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The History of Solar Cooking in Botswana

At the world meeting held under UNESCO auspices in Varese, Italy, a representative of the Botswana Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs was present to make a presentation, describing that government's plans for a National Solar Cooking Programme. In this country, fuelwood is the dominant household energy source in rural areas. While originally it was considered as a "free" commodity, increasingly people need to purchase wood that is ever more scare and expensive. According to R. Fagbenle, Director of Energy Affairs in the Ministry, woody biomass supplies 70% of the country's energy, almost entirely fuelwood for cooking. Less fuelwood is used in the urban area. The nation is increasingly aware of the problem of deforestation, which requires people to travel farther and farther to locate fuel sources.

The solar cooking program planned to begin with a pilot program involving two communities, one urban, one rural. The overall objectives of the program were ambitious, including the distribution of 550,000 cookers over four years. To date, no information has been located on the success, or indeed the implementation, of the program.

[Information for this section was taken originally from State of the Art of Solar Cooking by Dr. Barbara Knudson]

Climate, Culture, and Special Considerations

In this country, fuelwood is the dominant household energy source in rural areas. While originally it was considered as a "free" commodity, increasingly people need to purchase wood that is ever more scare and expensive. According to R. Fagbenle, Director of Energy Affairs in the Ministry, woody biomass supplies 70% of the country's energy, almost entirely fuelwood for cooking. Less fuelwood is used in the urban area. The nation is increasingly aware of the problem of deforestation, which requires people to travel farther and farther to locate fuel sources.[1]

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