Solar Cooking

Safe Water Project - Metcalf.jpg

In 2008, Solar Cookers International (SCI) began the Safe Water Project in Kenya led by SCI founder and board president Dr. Bob Metcalf, a professor of Biological Sciences at California State University, Sacramento. Bob’s development of a Portable Microbiology Laboratory (PML) has allowed rural health workers and community members to test water quality in the field by assessing levels of Escherichia coli contamination. The revolutionary PML can be used anywhere by practically anyone. It has liberated government ministries charged with water analysis who have had difficulties gauging water quality in rural areas due to travel limitations and technical expenses. Anticipated outcomes from the project include significant reductions in the incidence of waterborne diseases in over 20 communities and broader community awareness of simple and effective water testing and water pasteurization techniques. Trainings began in June 2008 with officials and representatives from the Kenya Water Resources Management Authority and the Kenya Ministry of Health. This projects marks the first collaboration of this type between these two agencies. SCI received major funding for this program from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund.

News and recent developments[]


  • Recommend expansion of project development to two new countries
  • Completion of Safe Water Workshop in Kenya
  • Provide support to the Solar Cookers International East Africa Office
  • Identify potential collaborators within existing environmental NGO’s and government ministries in East Africa
  • Increased humanitarian liaisons with emergency organizations 

Planning, execution and expansion of Safe Water Project in Kenya[]

Karyn Ellis and Bob Metcalf worked together on the development and progression of the Safe Water Project that SCI initiated in Kenya. During a visit to Kenya, Karyn and Bob attended a number of meetings with the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) and representatives from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

During their second trip to Kenya, Karyn and Bob worked on the Water Testing Workshop in Nairobi. Their mission was to train 40 individuals, 20 each from the two government ministries (MOH & WRMA) who would then go on to train others in their respective districts, creating a trickle down effect to eventually reach the most rural levels of ministry and health work. It is expected that the result of this project will be a new process of accurately testing water in rural areas that don’t currently have access to expensive and sophisticated laboratory materials. This process will enable rural health workers to identify which water is good to drink and which requires treatment, allowing water treatment processes to progress without a doubt as to it necessity, and hopefully inspiring more environmental health education to those in the bush.

To supplement the water testing workshop, SCI worked with a group of women putting on the African Women and Water Conference at the Greenbelt Training Center in Nairobi. This conference trained a group of 30 women from East, West, and South Africa who took this knowledge back to their countries and the environmental institutions where they work.

Audio and video[]


Solar Cookers & Safe Water 2013 Goals-1

Solar Cookers International provides solar cooking and water pasteurization devices in fuel-scarce, sun-rich regions of the world

See also[]

External links[]


See Solar Cookers International