Last edited: 19 November 2019
From 2012 to 2014 the Macedonia Ministry (NGO) in collaboration with Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society from Canada provided 100 solar and 100 fireless cookers to 100 families in the Arusha region of Tanzania. They also conducted workshops on how to cook with the solar and fireless cookers. The training was successful, cooking ugali (hard porridge), rice, vegetables, meat, beans, and milk tea. The families were excited to enjoy food cooked with solar cookers. Results of using the cookers: reduced tree cutting, reduced eye and chest problems due to smoke by 40%, and students are going to school since the money used for buying fuelwood and charcoal is now saved and used for other purposes including medication and school fees.
- NEW: 15-17 September 2021: Climate Chance Summit Africa 2021 - Registration is open to attend the virtual 3rd edition of the Climate Chance Africa Summit. Three days of sessions on key themes and sectors of climate action hosted by non-state actors engaged in climate change in Africa. There is no charge for attendance, but registration is required
- NEW: Friday, 17 September 2021 (10:30am CDT, 15:30 GMT): Homeschool program on solar cooking - The Syracuse-Turkey Creek Township Public Library, in Syracuse, Indiana, USA, offers online programs for homeschool students on Fridays at 10:30am. This program is described as learning to build and use a solar cooker. Read more...
- NEW: 5 October 2021: American made solar competition - The U.S. Dept. of Energy is sponsoring a a multi-part competition to spur solar manufacturing, develop innovative solar solutions and products, and create domestic jobs and opportunities through public-private partnerships. The contest is open to U.S. residents, and the final phase is still open for submittals until 5 October 2021. Much of the attention has been with photovoltaic solutions, and this last phase is structured with two tracks that focus separately on hardware and software components. Solar cooking equipment should qualify as hardware solutions. Read more about the competition...
- NEW: 22-26 November 2021: 2nd National Congress for Solar Drying and Cooking Food - An affiliated group of universities in Mexico will host an online conference relating to solar food drying and cooking, as well as, food safety and energy savings realized with minimal environmental impact. Participants can register to view the presentations, or apply for presentation consideration. The conference will be in Spanish. Registration information... - (English version)
- 17-23 December 2021: Solar Cooking Awareness Week (Southern Hemisphere) - A loosely organized bid to acknowledge the fun and benefits of solar cooking. Show someone how to solar cook and share a meal.
- 24-26 January 2022: Fourth International Conference: Advances in Solar Thermal Food Processing - CONSOLFOOD Chairman, Celestino Ruivo, has announced an extended call for abstracts for the upcoming conference in January 2022, which is now planned to be an online event. Advances in solar cooking as well as solar food processing will be considered for inclusion. The event schedule and submission requirements are in CONSOLFOOD 2022 conference information.
Most significant projects
- January 2013: Solar Circle shares insights they have learned in Tanzania - The NGO Solar Circle has learned many things from their solar cooking program in Masasi, southern Tanzania. People will use solar cookers if they are efficient and affordable, which is often a problem for subsistence farmers who are most in need of the cookers even when the cookers are heavily subsidized. However, they have also learned that people will work hard to earn a solar cooker. The group has created a bartering system with community leaders. The community chooses a service project and the beneficiaries organize and oversee the effort. Participants earn a solar oven for their involvement. As of 2013, the program had distributed more than 3,000 solar ovens, and built 40 houses for people who are sick, elderly, widowed, or disabled. Because the community chooses the project and beneficiary, there’s an eagerness to work together. Surrounding villages have heard of the cookers and the program, so spreading the word has been easy. They cannot keep up with demand. The barter program relies on external help with finances, but community service represents the same effort than money earned in outside employment. Solar Circle values that effort, and raises what money it can from friends to expand the program.
- November 2019: Phasing out charcoal in Dar es Salaam - The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is partnering with the government of Tanzania to phase out the use of charcoal as a primary source of cooking energy in a programme targeting 500,00 middle-income households in Dar es Salaam. 
- April 2018: Update on SCI project in Tanzania - Thanks to Solar Cookers International (SCI) supporters, 60 more women received solar box cookers, retained-heat baskets, and Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPIs) in March. The solar box cookers were made locally by artisans in Tanzania, which supports the local economy. And local repairs and maintenance are available. The women received two days of training and cooked ugali, rice, meat, makande (maize mixed with beans), and vegetables. These are the foods this community eats. Locally made solar cookers that cook local foods; these solar box cookers are a good match for families in this corner of Tanzania. The trainers were women who were part of an earlier 2010 project and Phase 1 of the solar cooker project in 2016. Tapping the expertise of local cooks and trainers is an important part of making solar cooking a reality. This project is Phase 2 of the original SCI project that empowered 30 Tanzanian women with solar cookers in 2016. Results to date: As with Phase 1, the women in the community will use the Solar Cooking Adoption and Impact Survey, developed by SCI, to track the value that solar cooking is having on their lives. In Phase 1, the women were collectively able to save 556 kg (1223.2 lbs) of charcoal (28% savings), 1,955 bundles of wood (24% savings), and 25% of their fuel costs, in only 10 months.
- January 2017: Solar cooker use follow-up - Solar Cookers International recently reported the results of the SCI Adoption & Impact Survey from two projects in Tanzania. Half of the women surveyed began solar cooking five years ago; the others, three years ago. For each week (on average), they are using their solar cookers 5 times, their retained-heat cookers 5 1/2 times, and pasteurizing water 3 times. Seventy percent state that neither themselves, nor their family, are experiencing any health problems related to cooking fire smoke since they began solar cooking. Money usually spent for traditional fuels is used to increase the family food budget.
- July 2016: Villagers in Tanzania benefit with solar cooking - Thanks to Solar Cookers International, supporters and a partnership with the local Tanzanian organization, Macedonia Ministry, thirty women in the village of Rau, Tanzania, are now using solar box cookers, fireless cookers, and water pasteurization indicators for purifying water. Firewood use is now down 34% and charcoal use is down 45%. More information...
- March 2014: Update from 2012 to 2014 - The Macedonia Ministry (NGO) in collaboration with Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society from Canada provided 100 solar and 100 fireless cookers to 100 families in the Arusha region of Tanzania. They also conducted workshops on how to cook with the solar and fireless cookers. The training was successful, cooking ugali (hard porridge), cooked rice, vegetables, meat, beans, makande (beans mixed with maize), and milk tea. They were excited to enjoy food cooked with solar cookers. Results of using the cookers: reduced tree cutting, reduced eye and chest problems due to smoke by 40%, and students are going to school since the money used for buying fuelwood and charcoal is now saved and used for other purposes including medication and school fees.
- February 2014: Solar cookers on their way to Tanzania, Pakistan, and Iraq - A.G. Karim of the Lady Fatemah Trust, reports that 550 solar cookers have been shipped to Arusha, Tanzania. As soon as more sun returns, a trainer from Kenya will come and help train a group of volunteers to run user workshops. The group is also in the process of shipping 2,500 solar cookers to Pakistan, and Andreas Fasoulides, living in Cyprus, is scheduled to come to train volunteers. Once the program in Pakistan is underway, the Trust plans to ship solar cookers to Iraq to provide villagers in the desert with a solar cooking alternative, as they currently burn either dried branches of dates or kerosene.
- February 2014: Members of the Global Resource Alliance demonstrate the importance of permaculture for the future welfare of the citizens of Tanzania.
A wide range of projects have taken place in Tanzania, often located in schools, missions, or at local training centers.
Solarafrica, a Zanzibar organization, promoted both basketry and solar cooking on the island of Zanzibar for a number of years, sponsored by the Esperanto Club of Lund located in Sweden. Early in the development of connections between the two areas, the shortages of cooking fuel became apparent. Swedish participants developed a number of simple technologies that were able to be made locally, such as parabolic reflectors from cardboard panels lined with foil, and another reflector style formed from a large flat basket.
Another project on Zanzibar, sponsored by the German organization, Mama Earth, used both parabolic cookers and solar box cookers, The box cookers were used for slow cooking, and the parabolic designs for "speed cooking" rice and for dying plaited palm leaves for craft use.
The group also experimented with the use of flattened beer cans as reflectors in a frame of wood or metal for homemade cookers.
The GEF Small Grants Programme funded a project by the Kagera Community Development Trust, Bukoba - KADET in 1999 that produced 40 solar box cookers. Progress reports showed that the technology was replicated in various parts of the Kagera region.
Another German group, Dada Zanzibar, as of 2018, is located on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar offshore from the mainland of Tanzania. The focus of this group has been craft and artisan development; they used solar cookers to dye fabrics and basketry material for craftwork. Some of the profits enabled members to purchase solar cookers for their own household use.
The German electric utility, Bayernwerke, provided parabolic cookers to a local fishing village. With the assistance of sponsor organizations, the construction of a workshop and solar-powered kitchen was possible.
On mainland Tanzania, a religiously affiliated group, EAG (T) Church - MJIMWEMA in Kigoma, produced locally made parabolic or "bowl" type cookers. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania in the Morogoro Province conducted research on fuelwood use, and then began using parabolic cookers sent from Germany for cooking, pasteurizing water, and firing clay bricks.
The Kilimanjaro Biogas and Solar Center sponsored many approaches to renewable energy, and has been active in solar cooking promotion for many years. (SCI Rev, Dec. '00.) Many of the devices promoted by Anna Pearce (see "multiple-nation" promoters section above) were in use in Tanzania, particularly the Anahat cooker/hatbox combination.
In the summers of 2001, 2002 and 2003, Project AHEAD, an American NGO, demonstrated the use of solar cookers for water pasteurization in two areas of Tanzania, first in Shinyanga District, in the northwest of the country, and the second in Kisarawe, near Dar es Salaam. National and district health officers attended workshops on testing water for contamination, followed by a demonstration of the use of solar cookers for water pasteurization. In the summer of 2003, household surveys were conducted in both districts to serve as baseline data and an evaluation tool for a large project scheduled for 2004-2006. This was the first major demonstration project focussing on the use of solar cookers for this purpose.
Other organizations having solar cooking experience in Tanzania were the Ilemi Secondary School of Mbeya, Net-Score of Malinyi, and Solar Innovations of Tanzania.
- Main article: History of solar cooking
Climate and culture
Solar Cookers International has rated Tanzania as the #9 country in the world in terms of solar cooking potential (See: The 25 countries with the most solar cooking potential). The estimated number of people in Tanzania in sunny areas of the country but with fuel scarcity in 2020 is 7,500,000.
Tanzania is experiencing a demographic and an environmental crisis. Tanzania has a population of around 37 million. It has a fertility rate of almost five children per woman. This rapidly growing populace places extreme pressure on the environment. For example, forests are being diminished rapidly in significant part by demand for fuelwood. A case in point: between 1960 and 1980, the Amani forest in Tanzania was reduced by 50%. For every 28 trees cut in Africa today, only one is planted.
As forests around communities are degraded, women and children must forage for fuelwood further and further from home. In some places, women must camp overnight in the bush. When the distances become too great, some families must pay 25% to 50% of their income to buy cooking fuel.
- Wikipedia article on the climate of Tanzania
- Tanzania Energy Situation - Energypedia
- Discussion of eastern Africa's suitability for solar cooking
- Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables
- Find a Kiva microfinance partner in Tanzania.
- Raising funds through grants and donations
- See general guidance on raising funds through grants and donations
- January 2017: Up Scaling Solar Cooker Project in Kilimanjaro and Manyara Regions in Tanzania - Sperancea Gabone
- July 2008: East Africa Report - Karyn Ellis
Articles in the media
- October 2017: The Avon Ladies Of Renewable Energy – Solar Sister Bringing Light & Jobs To African Women - GirlTalkHQ
- June 2017: Solar Energy Powers Clean Water, Business Opportunities For Refugees In Tanzania - NDTV
- October 2015: Clara Ibihya finds opportunity in renewable energy sector - The Citizen
- February 2015: How Results Based Financing is spurring solar market development in Tanzania - SNV, archived
- December 2007: Brit Olam's Student Delegation Member Teaching Solar Cooking
- October 2007: Purdue students build solar oven for use in Tanzania - Purdue University News
- December 2006: Student sows seeds of community-helping technology in Africa
- December 2000: Solar Water Pasteurization in Tanzania - Bob Metcalf
Audio and video
Audio and video
- January 2017:
- September 2016:
- September 2014:
- October 2006:
The entities listed below are either based in Tanzania, or have established solar cooking projects there:
- Main article: Solar Cookers International Association