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EcoZoom recently took a trip to Eastlands in Nairobi to meet the well-known “Mama Solar”. Stewart MacLachlan from EcoZoom UK had been in touch with her for the donation of three EcoZoom charcoal stoves to NAREWAMA.
Faustine Lutta Odaba is the founder and CEO of NAREWAMA (Natural Resources and Waste Management Alliance) and a prominent public figure in the solar community in Kenya. Working in the solar energy field for over 10 years showed her what rural women needed most. She started NAREWAMA in 2010.
Mama Solar began with the dissemination of solar cooking set-ups which use the sun. However, “when the sun is not there, what should we use?” she asked, which is how she was introduced to energy saving cookstoves. Rather than cooking on inefficient open fires or traditional stoves, she now relies on her EcoZoom Jiko Bora to save fuel, time and to better her health.
One range of products she provides are heat-retaining slow cookers which resemble padded bags or baskets. Rather than cooking an entire meal on an open fire or stove; the meal only needs to be started off cooking on a stove. It is then transferred directly into one of the slow cookers. Here, due to excellent insulation, the meal will continue to cook for hours. This greatly reduces the need for fuel. It allows the user to tend to other matters while their meal cooks safely and unattended.
Before we delivered her EcoZoom stove, Mama Solar was preparing her meals for the slow cookers on a traditional Kenyan ‘jiko’ (stove in Kiswahili), which used more fuel than she felt necessary and troubled her with smoke. Our charcoal stove saves her up to 70% on fuel and toxic smoke, making her cooking much more efficient.
Mama Solar’s cooking methods encourage people not to use three stone fires or inefficient stoves. Along with showing people how to make their own slow cooker baskets, she also shows those in rural areas how to set up makeshift solar ovens.
Mama Solar is routinely invited to speak at agricultural shows, women’s groups, schools and environmental organizations. She plans to reach thousands more and educate people on the diverse energy saving methods that can be implemented in their homes. She believes that people in rural areas need this information the most, as they rely on firewood and charcoal to cook all of their meals. She even shows people how to boil and sterilize water for drinking, using the sun!
It was so inspiring for EcoZoom to visit her and see just how much an individual can accomplish in the field of clean energy! We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Mama Solar and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Thank you for having us!
Have a look at the NAREWAMA website here.
See Faustine making her baskets here.
Article in Haines Solar Cookers here.
NAREWAMA Facebook page here.