March 2006: From Papua New Guinea’s leading daily newspaper, the Post-Courier: Technology using sunlight, aluminum foil and cardboard boxes could replace firewood as fuel for cooking, says RiftOil chief executive Jenni Lean. Mrs. Lean, the only female chief executive of an oil exploration company in the male dominated industry in the country, said she would like to introduce this simple technology to the women and children of Papua New Guinea so that it could save them time from collecting firewood. "As well as being hard on the environment, [use of firewood] means a lot of trees are cut down around Port Moresby which could otherwise provide shade and an environment for people and wildlife," she said. She would like to work with women’s organizations such as the Girl Guides and others so that local people can make their own decisions as to their value and use in Papua New Guinea. Solar cookers are made of a cardboard box covered with aluminum foil and shaped so that sunlight reflects on a black pot with the food in it. Mrs. Lean said this should be inexpensive and useful for cooking when there is sunlight. "Even if they are only used [on sunny days], they should make women’s and children’s lives a bit easier here," she said. "They have been successfully introduced in Africa. Where people have easy access to the bush, they may not want to bother learning this new way of cooking, but where fuel is scarce, the motivation may well be there to make them work." She said she had cooked chicken and rice in her cooker using just the sun. Mrs. Lean was part of the senior management team that founded Austral Pacific Energy Ltd, a successful oil and gas company based in New Zealand.
The History of Solar Cooking in Papua New GuineaEdit