Last updated: 5 January 2017
Solar Cooking Netherlands initiated solar cooking programs in Eritrea in 2004, and a few years later, began projects in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Somalia/Puntland. It has since merged with the KoZon Foundation and has become Solar Cooking KoZon.
From their website's introduction; "Solar Cooking KoZon's main objective is to promote integrated solar cooking and the use of clean energy at the lowest possible cost. To achieve this we choose a business approach, whereby women are encouraged to participate in the local economy."
The introduction of the CooKit was the start of SCN-KoZon projects. The weather conditions seemed to be changing and gradually it became clear the CooKit needed to be combined with other wood saving technologies, such as hay basket, heat-saving ovens, the more expensive solar box cooker, and the parabolic cooker for collective use. Together with water pasteurization we call this: Integrated Sustainable Solar Cooking (ISSC) [aka Integrated Cooking Method]. Solar Cooking NL is involved as well in the development of a high temperature cooker to bake injera (type of pancake).
In addition to use of the CooKit we also provide information about the use of a hay basket, where the cooking process can be finished. Although wood-saving stoves are not really part of solar cooking, we do provide information about them where relevant. The term Integrated Sustainable Solar Cooking (ISSC) refers to a combination of the three elements, CooKit, hay basket and wood-saving stove.
After more then 4 years of experience with our projects, Solar Cooking Netherlands adjusts its vision and points of departure. The most important points out of our report Integrated Solar cooking and Water Pasteurization a Conceptual Framework, introduced by the foundation Solar Cooking Netherlands in December 2008 [Thomas et al]:
- SCN-KoZon will stimulate quality of life for poor African women and
- In the same time contribute to environmental protection
- SCN-KoZon will create possibilities for local initiatives and entrepreneurship through introduction of solar cooking and other sustainable resources of energy for cooking, food cultivation and water purification for mother and child
- With this all SCN-KoZon give support to diminish the deforestation in this African countries.
SCN-KoZon tries to reach the mentioned goals through:
- to focus on the families with the lowest income
- to develop strategies and resources of Integrated Sustainable Cooking, food processing and water purification through which they become available
SCN-KoZon chairwoman Clara Thomas is currently organizing follow-up meetings with new solar cooks to collect feedback and discuss challenges and success. According to Ms. Thomas, evaluation and adaptation are essential. "In this way," she says, "a tradition of thousands of years of firewood cooking can be transformed to solar cooking with purely the sun as heat source." At least one woman in the Hagaz village seems already convinced. Of her experiences thus far, she says, "We prepare goat, rice, lentils and shiro in the CooKit and the taste is excellent!"
- January 2017: Clara Thomas says goodbye - Solar Cooking KoZon reports: "To our regret Clara Thomas, member of the board and country coordinator East Africa, has decided to give up her activities after 13 years Solar Cooking The Netherlands (SCN) and Solar Cooking KoZon. Her departure is a great loss to us and to our partners in Africa. In 2004 Clara Thomas founded SCN. Until the merger [with the KoZon Foundation], she was president and project leader, first in Uganda and later on in Ethiopia. Thanks to her boundless dedication and expert knowledge, she made a very important contribution to the dissemination of solar cooking means and techniques in East Africa. Not only was she active in Africa, but also through her many contacts both nationally and internationally she successfully advocated the need to use sustainable energy, and in particular solar cooking. She contributed extensively to the preparations for the merger. During this past year she has transferred her knowledge and experience to our project coordinators and she has fully coached her successor, Alewijn van Asperen. We will miss Clara. But it is good to know, for Clara as well as for us, that Solar Cooking The Netherlands – KoZon is, also thanks to her, a new, sound and strong foundation that is ready for the future."
- September 2016: The Solar Connect Association (SCA) visited the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda where they met with the Assistant Camp Commander, Mr. Kintu Khalid. SCA instructors trained 20 people from different villages to be instructors themselves. The training dealt with solar CooKits, Water Pasteurization Indicators, heat-retention cooking, improved combustion stoves, and the maintenance of same. Continued efforts at Nakivale, and also at the Oruchinga Refugee Settlement, will be the priority for SCA in 2017. At Nakivale, SCA is currently working with the Julu camp that has about 22,000 refugees. They have distributed 60 solar cookers and 14 improved combustion stoves. In the Oruknga Refugee Settlement, they have distributed 70 solar cooker cookers and 12 improved combustion stoves. SCA plans to sell 1000 solar cookers in the two settlements by end of August 2017. Solar Cooking KoZon has contributed additional funding to help with the projects at Nakivale and Orukhinga.
- October 2016: Pilot project in Diouloulou, South Senegal - In Casamance, the southernmost region of Senegal, a solar cooking pilot project has been launched with assistance from Solar Cooking KoZon. CooKit and hay basket demonstrations were conducted and received with such enthusiasm that a local core group has begun production of the solar panel cookers and hay baskets for marketing in Diouloulou and neighbouring villages.
- September 2016: Solar Cooking KoZon has released its Annual Report for 2015
- September 2016: In July 2016 Solar Cooking KoZon was given the opportunity to present themselves at a meeting in the Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) in The Hague, Netherlands. Read more... - (English version)
- September 2016: Outreach demonstrations in Uganda - Solar Cooking KoZon with the Solar Connect Association conducted solar cooking demonstrations with parabolic solar cookers, and heat-retention cooking with hay baskets, in the Isingiro district of Uganda during the month of June. Read more... - (English version)
- September 2016: Mali women with disabilities receive assistance with access to solar cooking - Sixty women from Bamako and Sikasso, Mali, attended a workshop organized by Solar Cooking KoZon in August. With limited ability to gather wood for fuel, the solar cookers and hay baskets have reduced their wood use by 60 to 70%. Read more... - (English version)
- January 2016: Since 2007 Wilde Ganzen and Solar Cooking KoZon have supported the Solar Cooking project in Uganda, implemented by Solar Connect Association (SCA). Mid-2013 a business plan was decided on, including a schedule of Integrated Solar Cooking (ISC) activities during the following five years. In the course of 2014 it became clear that the objective of financial independence had been achieved. The business expanded from Mbarara in the South West. In 2014 construction of the Renewable Energy Centre with larger ISC production, training and distribution facilities was started with financial support from Wilde Ganzen and SCN-KoZon. In its beautiful location on the main road between Uganda, The Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda, the building, fitted out with solar panels, is ready to continue and expand its activities. In short, SCA is the owner of a social Solar Cooking business for the production, marketing and sale of solar and other energy-saving cooking appliances. The small Solar Cooking enterprise is doing well. In 2014 it sold 5,460 CooKit sets, 2,540 hay baskets and 5,040 wood-saving cooking appliances. A promising development. In the year ahead solar lamps and very small solar panels will be sold as well. SCA is investigating which other energy-friendly appliances could best be marketed and included in the assortment of clean energy cooking appliances. In the coming years serious efforts will be made as well to expand the market into other regions in Uganda.
- January 2016: Solar Cooking The Netherlands - KoZon reports: "We have carefully continued this trend in the latest project together with the Association des Femmes Ingénieurs du Mali (AFIMA) in Tiby, in the Segou area. Eight hundred and fifty Women have been trained. From this group, four cooperatives have been created. They were to continue as businesses that would disseminate solar cooking while being coached by AFIMA. However, our partner has decided that it prefers to continue with other charitable projects. We are therefore going our separate ways The new Renewable Energy Centre near Mbarara ISC information and promotion in Ethiopia for the time being. It is regrettable because AFIMA has been of great value in the dissemination of ISC in Mali. To ensure that the cooperatives will be able to continue, we are attempting to link them to the Togo Tilé project."
- January 2016: Solar Cooking The Netherlands - KoZon reports: "An extensive EU Renewable Energy Technology project (RET) was started in Ethiopia in 2001 of which Integrated Solar Cooking (ISC) is part. In total 20 RET workshops have been built in six provinces across Ethiopia. Production and distribution (sale) of solar, biogas and wood-saving cooking appliances started at the end of 2015. In 2014 and 2015 large-scale public promotion and training of local employees took place. At the same time a start was made with the marketing of solar lamps and small solar panels (to charge cell phones, radios). The Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA-ReC/N), a department of Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Addis Ababa manages the project. Solar Cooking The Netherlands (SCN-KoZon), as a partner in this project, is since 2011 responsible for the transfer of ISC and has contributed financially on a yearly basis. In 2011 SCN-KoZon appointed Fikirte Regassa Beyene as its representative and solar cooking expert in Ethiopia. Today Fikirte R.B. is still in office as project officer and member of HoA-ReC/N's Energy staff. In 2012 a Solar Cooking business was set up in the community of Awura Amba (North Ethiopia). Its implementation is in the hands of the NGO ORDA in collaboration with the village's staff. A large ISC workshop was built in 2013. Currently a lot of effort is put into the marketing and sale of ISC cooking appliances." Read more...
- December 2015: Solar Cooking the Netherlands - KoZon has published their December 2015 newsletter
- January 2015: SCA in Uganda continues to increase its sales of Integrated Solar Cooking (ISC) products. The objective is to distribute 10,000 ISC cooking appliances per year. This includes parabolic reflectors! SCA operates independently from SCN-KoZon. New construction in Biharwe continues to be delayed. SCN-KoZon is sponsoring this new construction. HoAREC works together with 6 NGOs on the construction of 20 centres. In six of the 20 centres, CooKits, hay baskets and WAPIs will be produced. Nine centres have been completed of which six are ready to start. Fikirte Regassa, SCN-KoZon's representative at HoAREC's is making tremendous efforts in assisting the work of the NGOs. This includes training sessions that she organises in the provinces where the centres will soon start production and sales. She also carries out many coordination tasks. Awara Amba has now produced enough ISC products to start focusing on sales. NGO ORDA is currently finalising its advisory tasks, including the organisation of a meeting with all Awara Amba authorities that will in future support the market development efforts.
- March 2014: Cooking Resource Center under construction in Biharwe - Kawesa Mukasa, director for the Solar Connect Association, reports that construction is underway for the Renewable Energy for Cooking Resource Center located in Biharwe, Uganda. The center will provide all types of fuel efficient cook stoves, both solar and biomass, and will be fabricated at the center. The center will also distribute information on renewable energy for cooking and train young people to create small scale enterprises in fabrication and distribution of solar cookers and efficient biomass stoves. The construction of the Renewable Energy Center is being funded by SCA with support from Solar Cooking Netherlands and Wilde Ganzen.
- August 2013: Uganda NGO with proven profitability plans for expansion at new location - Henk Crietee, from Solar Cooking Netherlands, was in Uganda for two weeks in early August to evaluate Solar Connect Association (SCA) project activities. During Crietee's visit, a piece of land was secured in Mbarara, on which SCA will construct a building to house a new Renewable Energy Center. Integrated solar cooking appliances will be produced, advertised and sold from this new location, which will offer better exposure for their products to local residents, tourists, and political opinion leaders. While SCA has shown itself to be relatively self sufficient in terms of covering operation costs, through the sales of solar cookers, hay baskets and rocket stoves, they cannot afford yet to construct a new building. Participation by Solar Cooking Netherlands with help in securing the land has been appreciated. Donors wishing to help contribute to the building construction can contact Solar Cooking Netherlands. This fledgling effort is another example that demonstrates solar cooking, and related integrated cooking methods, can be a successful business by incorporating local manufacturing, sales, and long term consumer support.
- February 2013: SCN-KoZon reports their Uganda partner, Solar Connect Association, under the direction of Kawesa Mukasa, has his promising ISC Small Enterprise, is now making a profit and is completely financially independent. Thirty people are generating income by manuafacturing, public promotion and marketing activities, all combined with intensive ISC sale programs. We are really very impressed by their work and consider this as a model for other ISC initiatives. SCA has been invited by NGOs in Ethiopia/ and Addis Ababa University to perform an ISC training to thirty young people and future small enterprise employees on the Improved CooKit, April 1-5 in Ethiopia; In Ethiopia SCN-KoZon together with partner HoA-REC (Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center), twenty Renewable Energy Centers for Rural Households are being built and developed. In all the centers integrating solar cookers will be part of the small enterprise. HoA-REC and SCN-KoZon assigned Fikirte Regassa Beyene being SCN-KoZon representative in Ethiopia and becoming ISC expert for Ethiopia. She has an important innovative and organizational responsibility.
Audio and video
- August 2008:
- September 2016: Solar Cooking KoZon Annual Report for 2015
- March 2010: A 2009 report of work completed in the field by SCN-KoZon, of solar cooking and water pasteurization projects in various African countries. See: First Recording of ISSC Project Essentials and Proceedings.