Last edited: 6 August 2019      
Lightoven III training with Boy Scouts in Pakistan

The Lightoven III, designed by Hartmut Ehmler, is explained at a training event for Pakistani Boy Scouts in January 2015.


International conferences

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • NEW: 2-13 December, 2019 (Feria de Madrid in Madrid, Spain): COP25 - The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is hosting the twenty-fifth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) has been scheduled to take place in Feria de Madrid in Madrid, Spain from 2-13 December, 2019. More information...
CONSOLFOOD2020 logo, 2-24-19
  • 22-24 January 2020 (Faro, Portugal): CONSOLFOOD2020 - To be held at the Institute of Engineering, Universidade do Algarve, Campus da Penha. The conference will focus on solar thermal food processing. The deadline for receipt of abstracts was 15 June 2019. More information... 
See also: Global Calendar of Events and past events in Pakistan


Pakistani scouts learn solar, 9-30-18

Pakistani Scouts are interviewed during the solar cooking demonstration - Photo credit: Scouts go Solar Newsletter

  • October 2018: Scouts demonstrate solar cookers - Pakistani Scouts were interviewed on the Pakistan Television Network (PTV) at a solar cooking demonstration designed to illustrate how the Pakistani Boy Scouts Association is promoting sustainable solar thermal cooking. Read more about the demonstration in April news at: Scouts go Solar, Issue no. 3: January - July 2018 So14 being fabricated in Pakistan, 7-17-15

Muhammad Hassaan, an engineering student from Pakistan builds a solar concentrator as part of his final school project. -

  • July 2015: Muhammad Hassaan, an engineering student from Pakistan, builds a solar concentrator as part of his final school project. With help from two other teammates, they have designed a hybrid solar and biomass power generation system. Read more...
Lightoven III training with Boy Scouts in Pakistan

The Lightoven III, designed by Hartmut Ehmler, is explained at a training event for Pakistani Boy Scouts. - Hartmut Ehmler

  • January 2015: Pakistani Boy Scouts are introduced to solar cooking - Hartmut Ehmler photographed this Boy Scout training event of his Lightoven III solar panel cooker. It is a lightweight portable design, suitable to take into the field for camping.
  • July 2014: New Pakistani solar cooks will need more support - Applied Green Technology reports that a great deal of training and support will be needed to help the new solar cooks there adapt their normal recipes to their new solar panel cookers. Read more...
  • May 2014: Amir Karim, Chairman of the UK charity, Lady Fatemah Trust (LFT), reports that his organization continues to purchase and ship CooKits to needy populations around the world. Recently LFT sent 2,500 solar cookers to Pakistan along with a volunteer trainer from Cyprus. Trainees will work in Pakistani villages where wood and cow dung are typically used for cooking. LFT has also shipped 550 CooKits to Tanzania. In Iraq, where LFT is currently distributing solar lights, they will also be supplying desert villages with solar cookers and training.
  • March 2014: Three-year anniversary of the introduction of the CooKit and HotPot Solar cooking advocate, Afzal Syed, continues his efforts to spread solar cooking technology in Pakistan. He has recently met with the Chambers of Commerce, professional woman's organizations, and was interviewed on Dunya television. Watch the interview
Matthew Rollins CooKit variation (assembled), 2-21-12

Early prototype of the CooKit solar panel cooker variation by Matthew Rollins

  • November 2013: Lady Fatemah Trust finances several thousand solar cookers for Iraq, Lebanon, and Africa - A.G. Karim, chairman of The Lady Fatemah Trust, based in the United Kingdom, has agreed to finance several thousand solar cookers designed by Matthew Rollins of Applied Green Technology, to be delivered to Africa, Iraq, and Lebanon. Matthew has also arranged for Andreas Fasoulides, living in Cyprus, to visit Pakistan to lay the ground work for future solar cooking training workshops, to enable them to supply 100,000 solar cookers currently on provisional order. He also wants to explore sales possibilities in Latin America. Matthew is close to releasing his new solar cooker design developed from the basic CooKit solar panel cooker. It will feature the ability to be able to be adjusted to suit sun orientation at any latitude location on the globe. He states that with the ability to better gather and focus the light, it can often be used without the need for a cooking bag, subject to weather conditions.
  • June 2013: Cranfield University working with Comsats University on solar cooker - The solar cooker was developed by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, with expertise from Cranfield University. It was funded by the government of Pakistan, who recognized the need to improve the lives of those living in the remote regions of Pakistan. As well as heating food, the cooker is able to store heat, and could generate electrical power for essential mobile communications or air conditioning. It will be exciting to learn more.
3 Solar Cooker made by Pakistan Students, 4-13

The three Solar Cooker made by Usman Institute students.

  • April 2013: Usman Institute of Technology students Neel Kumar, Sajid Nawaz, Zaid Bin Asharf, Talha Farooqi, Noureen Fatima) have made three solar cookers, a solar box cooker, a CooKit, and a parabolic solar cooker. All three cookers are working perfectly. These students have cooked rice and pulao as well as heated water for tea using these solar cookers.
See older news...


Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises

Pakistan hosted one of the larger privately sponsored solar cooking programs ever carried out. A British-based organization, SERVE (Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises), began work with refugees from Afghanistan in 1980. The previous year, after the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan, nearly 3 million refugees had fled to Pakistan, principally to the Northwest Frontier Province and Baluchistan. The population was made up of largely illiterate rural people, most of whom had lived near the border with Pakistan. A variety of relief and educational programs were offered to the group as they settled in for what turned out to be a lengthy stay in refugee camps.

In 1983, SERVE conducted a survey to assess what the refugees felt to be their most urgent needs. Performed professionally with assistance from UN experts, the survey's results revealed the greatest felt need was for assistance in obtaining cooking fuel. The area had 300 sunny days a year and it thus appeared to SERVE staff that solar cooking would be useful. Devices that were within their financial reach and adequate training in solar usage would be essential, however. Initially, a small pilot project was conducted in one camp with 50 families. These pioneers were each loaned a cooker and taught to use it. The ovens were similar to those in use in India, boxes with glass top and a mirror reflector.

At the end of the project, 80% of the families wanted to purchase the cooker. A few modifications, based on experience from the the pilot program, were made in the device, including making the cookers slightly larger larger and using shiny mylar rather than mirrored glass for the reflector. The cost of the boxes ranged between $60 and $70, which was more than refugees could afford so donor assistance was found to partially subsidize the cost, with refugees paying around $18. A small workshop made the cookers, and supply was able to keep up with demand. Satisfied users of these cookers were their best advertisement.

Eventually, the refugees felt able to begin the trek homeward, after political events changed the situation in Afghanistan. Many took their ovens along, and by that action advertised solar cooking to new audiences. Demand was high enough that a shipment of 780 ovens was sent to Kabul, Afghanistan and sold out, from the back of the truck in a marketplace, in five days. Demand in Afghanistan was higher even than in Pakistan, perhaps due to the ever-present danger from unexploded mines in fields and growing shortages of wood.

By 2000, SERVE donors were suffering from "donor fatigue" and, although there was still demand in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, the solar program was ended. (See Afghanistan.) Between 1985 and 2000, SERVE distributed around 20,000 solar cookers in the area.

The Building and Construction Improvement Programme

Solar cooking did not, however, disappear in Pakistan after the SERVE program ended. In 2003, The Building and Construction Improvement Programme, a Project of the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, began workin remote areas of Northern Pakistan. The project introduced a number of energy efficient and renewable devices, including a line of solar cookers. Like the SERVE model, the project chose to use a box model. Construction materials were selected on the basis of availability in the area with provisions built-in for replacement of the glass box top.

Fazal ur-Rehman

Master Fazal ur-Rehman of Kundian City in the Punjab, indicates that he has built a number of types of cookers (SCI Rev., Jul 02).

Archived articles

    Climate and culture

    Solar Cookers International has rated Pakistan as the #3 country in the world in terms of solar cooking potential (See: The 25 countries with the most solar cooking potential). In 2020, the number of people in Pakistan, a country with abundant sun but fuel scarcity, is estimated to be 45,400,000.

    According to Afzal Syed writing in April 2011: "The rising cost of fuel in Pakistan is becoming more of a problem for Pakistanis. People spend 100 Rupees ($1.18 USD) or more a day on cooking fuel. (A bit over 20% of per capita income) Some can’t afford enough to cook all their meals. He sees the CooKit as a wonderful alternative fuel."

    See also


    Possible funders


    • Promoting solar cooking in Afghanistan (Detailed report discussing the choice of solar cookers for use in Afghanistan based on cultural, economic, and logistical considerations. Much of the discussion would be applicable to Pakistan as well.)

    Project evaluations

    Articles in the media

    Audio and video

    July 2017: 

    March 2011:

    Dunya TV-Solar Cooker Karachi-0

    Dunya TV-Solar Cooker Karachi-0

    See Also

    External links

    Construction plans in Urdu


    SCI Associates


      Manufacturers and vendors


      Government agencies

      Educational institutions

      See also

      External links


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