Over 200,000 Sudanese citizens have fled to neighboring Chad to escape the war in Darfur. The Fair Climate Fund has equipped these refugee families with solar-powered cooking stoves. This gives them a safer and easier way to cook, and stops open fires polluting their camps and the atmosphere.
How it cleans up the planet:
The CooKit Solar Cooker was launched in 2005 in six refugee camps. It uses sunlight to trap hot air, which can be stored and used for cooking. It uses entirely renewable energy, plus women don’t need to use wood-burning cookstoves which release carbon into the atmosphere.
Wood burning cookstoves release carbon directly into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming, but they also release tiny soot particles into the air. These particles – sometimes called ‘black carbon’ – are toxic, increase the effects of global warming, and are particularly bad for local communities and vegetation. Targets for climate reductions recommend reductions in wood burning stoves globally.
In Chad, providing families with solar cookstoves means the local trees aren’t cut down, which prevents emissions of CO2 by 20,000 tonnes per year.
How it helps local communities:
Some refugees have been staying in refugee camps for more than 15 years. Cooking on an open fire is one of the many challenges of life at the camp.
Not only does it pollute the camp with smoke, the camps themselves are also located in dry regions where there aren’t many trees.
This creates conflicts between the local population and refugees, who need the wood for cooking. Women and children often have to travel long distances to get wood and they’re regularly harassed, assaulted, abducted or, in the worst case, don’t return at all.
Using a CoolKit Solar Cooker means a big improvement in women’s safety, and reduces their domestic work because they no longer have to travel for firewood. Instead, they can devote their time to their families, leisure and attending school.
But the cookers aren’t just for women, they’re made by women too, giving vital work opportunities.