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."