Alan's Journal on Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
Alan’s Journal Blog
SCI Science Director, Alan Bigelow, PhD, has returned from bringing life-saving solar cookers to families in Kakuma Refugee Camp, thanks to you, our incredible supporters. We are excited to share with our readers a special insight into Alan’s journey through the following series of excerpts from his travel journal.
· March 4, 2019
o Met with faculty at the University of Nairobi; we set up SCI’s Performance Evaluation Process (PEP) testing station to measure the power of different solar cookers. We had a full day of training; it went well.
· March 6, 2019
o Successfully performed the first test on the Heliac solar cooker (brought by local manufacturer Ecomandate).
· March 8, 2019
o University staff are now taking over the PEP testing. A local SCI Associate visited the University to observe the PEP testing process… was very impressed!
· March 9, 2019
o Gave a talk at IKUU Boys School on solar cooking and toured the school kitchens, which use smoky, costly fires. The School cateress and I discussed solar cooking as a smart option. Have also introduced solar cooking at the University of Chuka, to a sustainability collaboration between Denmark and Kenya, and to community leaders at the Kiini Institute.
· March 14, 2019
o SCI and representatives from nonprofit organizations and leading government officials from around the world met at the United Nations Environment Assembly. Talks raised great awareness around necessary, sustainable energy solutions.
· March 17, 2019
o Headed into Kakuma Refugee Camp to meet with a vocational training facility. Future collaboration between training facilities and local manufacturers and fellow nonprofit organizations could help build local capacity and job opportunities.
· March 20, 2019
o Have met with countless new solar cooks. We are pleased that with solar cooking families can save money, have more to eat, drink clean water, and children won’t be breathing smoke. Today, a woman named Harerimana shared solar cooked food with me. I am seeing that these solar cookers are creating a hub of usage and social support groups!
· March 21, 2019
o Visited the students of Gambella School in the camp and talked about solar cooking. I am happy this knowledge is already being passed on to future generations.
· March 29, 2019
o Had the final recap with our collaborators here. We feel good about the connections formed and how the capacity for solar cooking in Kenya has been greatly strengthened and is spreading worldwide thanks to our awesome supporters!