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SCI News


Tanzania and TanzSolar  |  June 23, 2008

I traveled to Musoma, Tanzania to pursue collaborations between SCI and TanzSolar ~ a newly established nonprofit that will provide affordable solar panels to local internet organizations, health clinics, schools, small businesses and individuals throughout Tanzania. While TanzSolar specializes in photovoltaic (PV) systems, they are interested in expanding their solar reach and open to working with SCI to bring simple solar cooking and water pasteurization techniques to the area as well.

Marianne and her sons showed me great hospitality while I was in Musoma, treating me like family and taking time from their busy schedules to help with a solar demo and introduce me to some active and influential business people in the community; like Sergio Velasquez of Mano a Mano, and Robi Machaba of JuaSun, a local internet company that works closely with Marianne and TanzSolar. With their help we rounded up a good group of locally active individuals interested in improving their environment by providing alternative methods of cooking, treating water and generating income in their community. Together we organized a very successful day of informational presentations on solar cooking and water pasteurization ideologies, processes and techniques, generating a great deal of participation and interest. With the help of those listed above and SCI's East Africa Office, SCI and TanzSolar will plan to host a 5-day integrated solar workshop on the TanzSolar grounds later in the year.



Mt Kiliminjaro in the distance, from the window of the tiny plane we took from Dar es Salaam to the small town of Musoma on Lake Victoria.




Marianne and me.




The TanzSolar grounds ~ a good sized compound with three buildings and a massive yard.




The other two building on the TanzSolar compound ~ straight ahead is a workshop, and to the right is another house / living quarters.




The hugs lawn space gets a lot of sun and is perfect for solar cooking and water pasteurization.




These are two different clay stoves found in the market in Musoma, both burn charcoal 'conservatively', but charcoal requires a great deal of wood to produce and seems to be the leading method of cooking in Musoma.




We bought pots at the market and painted them black for the demo the next day. If we had had a bit more time we would have let them 'bake' in the sun for a few days ~ as it was they were a bit 'tacky' but served their purpose.




Marianne painting lids. The pots and lids are painted black to attract the heat of the sun, and the pots are placed into a heat-resistant clear plastic bag which has a greenhouse effect of trapping the heat and keeping it in the pot.




Like here in the US, black pots are not as prevalent as silver ones, so painting pots black is an essential component to solar cooking.




Black chalkboard paint works very well for painting pots since it is a matte substance which eliminates shine and does not chip easily, and is also available in practically any village in Africa.




We set up 10 CooKits on the lawn to pasteurize water and cook food during the demonstration / presentation.




One of the pots contained water and a WAPI, and one of the first things I was able to show people was how easily and quickly a CooKit can pasteurize a pot of water, making potentially contaminated water safe to drink.




I showed a PowerPoint presentation, the SunCookers DVD about SCI's exploits in Kenya, and some photos of the recent Integrated Solar Cooking workshop in Uganda to the 20-ish participants.




The presentation was given in the living room of TanzSolar.




It was a small and personal group in a comfortable atmosphere, where discussion was encouraged, drinks served, posters up, etc.




The Q&A session was lively and I see a lot of interest in possible project directions in Musoma.




During breaks in the presentation we all went outside to check on the progress of the food, which took a little longer due to slight cloud-cover, but turned out very well in the end.




Even though the day was slightly cloudy on and off, the local dishes cooked well.




Participants were amazed at how hot the pots got in the solar cookers.




We cooked 9 local dishes, and everything turned out exceptionally well.




I interpret this one as an amazed gaze up at the sun :)

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