In late January 2020, 33 women in the Palabek Refugee Community in northern Uganda received Haines 2.0 Solar Cookers and were extensively trained in how to use them. The project was organized by the Gulu-based Alliance for African Assistance in partnership with the African Refugee Education Project, the San Diego Rotary Club, Solar Household Energy and the Solar Connect Association of Uganda. The goal is to establish 33 women in the community as long-term solar cooking enthusiasts. Three of the women will be selected by their peers as to conduct periodic surveys to evaluate the long term use and adoption of the cookers, and the possibility of establishing a sustainable solar cooker enterprise in the community.
On April 29, Haines Solar Cookers and our partners in Kenya, India, and the San Diego Rotary Club, distributed 500 Haines-Copenhagen Solar Cookers in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. This video was made by Nairobi Television station KTV. The cookers used the same reflective material and cooking sleeve as the regular Haines Solar Cooker, without the polycarbonate cover.
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.