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Uganda opts for solar cookers to boost energy and conserve forests

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The ultra sun cooker by a Ugandan businessman is designed to meet up to 70 per cent of the cooking needs of a typical family. Photo/REUTERS

The ultra sun cooker by a Ugandan businessman is designed to meet up to 70 per cent of the cooking needs of a typical family. Photo/REUTERS 

By JULIUS BARIGABA

Posted  Monday, March 21  2011 at  00:00
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Besides cooking, the sun oven also dries foods for preservation. Experts say it dries foods much faster than the sun even when the oven chamber is closed.

Piloted in three regions of the country, the sun oven could drastically reduce dependence on firewood but also comes with guarantees for improved health conditions for the impoverished users. 

Health aspects such as ensuring safe drinking water and reduction of diseases related to inhaling of firewood smoke are automatic benefits from using the sun cooker.

“In pitching this project, we had in mind the very setup of a typical Ugandan rural setting. We knew we could deliver it for an affordable price, in which case it would then attract the population that currently uses firewood energy,” said Mr Mutebi, adding that each unit will cost $180, which is $100 less than the price in the US.

Several institutions have shown interest in the sun cooker.

These include Luzira women’s prison, Gaba convent, Kisiizi, Kiryandongo, Gulu and Iganga hospitals.

Institutions from Southern Sudan have also placed orders ahead of the commercial launch of the product, officials told The EastAfrican.     

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