Solar Cooker Program


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Training displaced women to make and use solar-powered cookers

The task of preparing a meal in Darfur brings a challenging set of problems and risks. The persistent conflict in Darfur has led to the deforestation of areas around IDP camps. Shortages of fuel wood have had severe negative impact on the safety and survival of Darfuri women, the primary collectors of firewood. Each month they must travel increasingly long distances to find wood for fuel. The personal danger inherent in the chore is formidable: women are at high risk of attacks and sexual abuse once they leave the camp. And as households consume the limited energy source, the deforestation of Darfur advances.

With over two million displaced people — mainly women and children — the cycle of degradation and shortages will continue in Darfur unless effective alternatives are implemented.

Women boiling water

Why Solar Cookers?

The solar cooker is a simple, appropriate tool for use in the hot, dry conditions of Darfur. All types of local foods can be cooked using this cooker. While the technology does not eliminate wood-fueled cooking during rainy periods, it does deliver key benefits:

Solar cooking:

  • Reduces fire wood gathering and the related exposure to sexual violence;
  • Reduces the consumption of firewood, slowing deforestation;
  • Saves time. Women have time and energy for other important child-rearing and household activities;
  • Presents no risk of burns to small children or food;
  • Potentially provides employment for women who make and sell the cookers.

Click here to see chart of Solar Cooker Trainees 2006-2009.

How much does a Solar Cooker Cost? The cost of one Solar Cooker kit – and training — is $30. The cost includes: cardboard (4- or 5-ply thickness), aluminum foil, glue, two cooking pots, paint for pots, brushes, cutting tools, one year’s supply of cooking bags (approximately 24); shipping costs within Sudan, and training

What are the prospects for this project

Changing the habits of cooking come slowly to most people. DPDO believes that three to five years will be required for training and follow up to ensure that the solar cooker is widely adopted. Investing time, energy, and funding in training is the key to success of this initiative.

DPDO will also introduce the technology at local schools. Each child is a natural bridge to households where the use and creative application of this tool can be encouraged.

For project information, contact:

Stephen Harrigan, Darfur Solar Cookers Project Manager
E-mail: [email protected]
Cell: 260-486-5588 Office: 202-393-8150


DPDO Reports

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Haj Yousif women in training workshop

Haj Yousif women in training workshop

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3) Mail a check to:

Darfur Peace & Development Organization P.O. Box 66475 Washington, DC 20035-6475