Kyoto Twist Project in Bolivia, 2009
Cochabamba, Bolivia Project with Center for Development with Solar Energy Foundation (CEDESOL)
The first collaborative effort of CEDESOL and Kyoto Twist, in 2007, was in a rural village where families used wood and expensive gas fuel. For this project, 50 families in two urban neighborhoods, Ende and Belen, in the city of Cochabamba received an ULOG single box solar cooker (made locally), 1 pot, and training and support for a less costly and more environmentally-friendly method of cooking. The final project report results show that solar cookers do reduce gas consumption and carbon emissions when used in urban communities.
The CEDESOL group began with a two-week public awareness campaign in local newspapers, local television programs, and radio stations. Many groups and individuals came forward expressing their interest. Fifty families were interviewed and selected and paid $25.00 USD, a small portion of the cost, to be a part of the project, agreeing to attend trainings and carry out data collection. Research has shown the importance of the participants themselves having ownership and supporting part of the project cost where possible.
All participants used gas fuel tanks instead of lines, making measurement of fuel over time possible. Each participant signed a contract to use their solar cookers three times per week and keep a daily diary documenting their cooking patterns. Participants agreed to attend a training session, four support meetings, and allow regular visits by CEDESOL staff to their households. Two of the participants successfully continued to use their solar cookers in their restaurant businesses.
At the training, families learned to adapt to a new way of cooking and prepared bread, meat, vegetables, soup, rice, and potatoes. The benefits of solar cooking technology were discussed: nutrient retention, flavor, time-savings, gas-use reduction, and environment protection. Making drinking water safe to drink was presented showing how to use the free energy of the sun to pasteurize unlimited amounts of water. Families are now able to save on the costs of purchasing bottled water and/or the costs of fuel to boil the water- and the results promote better health! The trainers explained how the solar cookers can also function as heat retention cookers on cloudy days, partially cooking the foods using gas, then bundling the pots and placing them in the insulated box cookers to finish cooking.
Discussion about the effects of climate change due to excessive carbon emissions encouraged participants to connect global ecological problems to their everyday lives and to “twist” their traditional ways of doing their cooking. A public final meeting was held in the local park for the wider community, sharing information and wonderful food and recipes. This community demonstration raised awareness about solar cooking in the wider community beyond simply the project participants. At the conclusion of this last meeting each participant received an additional cooking pot and a certificate of participation.
The project final report documents the wide acceptance of the solar cookers by all participating families. According to data gathered from the cooking diaries, the ovens were used an average of seven times per week. In their exit surveys, thirty of the total participants reported days where they relied exclusively on their solar oven for cooking.
Thank you to Ruth Saavedra, David Whitfield, Alejandra Mendizabal, and Gladis Vasquez, Milenka Cobarrubias, all the CEDESOL staff for their organizing and teaching skills and hard work and to the families of Ende and Belen in making this project so successful!
Number of family households in this project
Average number of people per household
|32%||Minimum expected fuel savings for each family per year|
Total funds for project from Kyoto Twist donors
Total project cost per family ($12,972 divided by 50 participants)
|71.4 tonnes||Estimated tonnes of CO2e removed from the global atmosphere by this project over 17 years|
Quoting the CEDESOL group:
“We believe that there is hope for the many disenfranchised of this world. Our goal is to enrich humanity by equipping people with social and technological tools that permit them to direct their own destinies. All our activities center around three key concepts: Alternative Education, Renewable Energy, and Social Justice.”
Read more about CEDESOL’s work in Bolivia on their website at www.cedesol.org.
Save a tonne, Save a life.