30 August 2009

Uganda: Solar Oven Launched

Kampala — FRANCIS Amoding who has been trekking tens of kilometres in such of firewood in Amuria district will not need to worry anymore, thanks to the newly introduced environmentally friendly and cost-effective solar oven.

The sport solar oven innovated by the Solar Oven Society (SOS) in America was launched at the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP) offices at Nakasero recently.

The stoves, according to Connie Masaba, the VODP coordinator, will come in handy especially in areas like Kalangala and Kapchorwa where tree cutting for charcoal and firewood is rampant.

"These ovens use energy from the sun, they are handy and environmentally friendly," said Masaba. Tyrone Lawther, the promoter of the solar ovens, said the sport oven has a good insulation and is reinforced with glass fibres.

The insulation material is composed of thousands of tiny, sealed, air holes where water cannot penetrate. This is a key design feature because moisture is always present in solar cooking as steam and humidity.

"The oven is designed to cook in two positions: a 60-degree slant for a lower angle sun, and a 30-degree slant for direct, overhead sun," said Tyrone.

He said the 60-degree slant happens when the oven is placed on its back, and requires slightly smaller pots that come with the kit.

"To use, place the food in the pots, place the sport facing the sun and leave to cook. You do not have to worry about burned food because the cooking temperatures are mild," he said.

Ruth Okwele, the agro-geology association of Uganda consultant, said the sport which costs $200 (about sh400,000) roasts meats; bakes fish and chicken; steams vegetables; bakes breads, cakes and cookies.

"The sport cooks without additional water so all the natural vitamins and minerals are retained, giving food a wonderful rich flavour," she said.

The easy-to-use solar oven weighs about 5kg and is wind and weather resistant. She said they are partnering with VODP to promote the ovens in Uganda.

"The sport oven is the perfect addition to camping trips, beach parties, fishing trips, back yard barbecues and everyday cooking.

You no longer have to pack heavy and messy charcoal or flammable fluids. Using the oven keeps the heat takes advantage of free sun power," said Tyrone.

The oven was designed to be used in sun rich but fuel poor areas in the world to improve the quality of life and nutrition of some of the 2.4b people who lack adequate cooking fuel and often cook with charcoal or wood.

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