News and Recent Developments
- June 2010: Prof. Rose Achunine recently meet with students of the Department of physics and Industrial Physics at Evan Enwerem University in Owerri, Nigeria. The students have designed their own versions of parabolic solar cookers and solar box cookers. They wish to optimize and standardize their designs to make the cookers more efficient and reliable for use by rural dwellers and refugees, as well as urban dwellers. They will continue their efforts with this village to provide workshops to provide training for the local residents.
- May 2010 The Jos zonal director of the National environmental Standard Regulation Agency (NESREA), Mr. Samuel Bagudu Joshua, has disclosed that desert is encroaching by 0.6 kilometre per annum in the country. NESREA was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development. Joshua made the disclosure while speaking to LEADERSHIP shortly after a two-day stakeholders review of the 13 NESREA draft regulation in Jos, Plateau State capital at the weekend. According to him, desert encroachment has to do with the anthropogenic activities of man, stressing that deforestation, bush burning are activities that aggravate gully erosion in our environment. He noted that it has been proved scientifically that the desert is encroaching from the Northern parts to other part, of the country, adding that with this development, there is great danger looming. Joshua also pointed out that it is the responsibility of every Nigerian to engage in practices that will mitigate or slow down the rate of desertification so as to protect our environment. The NESREA boss observed that his agency is coming up with alternative technology like the solar stove, wood and saw dust burning stove and other initiatives as alternatives to the people, saying, "You can not tell somebody not to use the fuel wood without giving him alternative solution." He then advised Nigerians that if they must cut down a tree, they must also plant ten trees and nurture them to maturity, adding that tree serves as shelter belt, wind brake which in-turn beautify our environment. He stressed that the mandate of NESREA includes carrying out enforcement of government policies and things that will ensure healthier environment in the country.
- March 9, 2010: Commonwealth Youth Conversation Commemorating the 2010 Commonwealth Day celebration on the theme ‘Science, Technology and Society'. This Year’s theme ‘Science, Technology and Society’ focuses on providing quality education on the role of science and technology on youth and societal development across the commonwealth. Noticing solar cooking's active contributions to youth development, they are hereby invited to participate in the Commonwealth Day Celebration featuring Youth Roundtable Dialogue with Policy Makers, Special Awards, Mock Head of Government meeting (CHOGM)/Debate for students on the theme. To be held at 8:30am in Banquet Hall 2 of the Agura Hotel in Abuja.
- November 2009: Last year, Margaret Koshoni presented a solar cooking seminar in Lagos. The seminar was arranged by the Cosmopolitan Women’s Club, of which Koshoni is the secretary. A standing-room only crowd of nearly 400 representatives from government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, women’s groups, schools, and even a few banks, attended. Prior to the event, Koshoni and her colleagues made over 1,000 solar CooKits and “cone cookers.” Koshoni says that cone-shaped solar cookers are well suited for many Nigerian women that have balconies because the cookers are elevated on a stand above shadows created by balcony railings. The cookers are also easy to move without disturbing the food. Five cone cookers and three CooKits were used to demonstrate solar cooking to the crowd. Beans, meat stews, fish stews, vegetable soup, yams, eggs, and two types of rice were all prepared and sampled. The cone cookers cost about $25 to construct using Mylar® reflector material and water-resistant plastic sheet covering for the back. With financial support from local banks and businesses, each school was given five cone cookers and one CooKit free of charge, along with a copy of Solar Cookers International’s plans booklet. Most of the other attendees received one complimentary cone cooker, while solar CooKits were available for purchase for about $15. Koshoni also made and distributed cloth bags for solar cooker transport and storage. The Lagos State Government’s Commissioner for Women Affairs encouraged Koshoni to arrange future workshops for all Lagos State Local Government Areas.
- May 2008: Margaret Koshoni reports: "On May 14, 2008 a seminar was arranged by the Cosmopolitan Women Club (of which I am the Hon. Secretary). My initial aim was to do the workshop for the club members only. They then decided to involve others. Government agencies, NGO’s, Women Organizations, Schools, and multinational organizations, and a few banks were invited to attend. The venue was at the Air force officer’s mess at Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island. The hall had 250 sitting capacity, and we did not expect to fill all the seats. Surprisingly, the whole seating arrangement proved inadequate, and we had to bring in over a 100 more seats. Even then people were still standing outside, and in the hallways. It was so well attended that more organizations are now clamouring for a repeat of the workshop. My office had prepared over 1000 CooKits, and Cone Cookers. The cone cookers I find best suit the need of the Nigerian women. Most people live in flats with balconies; the structure of the balconies will shade the CooKit and make a shadow. The Cone Cooker being placed on a stand has the advantage of elevation and the stand can be moved about without disturbing the cooking."
- May 2008: Joseph Odey reports, "A training program on solar cooking has commenced in New Bussa, Niger state of Nigeria. The training is on solar energy and its benefit to man and his environs. A form has been printed and is still on sale as the training itself has commenced progressively on the 19th of may, 2008. Each candidte will graduate with a certificate of attending training program on solarcooking organized by Odey Renewable Energy Technology Co. Ltd. This program will create job opportunities for youths who are out of school and without employment. I want the entire nation to be informed about this good gesture aimed at alleviating poverty due to high cost of cooking fuel in Nigeria where there is abundant sun to cook our food most time of the year."
- November 2007: Solar cooking promoter Joseph Odey has formed the company Joe – Kate Solar Energy Technology (JOKSET) Nig. Ltd. Odey became interested in solar cooking in 2000. He learned informally about solar cooking from SCI’s literature, and has since attended various seminars and conferences. JOKSET’s activities include lectures on the uses of solar energy to conserve the environment, seminars on renewable energy, solar cooking workshops for communities, and solar cooker construction training. Odey says that JOKSET has the capacity to produce affordable solar cookers in large quantities, and is seeking support for expansion.
- May 2006: The first joint workshop on solarcooking was organized by my organization with the collaboration of GirlsGuide/Scout of America for the GG of Nigeria. The peogram was held at the Women Centre, Area 11, Garki Abuja FCT, Nigeria. Ms. Barby Pulliam of GG/SCOUT of America who is my colleaque on solar cooker promotion was my partner and part sponsor of the programme. She also sponsored Stella and Esther from Tanzania and Kenya respectively to come and join me as foreign partners. The materials for the productions of the cookers used at the occation were gotten here in Nigeria without importing any from outside the country. The workshop started on the 15th to 20th May, 2006. Total number of 55 GG MEMBERS FROM 25 STATES out of the 36 states of Nigeria were in attendance. It was organized solely for the Girl Guides association of Nigeria. I am happy to report that the result of the workshop was sucessful as food items, like rice and stew were cooked as samples to the taste of all the participants. Especially that the vGG members were seeing the cookers for the first time. The idea for the hosting of this workshop was conceived by me and was supported by Barby Pulliam while we were in Nairobi Seminar on Solarcooking in February, 2005. I followed up on the proposal to the GG of Nigeria Headquater and make sure it was implemented and hence the report for your perusals.
- November 2005: Joseph Odey exhibited solar cookers at the "Fish For All" summit in Abuja, Nigeria this past August. The summit brought together industry and government leaders to discuss the current status and future directions of African fisheries and aquaculture. Mr. Odey estimates that over 90% of the participants witnessed his exhibit. He says that demand for the solar cookers is high, and he believes that Nigeria is ripe for solar cooker proliferation, but governmental support is needed. While speaking with the press, Mr. Odey said, "Nigeria is blessed with abundant sunshine that will benefit its citizen if the technology is supported by the government." His efforts to spread solar cookers in Nigeria are currently under financial restraint, and he is looking for assistance in this regard.
- July 2005: Mr. Joseph Odey of the Kainji Lake region reports that he has built and distributed 290 solar cookers in the past few years. In addition, 152 people were taught to make and use their own solar cookers. Demonstrations have been given in 18 villages. Before promoting, Mr. Odey built and tested his own cooker from instructions published by Solar Cookers International. His first solar meal was rice, but he soon moved on to cooking stew, cake, bread and other foods. Mr. Odey uses the following locally available tools and supplies: cardboard, aluminum foil, glue, knife, scissors and tape, as well as black pots for cooking in. Though he does sell some cookers, he pays production, distribution and travel expenses. "The beneficiaries confirmed that the [meals] from the cookers are quite palatable, but not for someone who wants food in a hurry," Mr. Odey reports.
- March 2003: Says Mr. Odey, "I am happy to let you know that a total of 113 cookers were distributed to 15 villages within the Kainji Lake area, with an average of five cookers per village. This distribution was done by demonstration after teaching them how to make and use the cookers. Food ingredients of different varieties were cooked with the cooker as samples and were tasted by all those present. The cookers used for demonstration were then sold to interested buyers at the cost of N350.00 only. After two months, I went around the villages where the cookers were distributed for monitoring and evaluation. It was discovered that more than 200 additional cookers had been constructed by the villagers and were in use. Some migrating fishermen carry theirs along with them. My reaching out to them with the technology was to impart the knowledge of how to make and use it. Materials for construction were displayed for the people for proper viewing and identification. I purchased all these materials and took them along with me to the field. At the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) conference held in Maiduguri, Nigeria, in November 2001, solar cookers were demonstrated by me and it was discovered that the cooking times were faster due to the intense sunlight in that area. The State Governor who witnessed the program commended the technology and wished that it would be extended to the state."
- March 2002: The Association for the Popularization of Solar Energy for Domestic and Industrial Use recently hosted a successful national conference on solar cooking, solar drying and household lighting. The organization is currently developing a solar energy village where simple solar technologies, including solar cookers and dryers, will be manufactured. Contact: Dr. Rose Achunine
The History of Solar Cooking in Nigeria
This giant African country has a wide range of individual and group supporters of solar cooking. The country was a 1992 stop on a solar promotion tour conducted by Dr. Robert Metcalf, an SCI founder, in which he provided demonstrations in a number of African nations. One organization with which he worked is, as example, the Nigerian Society for the Improvement of Rural People. Its leader, Chris Ugwa, reports that around 50 families are regularly using solar cookers to pasteurize water and to cook food. They continue to train household cooks and are aiming to reach 100 new families per year.
Another Nigerian, Lydia Gordon Nkan of the Environmental Education Institution reports that her group has^ taught hundreds of students to make and use solar cookers. Her work was principally in primary and secondary schools, with an ambitious goal of seeing that every household in the country would in coming years be using solar cooking methods. The problem in much of Africa, and true in this case, is the lack of financing for costs like publicity on radio and television, which would create broad awareness and demand. For the poorest part of the population, the cost of even the least expensive cooker is a major hurdle, also true in many other developing nations.
A number of universities in Nigeria have promoted the technology, as has the Solar Energy Association of Nigeria. Rotary Clubs in the country also have plans to work through the partnering activities of Rotary International to start a large project that could eventually cover a substantial proportion of the country. This project which requires resources of time and money from the local clubs has not yet come to be a reality, but remains on the drawing boards for the future.
In the mid 1990s, a foreign oil company working in Nigeria made an attempt to introduce solar cookers in the communities they were working in. After several years of effort, they conducted an evaluation that did not yield positive results. For the most part, cookers had not been used nor found useful by villagers. It appeared from the evaluation document that relatively little attention had been paid to appropriate training and follow up assistance to new users, a common pattern which is almost certain to lead to less than hoped for results.
In many ways, however, Nigeria - in at least major parts of its territory - is well suited for solar cooking. An excellent array of supporters exists in the country, many with small scale but persistent programs under way across the cbuntry. Nigeria appears to be an excellent candidate for more concentrated promotion.
Climate, Culture, and Special Considerations
- Solar Cookers International has rated Nigeria as the #5 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 Nigeria with fuel scarcity but ample sun in 2020 is 12,400,000.
- Northern part of the country: Dry, sunny, and sparcely populated. Southern part of the country: Rain, abundant firewood, and high population density. (Source: Juan Urrutia Sanz, 2010-Feb-25)
- Discussion of West-central Africa's suitability for solar cooking
- Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables
According to Oladosu and Adegbulugbe (1994), the energy consuming activities in the sector are cooking, lighting and operation of electrical appliances (non-substitutable electricity). In 1989 the shares of these activities in final energy consumption were 91%, 6% and 3% respectively. Total final energy consumption was 487 PJ. The major energy carriers are fuelwood, kerosene, liquelified petroleum gas (LPG) and electricity. Small amounts of charcoal and coal are also used. Fuelwood is mainly consumed in this sector and accounted for over half of total national energy consumption in 1989. A small amount is consumed in rural industries and the commercial sector. This means that fuelwood constitutes about 80% of total residential final energy consumption (Source: Status of Renewable Energy in Nigeria).
Possible funders for solar cooking projects in Nigeria
- August 2005: A Solar Cooking Case Study: Investigating Appropriate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development in Nigeria - Carole St. Laurent
Articles in the media
- April 2010: Desert Encroachment Now 0.6 Kilometre – NESREA ("The NESREA boss observed that his agency is coming up with alternative technology like solar stove, wood and saw dust burning stove and other initiatives as alternatives to the people.")
- July 2009: Nigeria’s Epileptic Electricity, Don Advances Permanent Solution - Osun Defender
- July 2008: The Effects of Biomass Burning On Mother Nature - allAfrica.com
Audio and Video
|April 2008: Solar Cookers and Laptops for Nigeria|
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
Manufacturers and vendors