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INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT


Multiple communities, Kenya | Sunny Solutions

Sunny Solutions is an initiative to increase market-based solar cooker access in areas affected by environmental degradation, waterborne illnesses, and high incidence of HIV/AIDS.

In partnership with the Nyakach Community Development Association (NYACODA), Solar Cookers International (SCI) is providing local women with opportunities to generate income by making and selling solar cookers and goods baked in them. In turn, these women entrepreneurs ensure decentralized access to inexpensive solar cookers, like the CooKit.

Sunny Solutions was launched in July 2003 in Nyakach, Kenya. A network of Solar Cooker Representatives (SCOREPS) led solar cooker demonstrations at marketplaces, churches and other public venues, creating widespread awareness of solar cooking and solar water pasteurization throughout the area. After CooKits are sold, SCOREPS visit customers to answer questions and provide follow-up services. Some women also sell solar-baked cakes, while others use solar cookers in their restaurants.

The “OYWA” CooKit, developed and assembled locally by Nyakach women, is more affordable and more durable than factory-built models. The OYWA, and the women that developed it, received a top award at the 2005 Pan-African Women Invent and Innovate awards ceremony, organized by the Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network, whose awards are considered the world’s leading accolade for women inventors and innovators.

In early 2006, SCI began expanding the project to additional Kenyan communities, including Kadibo and Kajiado. In 2007 SCI was awarded the national Energy Globe award for the Sunny Solutions project. This prestigious award showcases sustainable projects that demonstrate "good, feasible solutions" to existing environmental problems.

An independent project evaluation conducted in June 2008 found widespread awareness and use of solar cookers and solar water pasteurization in Nyakach, resulting in a dramatic reduction of respiratory and waterborne diseases. Approximately 113,000 people (80 percent of the community) learned about solar cooking through promotional campaigns and demonstrations, resulting in sales of 3,154 solar CooKits to 2,593 households, each of which also received a Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI) and safe water instruction. Eighty-eight households purchased two or more CooKits.

SCI ultimately achieved or exceeded most of its Sunny Solutions goals, and now solar cookers are available through the local marketplace in Nyakach. Building on these successes, SCI is expanding across Nyanza province. Employees previously serving Nyakach have been redeployed to cover the whole of Nyanza province from an office in the more centrally located town of Kisumu. The town of Kakamega is the base for similar growth throughout Kenya's Western province, where SCI is working with shopkeepers and small businesses to stock solar cookers and supplies.

To support this project and other SCI programs, click here. (A mail-in membership form is available in pdf and doc formats.)

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Links to articles about these efforts:

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Related topics

»   Education resources
»   Humanitarian assistance
»   Advocacy

 
       
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