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Cooking more efficiently with a fire-less cooker

»Posted in Article, Family Story, MicroAid, Newsletter

firelesscookerB

Left: A trainer shows wicker basket which will to be made a fireless cooker. Right: Participants learn together how to make fireless cooker

For those of you, who often cook using the stove, you might not have thought to use a simple tool that can be used to cook food without using fire or electricity. In Kenya, there is a simple tool known as Fire-less Cooker. This cooking tool is made from a wicker basket with a protective layer that can keep the heat. It can be used by mothers to cook food, while they do other work in the garden or wash clothing.

The idea is, with this tool families can save on the use of traditional stoves (wood or oil). It is more efficient because it can keep food hot and warm. The fireless cooker functions more like a food warmer.

In 2012, one of MicroAid Community Facilitation Partner in Kenya, COSDEP, conducted a family training micro project “Learning to make a fireless cooker” with a group of poor Kenyan families. Read the project report here. Two years later, in June 2014, COSDEP managed to get a market opportunity to sell their product. Buyers wanted to resell their products to a broader market. Originally COSDEP has no plans to sell the product. They just wanted to learn how to make the product for their own use, but in the process their products are now in demand by many people, in Kenya and Nigeria!

Opportunities to sell the product were obtained after MicroAid published stories about the fireless cooker (http://blog.microaid.org) and passed it along through social media on facebook (MicroAid Projects) and twitter (@microaid). Simple steps on how to make a fireless cooker that can also be viewed and distributed to anyone on www.microaid.net

As of the time of writing, COSDEP is in negotiation process with buyers to determine a long term commission of future deals. Congratulations to the team COSDEP, you have managed to sell your fire-less cooker on the market. Good luck!

One more family group who increased their welfare through the MicroAid way!

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Environmentally friendly technology from Kenya; cooking foods use fireless cooker

»Posted in Article, Family Story, MicroAid, Newsletter

MicroAid trainees sewing polythene paper on the wall of the basket that will be filled with recycled scraps fabric to conserve cooking heat. This is a fireless cooker

MicroAid trainees sewing polythene paper on the wall of the basket that will be filled with recycled scraps fabric to conserve cooking heat. This is a fireless cooker

This is groundbreaking work in Kenya. A new breakthrough; using a modified reed basket to cook or warm food. The mother-housewife can now have more time to take care of family or work in the garden, without having to spending many hours fetching firewood. This technology also reduces air pollution from firewood smoke.

One group of families who live in Amung’ang’a Village, Murang’a County, a central province of Kenya have now learnt how to make fireless cookers with MicroAid donations. Food warmer baskets are made of papyrus, which grows wild in the area and then covered with polythene. The walls are then filled with recycled scraps of fabric and covered with black cloth.

MicroAid Projects training was carried out with the coordination of Stanley Kinyanjui and his team at COSDEP Kenya. Giving knowledge in a way that is simple and easy to understand is very beneficial to the poor. Four women and one man who were participants of the MicroAid micro-project were very keen to participate as this simple technology was never known to them before .

Alice Wairimu Njuguna, a MicroAid beneficiary said: “I am glad to know how to make a fireless cooker. It is going to be of great help to me since I’ll be preparing enough food before going to work on the farm. I just place my mealy porridge in the basket and it is still warm by the time I come back. Less cooking for me and happier children”.

NOTE: A few points to note about Fireless Cookers (sources: http://practicalaction.org/fireless-cooker):
The “fireless cooker” uses stored heat to cook food over a long period of time. The food is cooked on a traditional stove, before it’s transferred to the fireless cooker. The cooker is well insulated, keeping the heat in the food and allowing it to continue cooking inside. A simple basket, insulated with local resources such as banana leaves or old clothes, can reduce fuel use by 40%, preserving scarce food and saving people hours of precious time

All materials are made of natural and easily accessible materials in the village. So no need to spend money on buying oil or electricity to cook food at home.

Recycled scraps fabric are fixed to the walls of the basket and then covered with polythene paper. The basket is used as a tool for cooking because it can store heat

Recycled scraps fabric are fixed to the walls of the basket and then covered with polythene paper. The basket is used as a tool for cooking because it can store heat

A simple idea; with simple technology that provides tremendous benefits for rural families. Thank you for the generosity of Vanessa, Toby and Katty who have funded this training. Your helping hand is very useful for the low income families of the world who need MicroAid (www.microaid.org).

The MicroAid trainees in Amung'ang'a Village, Kenya after learning how to make fireless cookers for their homes

The MicroAid trainees in Amung’ang’a Village, Kenya after learning how to make fireless cookers for their homes

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New Look Websites at MicroAid

»Posted in Article, MicroAid, Newsletter

Take a sneak preview of our new look as we bring all aspects of MicroAid into one place.

MicroAid Projects
A place to fund poor families directly so they can learn a new home enterprise skill. Helping people help themselves.

MicroAid Library
Our MicroAid library shares experience in video, audio, text and reports on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for interesting products for low income families. Using the same BMPs for their home enterprise, families can join together in clusters with other micro-producers that provide the quality and quantity needed by the market.

MicroAid Connections
Using Linked In and other social networks, we connect the private sector to the bottom of the pyramid in shared value supply chains for sustainable livelihoods products. Connecting directly offers the traceability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) now demanded by new consumers.

Informed People + Quality Product + Market Connection = Sustainable Livelihoods = Poverty Eradication

Warm regards,
MicroAid Projects Team

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Sign Up MicroAid Projects Newslleter

»Posted in Article, MicroAid, Newsletter

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Sincerely,
MicroAid Projects Team

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