Solar cookers have been used in refugee camps in recent years, often with thousands of refugee families preparing a large part of their daily meals on solar cookers. Project evaluations have shown that fuelwood use has been reduced by up to 40%. Integrated cooking projects have been established in refugee camps Eastern Africa and Nepal. A November 2009 report from onsite visit to the Touloum Refugee Camp in Chad shows strong uptake of integrated cooking by refugee families.The refugees in some camps are not given any firewood to cook their daily rations. They have to travel, sometimes overnight, as far as 30 km to collect firewood. In other camps, the refugees are not allowed to gather wood in the area surrounding the camp. In this case, the refugees may be forced to trade some of their food rations for firewood or charcoal with which to cook their remaining meager rations.
As of 2012, Jewish World Watch reports that as a result of a joint security force between Chad and Sudan, violence against women has declined some since the project began seven years ago. Cord, their partner at the Farchana Refugee Camp, sees solar cooking as a way to keep girls in school, and not spending hours finding fuelwood for cooking.
Most significant solar cooking projects
- The Solar Cooker Project helps to improve the lives of Darfur refugees living in Chad - More than 50,000 people in four Darfur refugee camps in Eastern Chad are using locally made solar CooKits designed by Solar Cookers International. The project is run by Tchad Solaire and by the British NGO CORD. It is funded by Jewish World Watch and the Kozon Foundation. The project has improved the safety and survival of the women in the refugee camps. Previously, they were faced with dangerous and arduous trips outside the camps to collect scarce firewood.
- 85,000 refugees from Bhutan have solar cooked their meals in Nepal - The Vajra Foundation Holland (Stichting Vajra) has worked in the Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal since 1995 to bring solar cooking and heat-retention cooking to the refugees there. By 2013 some 85,000 refugees were cooking their meals using these methods. The on-the-ground work is done by Vajra Foundation Nepal and financing is provided by the Dutch Lottery and the Dutch NGO Stichting Vluchteling.
- See other Most significant solar cooking projects worldwide.
News and recent developments
- January 2012: Jewish World Watch has provided a grant of $200,000 USD to the UK NGO Cord to provide CooKits to refugees at the Farchana Refugee Camp in Chad. This new project brings the number of refugee camps where solar cooking projects are underway to ten.
- (See individual refugee camp pages below for more extensive news.)
Best Practices Manual
Jewish World Watch has created a manual that details what has been learned that will assure a successful refugee project: Solar Cooker Project: Best Practices Manual
Refugee camps with current solar cooking projects
- Touloum Refugee Camp (Chad)
- Iridimi Refugee Camp (Chad)
- Oure Cassoni Refugee Camp (Chad)
- Gaga Refugee Camp (Chad)
- Farchana Refugee Camp (Chad)
- Beldangi Refugee Camp (Nepal)
- El Serief Internally Displaced Persons Camp (Sudan)
- Sakali Refugee Camp (Sudan)
- Orukiga Refugee Camp (Uganda)
Refugee camps with past solar cooking projects
Manufactured solar cooker models suitable for transport to refugee camps
Articles in the media
- February 2009: Simple Tool That Saves Women's Lives - Parade Magazine
- November 2008: LAist Interview: Rachel Andres of the Solar Cooker Project - LAist
- August 2008:Working to End Darfurian Genocide - Larchmont Chronicle
- May 2008: Rays of hope for Darfur refugees - Guardian Weekly (UK)
- April 2008: Challah For Hunger donates profits - UCLA Bruin
- June 2004: Solar cooker offers ray of hope for refugee environment - UNHCR
Audio and video
- July 2011::
- March 2013:
- An interview with Dr. Bob Metcalf discussing the use of solar water pasteurizers in refugee camps
- Solar cooking and health - Dar Curtis
- Q&A: In search of cheaper, safer fuel for refugees
- All solar cooking manufacturers on Alibaba.com
- Jewish World Watch
- Vajra Foundation Holland
- KoZon Foundation
- Solar Cookers International
- Promoting solar cooking
- Integrated Cooking Method
- Cooking for large groups
- Partnership for Clean Indoor Air
- Derk Rijks
- Stephen and Sheila Harrigan
- Water pasteurization
- Commercial water pasteurization devices