devices, dryers, water heaters, solar lighting panels, and solar cookers. (As one researcher said-, "Every day when I get up (and look at the sun), I see all that energy going to waste.) Considerable study done under the auspices of the University, with joint efforts of the Faculty of Agricultural Science and the Interdepartmental Centre of Women's Studies, has included surveys, interviews, and field analyses of both problems and some suggested solutions. Local associations promote various fuel saving devices, such as metal stoves or parabolic cookers; other promote solar cooking (see below for an example). But in a nation without adequate communication channels (television or daily newspapers) and a population with only a 35% literacy rate, spreading new technology is difficult. Radio broadcasting is thought to be the most promising dissemination media. Most important in this situation is the awareness of the problem and the willingness to seek solutions.

One single person, Gnibouwa Diassana, long committed to solar cooking, has managed in these circumstances to make and sell around 50 cookers of the wooden box type. He does this on his own, without assistance even from the NGO for which he works on other kinds of projects. This sole person, working only with a son, has a promotion plan for an energy week and even a business plan that would permit expanded production of solar box cookers. He hopes to find partners among women's organizations but knows that resistance to change, and rigid gender based roles, make it difficult for women to pursue the purchase of cookers. He is however a determined man and perseveres in his work. (Pictures and story, Solar Cooker Review, March 2003).

Another project created by an individual is the work of Lanseri Niare, who has been introducing box cookers, both by teaching people how to build their own cooker and how to use the box when built. Major problems encountered in this project have been glass breakage, termites if the box is used on the ground, and the Harmattan period (a severe windy season) which brings much dust, so that even when sunny, cooking is difficult) (Solar Cooker Review, Dec. 98).

One other project, which has proven successful in Mali, operates under the auspices of the KoZon Foundation, a Dutch organization that works through the western African Sahelian nations. From a beginning in Burkina Faso (see above), the efforts of KoZon and its dedicated volunteer Wietske Jongbloed, have introduced CooKits in Mali since 2001. Wietzke operates at a very grassroots level, taking cookers (mostly using CooKits made in the Sahel to keep cost low) to marketplaces for demonstrations. The CooKits themselves were initially imported from abroad, and then purchased from Burkina Faso. This operation, relatively new, has not yet been evaluated by KoZon, but is gradually moving forward, in cooperation with the Association des Femmes Ingénieurs du Mali.

[Information for this section was taken originally from State of the Art of Solar Cooking by Dr. Barbara Knudson]

Archived articles

Climate and culture

A 2010 report from Mali’s agriculture ministry said that more than 500,000 hectares of forest are cleared for firewood and charcoal each year in the West African country. But new ways of cooking, using solar power and heat retention, could cut those losses.[1]

Based on knowledge gained from visiting solar cooking promoters and appropriate technology organizations, J.P. Martin-Vallas has developed some recommendations for solar cooker dissemination in Mali:

  • Target cities where firewood is quite expensive, such as in Kayes, Niafunke, and Tombouctou;
  • Encourage dissemination by women;
  • Focus on durable box-type solar cookers that accommodate large cooking pots;
  • Engage local carpenters to make the cookers; and
  • Provide a five-year guarantee for each cooker sold.

J.P. Martin-Vallas concluded that imported parabolic-type solar cookers are currently too expensive for most Malians. One way to lower prices, he says, would be to import bulk aluminum sheets and cut panels on site.

The following chart shows some sample annual firewood expenditures for households of 10 people. (Note: 500 CFAs is approximately US $1.)

City

Annual Firewood Expenditure
(in CFA Francs)

Kayes

300,000

Niafunke

300,000

Tombouctou

280,000

Douentza

180,000

Segou

150,000

Waki/Niafunke

150,000

Bourem

120,000

Koutiala

100,000

Koulikoro

75,000

Mopti

75,000

Kerouane

60,000

Northern part of the country: Desert (Sahel). Southern part of the country: Sunny, little firewood, and populated. (Source: Juan Urrutia Sanz, 2010-Feb-25)

See also

Resources

Possible Funders

Reports

Discussion groups

Articles in the media

External links

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NGOs

Manufacturers and vendors

Individuals

      Government agencies

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      See also

      References

      1. http://www.trust.org/item/?map=women-engineers-promote-low-carbon-cooking-across-mali

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