In March, 2016, a contractor tested Haines Solar Cookers in the Gaga Refugee Camp in Chad, and found that they outperformed the other solar cookers tested, and that a focus group in the camp preferred the Haines over the others. Accordingly, the contractor recommended the Haines Cooker for use by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The contractor’s field tests confirmed that the Haines Cooker cooks faster than the other cookers tested, and that it was more convenient to use.
For many years, NGOs have funded the distribution of cardboard “CooKit” solar cookers in the Gaga Camp. But this project has ended, and the U.N. is phasing out free distribution of wood, so there is an even greater need for solar cookers. As a result, we are seeking funding to get Haines Solar Cookers into Gaga and other refugee camps. Consistent with the UN’s new “entrepreneurial model,” outside funding would allow us to offer Haines Solar Cookers in the camps at “market” (i.e., subsidized) prices.
On May 14, 2016, Camily Wedende of Eldoret, Kenya, obtained six Haines Solar Cookers from Dinah Chiengo in Lower Nyakach, Kenya, and provided a solar cooking demonstration to a group of educators in Kisumu, Kenya. It was a very sunny day and the educators were very happy and amazed to see some meat, ugali, and green vegetables cooked in the sun. They tested the food and found that it was well cooked, and expressed interest in purchasing the cookers for $40 (4,000 KSh) each. Camily is actively promoting Haines Solar Coolers through his business, Sun Cookers International, in Eldoret.
On February 13, 2016, about 40 young people from San Diego Rotaract Clubs spent their Saturday at UCSD making almost 1,000 Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPIs), for solar cooker projects in East Africa. These simple, reusable devices use a short plastic tube with wax that melts at pasteurization temperature (about 66 C.) to show when water is safe to drink. Because they eliminate the need to heat water to boiling, they permit twice as much water to be pasteurized in a day. Roger Haines made a presentation about Rotary’s Solar Cooker Project in Gulu, Uganda, Five hundred of the WAPIs will be given away with the Haines Solar Cookers that will be distributed in March-April, 2016.
On February 1, 2016, Camily Wedende of Sun Cookers International in Eldoret, Kenya, put on a “train the trainer” program in preparation for the Gulu, Uganda, Rotary Club’s distribution of 500 Haines Solar Cookers in Northern Uganda. Geoffrey Okello of the Gulu Rotary Club reported that the group benefited greatly from Mr. Wedende’s solar cooking knowledge and experience and above all learned how to cook African staple foods in a solar cooker.
To cook Posho (Ugali), the flour needs to be mixed with cold water and covered, instead of the normal way of first boiling the water before adding the flour, and no stirring is required. Sweet potatoes and cassava need to be cut into small pieces, eggs have to be placed directly on the solar cooker instead of the normal way of boiling in water.
The group made and drank tea before cooking the following food items for lunch: Sweet potatoes, Rice, Green vegetables, Eggs and Posho (Ugali). They also cooked beans but they weren’t quite done by closure time of the training.
Attached are some pictures taken during the training.