Projects: Haiti - 05 • Mali - 08 - 09 • Bolivia - 07 - 09


Kyoto Twist Project in Mali, 2009


Yirimadio, Mali Project with KoZon Foundation and Association of Women Engineers of Mali (AFIMA)

As with the 2008 Mali Project, 30 families were given two Cookit solar cookers which were made by the women engineers of AFIMA, one cooking pot, and a large insulated basket (Nafa Saba) for retained heat cooking, and a water pasteurization indicator (WAPI). The families paid a small portion ($3.00 US) of the cost of these and the remaining funds were granted by the Kyoto Twist from the generous donations made by many who support this work and from newcomers to the Kyoto Twist website, too! AFIMA replicated their first project (see 2008 Yirimadio Project) with the Kyoto Twist in the social housing community of Yirimadio neighborhood in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, where charcoal is used for cooking. This area has an average 250 sunny days per year. It was determined that if the first project could convince the inhabitants of Yirimadio of the fuel cost savings, many household would then be interested in doing the same as their neighbors, so this project is expanding upon the previous project. Women were chosen who showed real enthusiasm and wanted to learn a new method of cooking and economize on charcoal cost and were willing to attend meetings.

The Nafa Saba, heat retention basket, holds the large pots Mali women use. When the food is heated and partially cooked, the pot is placed in the insulated basket where it finishes cooking and stays warm until mealtime. On sunny days the solar cooker is used. Even on rainy days, when only the basket can be used, charcoal consumption is reduced. The Women Engineers collected data on the use of charcoal before, during, and after the project.

Mali is a very dry country, the Women Engineers’ goal is to save wood where deforestation has progressed to an alarming degree. As reported in the 2008 Yirimadio Project, 1.2 million tons of fuel wood was consumed in Mali in 2000. 80% of the heating value is lost in the making of charcoal from wood. Cheap fuel sources are not available and trees are being cut down 20 times faster than they can be replaced.

Many volunteer hours went into this project with the AFIMA women receiving a wage for their work, interviewing and selecting the participants, training, and holding support sessions. Kyoto Twist projects offer the ancillary benefit of right-livelihood for the women organizers who receive wages for their work.

The stated objectives of AFIMA are:
to improve the possibilities of a career for women with a technical education
to increase awareness of girls in schools in the field of technical and scientific skills and specialties
to contribute to socio-economic development in rural areas
to protect forests and the environment in general by showing women the possibilities to economize on the use of firewood

Again partnering on this project is KoZon Foundation, a non-profit organization in the Netherlands which has worked with solar cooker and improved woodstove projects in many countries. KoZon is an acronym for the Dutch slogan “Koken met de Zon”- “cooking with the sun”. Our liaison with the French-speaking AFIMA group is KoZon member, Wietske Jongbloed, who lives in Holland and has traveled to Mali to help organize this project and data-keeping. She is also an adviser for Solar Cookers International and does this work as a very dedicated volunteer.

The AFIMA solar cooker trainers reported that during the two-day training, many foods were prepared using the solar cookers and the hay baskets: rice, riz graz, tomato sauce with meat, cakes, kebabs, hard-boiled eggs, tamarind and red sauces (oseille de Guinee), spaghetti, cowpeas, as well as water pasteurization. The women learned of the usefulness of this cooking method and also how to maximize their charcoal use by integrating these new techniques.

After one year, the Women Engineers will again interview the participants to further tally their charcoal use and savings. It is hoped that these projects can continue in this area of Mali and make a real difference in how fuel resources are used. At the time of the three-month follow-up meetings, it was reported that by cooking with solar cookers and retained-heat baskets, the women saved money previously budgeted for charcoal and spent it on buying a bit more food and better quality nutrition for their families. For this there is much enthusiasm indeed! We in rich countries think about spending money we have saved for clothing, household, education…toys! But these families are struggling in a harsh environment just to get the resources to cook the food to nourish themselves.

Thank you to Wiestke Jongbloed of KoZon Foundation for her expertise and analysis and to the women trainers and organizers of AFIMA: Haoua Niang, Ami Bagayoko, Djeneba Coulibaly, Manda Diaby, and Moussokoura Kaba.

And thank you to all our project partners and funding supporters who made this project successful!



Number of family households in this project


Average number of people per household


Average percent of conventional fuel (charcoal) saved

  $88.90 CAD    Average amount of household income saved per family per year 
  $4615. CAD  

Total funds for project from Kyoto Twist donors

  $153.83 CAD  

Total project cost per family ($4615. divided by 30 participants)

  $30.77 CAD

Cost per year per family, calculated over five years, (based on the expected useable life span of two Cookits and one retained heat basket)

  360 kg/yr   Average expected weight of charcoal saved per household per year (2160 kg when converted to the firewood equivalent)
  3.2 tonnes    

Estimated GHG emissions savings per household per year (the firewood equivalent of X6 times the emission factor 1.8)

  $ 10.53 CAD Estimated cost for each tonne of emissions saved over five years 
  480 tonnes    Estimated tonnes of CO2e removed from the global atmosphere by this project over 5 years   


Save a tonne, Save a life.