Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting out there, making a difference

Villagers using a solar cooker for the first time, near Kanye in Botswana.

Crosby Menzies from Solar Cookers For Africa is traveling through Africa, visiting isolated communities, and trying to create a groundswell of public interest in Solar cooking. This former Wallstreet worker has created a project that takes him out from in front of his computer and into the wilds of Africa, and the reactions are overwhelmingly favourable. Armed with cookers, a simple flyer, and a huge smile, Menzies has made solar cookers his mission. I joined the Solar Caravan in Botswana, near the town of Kanye.

This country of 2 million people enjoys one of the highest solar indexes in the world, and last year the government made a commitment to develop solar energy over the next 20 years. At the moment, most of the people of this desert country use scarce firewood for their household energy needs, but Menzies sees a time when 80% of those needs will be met with solar, using today's technology.

Under the big Botswana sky Menzies trundles up in his white 4x4, bringing technology and new ideas to rural Africa.

Crosby Menzies is on a mission to distribute Solar Cookers all over Africa.

Earnest Batulo 11, learned how to use the Solar Cookers For Africa cooker in less than five minutes.

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