Last updated: 13 November 2009      

Mekhe (Thies), November 13, 2009 (Agence de Presse Sénégalaise) - The rural community of Méouane (Tivaouane), Senegal has a new solar bakery that reaches 500°C and supplies bread to a village of about 70 houses.

The launching ceremony was organized by the GIE Sope Khadim village women, who simultaneously received 140 ovens for cooking at home. Present at the event, the office manager of solar cookers to the Ministry of Scientific Research, Abdoulaye Toure, explained his presence by the government's willingness to assist women in starting their solar cookers.

This project is funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF), with technical collaboration of the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP). The mobile solar bakery reaches 500°C and can produce 70 loaves in the morning and 100 in the evening," said Abdoulaye Toure. Since 1982, he added, this project has operated. "With American cooperation, the project was updated and we've created a solar bakery," said the designer. He added: "It can be moved around because we have found to Mekhe, Pékess, Thilmakha holding weekly markets in their localities. The oven can serve these people too.'"

According Abdoulaye Toure, he has been combined in this solar oven and the gas will be used alternately. Thus, he said, the bakery can operate continuously. "This is the fourth project funded by the GEF in the area. Ndoukoura is a community where the solar oven is a tool specially crafted for cooking," said Toure, also designed the project. The furnaces cook but more important is that the tool preserves the environment. "The search for firewood is a headache for the village," lamented the scientist.

The solar cooker is a box that fit the sunlight which converts into heat and placed under greenhouse (CO2), one can raise the temperature to 180 degrees, which is enough to cook any dish. The designer noted, however, some problems related to the adoption by the Senegalese this oven in the 1990s, noting that Burkina Faso is the country that has the largest number of solar cookers in the world. But, "strength to continue, we returned to again offer this tool to help in household domestic work", said in charge of cookers at the Ministry of Scientific Research. Regarding environmental impact, he noted that it contributes effectively to the preservation of natural resources. "Just to accompany this technology from a small reforestation program to revive the ecosystem," said Abdoulaye Toure.

The oven has he said, "is the first revival of ecosystems is the preservation of vegetation cover." As an example, he explained that women spend 10 000 CFA francs or more per month to buy firewood. "The oven can not solve everything but it certainly can solve problems in energy, almost 70%", provided the designer. According Abdoulaye Toure, can solve a capacity for a family of 12. "Today a double oven was made that a family of 15 members can take home."

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