6 June 2012

Namibia: Cheaper Solution for Heating

Hot water is a regular part of our daily lives. It is used for cooking or heating our food, cleaning our clothes, washing our dishes and bathing.

However, hot water doesn't come cheap. Namibians have been warned about serious electricity and gas shortfalls. It has become increasingly expensive to buy these commodities and not everyone has access to them. Equally, the transport of energy always has some losses of product and inefficiencies along the way.

For coffee in the bush or hot water any-time, a local shop is offering an alternative with a seven-litre kettle that has been designed for this reason.

Iketela as it is known, is a uniquely designed kettle comprising a double-skinned wall that holds water and a central open chimney.

It sits on a small base. Because the water is held within the kettle wall, a large surface area of water is exposed to the heat and therefore boils very quickly.

By using coal, twigs, dry leaves, Eco Gel or other bits of wood found lying around as "fuel", the Iketela can heat up seven litres of water in seven to ten minutes.

Iketela is perfect for campers or just at the kambashu and home to make coffee.

The kettle comes in handy during power cuts! It is also perfect when entertaining family and friends outdoors!

The perfect combination for the Iketela is the organic Greengel fuel that is locally distributed by Greengel Heat for Africa.

It is a Namibian owned and managed company that distri-butes this new unique, reliable and environmentally-friendly product range and is located at the Old Power Station Shopping Complex.

Sales lady Charmaine Sekopamashi told New Era that the cooking gel is a better option than paraffin because it is based on ethanol produced through fermentation and distillation of sugars, meaning that it doesn't emit any environmentally harmful carbon dioxide when it burns.

The gel also burns cleanly. Hence, no black soot is left on the pots. It is long-burning (a two-litre bottle yields about 20 hours of cooking time, which is double that of paraffin).

The gel is odourless, non-toxic if swallowed and can reach temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius.

The best feature of the gel is that an added thickening agent means it will not spread if it falls on a surface and if it does get on the floor, you can put it out easily with water. This cannot be done with paraffin.

The leftover gel can even be scooped back into the bottle and re-used.

Iketela costs N$370 and N$35 for a bottle of the environmentally- friendly gel.

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