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Solar Cooking:This week's featured article/2007-08-26

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Biharwe village Uganda 2007

Since 1994, Solar Connect Association (SCA) has promoted solar cooking in Uganda. The simple and inexpensive solar cooker is changing lives in project areas. Income levels and health have noticeably risen in homesteads using solar cookers. Solar cookers prevent illnesses caused by inhaling smoke and people can pasteurize water using solar energy. Surplus food that used to be wasted is solar dried and used later. People have used solar drying for centuries but not in such a modern way.

Girls are liberated from having to walk long distances looking for firewood each day. Instead, they are now free to attend school, and the number of girls enrolling in village primary schools of targeted areas is rising. Married women can work their fields while the sun does cooking. Women are baking cakes, bread and canning fruits and marketable dry fruits. Fewer trees are cut for fuelwood and shrubs and wild trees are beginning to cover once bare hills.

As of July 2007, Kawesa Mukasa reports, "We are now busy with Clara Thomas of Solar Cooking Netherlands on a cooker promotion project in four villages. So far this year we have sold 680 CooKits. We have also engaged a lady to make for us hay baskets which we sell for heat-retention cooking. These assist the CooKit when the clouds suddenly appear." Clara Thomas gave us materials to make 100 water pasteurization indicators. We have used those materials to make 89 good WAPIs. We plan to make 4000 WAPIs in 2008 so that every cookkit user in the 4 villages gets a WAPI as well as a hay basket.
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