Eastern Chad houses refugees from the war in Darfur and these CooKit solar cookers are vastly improving their lives. The climate is semi-arid and rainfall is scarce and irregular which makes natural resources like water and firewood increasingly rare; this requires the refugee population to travel increasingly large distances to collect firewood. This is a high-risk activity, with many women being assaulted or raped. Since the start of the program, 40,000 families in the refugee camps and the surrounding villages have been equipped with solar cookers made out of carton and aluminum foil that, when folded in a semi-parabolic form can be used to heat water and cook entire meals. Due to the consistent presence of the sun in this region, the cooker can be used 330 days out of the year—almost completely eliminating the need for firewood. The solar cookers do not only eliminate the danger of women exposing themselves to physical harm, but also improve health conditions, especially among women and children, because cooking with solar energy is smokeless compared to traditional wood-burning stoves. Plus, it empowers the women by giving them a viable role in the project, and without the need to collect firewood women have more time to pursue handcrafting or other jobs and children to attend school.
Reduction in deforestation of local vegetation
Metric tons of carbon reduced per year
- Improves health by eliminating health hazards due to smoke from wood-burning stoves.
- Ensures the safety of more than 50,000 women and girls that don’t have to risk their lives searching for firewood outside the camps.
- Empowers women by creating hundreds of new jobs for them in the camps, developing skills on how to manufacture their own solar cookers, and how to manage and track distribution.
- Creates jobs - a team consisting of around 20 women and few men per camp is responsible for the correct assembly, distribution, and supervision of the solar cookers.
- Avoidance of conflict and political turmoil between refugees and locals over scarce firewood brings more peace to the area and eases tensions.
Gold Standard was established in 2003 to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions featured the highest levels of environmental integrity and also contributed to sustainable development. With the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, they launched a best practice standard for climate and sustainable development interventions, Gold Standard for the Global Goals, to maximize impact, creating value for people around the world and the planet we share.