Solar Cooking
Last edited: 31 October 2017      

SURE's headquarters showing David Ochieng (left) and John Amayo the director of SURE (right). Photo credit: Bernhard Mueller.

Sustainable Utilization of Renewable Energy (SURE) promotes renewable energy for cooking, water pasteurization, and electricity. Since 2012, SURE has been working in partnership with Solar Cookers International to provide families near Kisumu, Kenya, with Safe Water Packages.  Including a solar cooking kit (a CooKit and a pot), Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI), retained-heat cooker ("fireless cooker"), improved cookstove (Upesi), and Safe Water Jar, the Safe Water Package provides a family with tools to cook with solar every day sun shines, use an improved cookstove on rainy days or at night, and used retained-heat cooking technology with both cooking methods.  

Water pasteurized in the solar cooker or on the improved cookstove is stored in the Safe Water Jar to prevent recontamination.  SURE's skilled representatives provide orientation, distribution, monitoring, and evaluation.  Seventy to eighty percent of program beneficiaries continue to use these technologies two months after receiving the Safe Water Packages (self-reported by SURE).


Local farmers attentively watch a solar cooking and water pasteurization demonstration provided by SURE.

  • March 2013: John Amayo, with SURE, reports that the Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya recently held a farmers field day, providing an event for local farmers to come and see new ideas. SURE participated, and were able to demonstrate solar cooking using the CooKit, a parabolic solar cooker, and a Pulsee Solar Cooker. The farmers were pleased with the meat stew prepared in the box cooker, the roasted meat on the parabolic, and water pasteurization with the Pulsee. We also used the heat retention basket on this particularly windy day. It was rewarding to be able to show how the water available was not safe for drinking, and how solar water pasteurization can make it safe.
  • February 2013: Kisumu County receives water pasteurization information - Former SCI Kenya staffer John Amayo runs Sustainable Utilization of Renewable Energy (SURE) in the Kadibo division of Kisumu County. With the help of Solar Cookers International and Bob Metcalf's Portable Microbiology Laboratory, SURE has been able to: test local water sources and has distributed thirty safe water packages to the vulnerable in the community. The safe water packages which SURE distributes, like the ones received by FOTO beneficiaries, are accompanied by programs to educate the community on hand washing, food safety, cleanliness around the home, and solar pasteurizing or chemically treating all drinking water. SURE also has plans to harness wind power for lighting and promote the use bio-fuels like biogas for lighting and cooking.
  • August 2008: With support from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the long anticipated “training of trainers” water testing and solar pasteurization workshop was held in June at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu, Kenya. Participants included 20 top staff members each from the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MPHS). Solar Cookers International (SCI) staff members Margaret Owino, Faustine Odaba, Elijah Achola, Dinah Chienjo, Simon Ogutu, John Amayo and Karyn Ellis were instrumental in the success of this workshop, as was John Rimberia from Embu. Microbiologist and SCI Board President Dr. Bob Metcalf led the workshop. Topics included a review of bacterial properties and growth, pasteurization principles, use of the bacterium Escherichia coli as a contamination indicator, properties of the Colilert® and Petrifilm™ tests for E. coli, and solar pasteurization using the CooKit solar cooker and SCI’s wax-based, reusable Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI).

See also


John O. Amayo
P.O.Box 889 - 40100

Tel: +254720450727