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Sakata and Chang’ombe Cooperatives Now Using Solar Ovens

After months of waiting, finally the Solar Ovens have this week been successfully installed and tested with Sakata and Chang’ombe Cooperatives in Zomba and Kasungu, respectively. For the past years, the two cooperatives, under Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP), have been baking their bread and scones using firewood and sand powered ovens.

In addition, quality of the product was not good for the market as it could sometimes come out over baked. Looking at the challenges, which were energy related, COMSIP worked with Community Energy Malawi (CEM) and Community Energy Scotland (CES) for the two cooperatives to have solar ovens. The ovens were to stop the use of firewood, sand and in the long run, save on their income.

This week CEM was in Sakata and Chang’ombe testing and empowering the cooperatives on using the ovens. There were smiles and ululations when the solar ovens were able to bake in less amount of time and with improved quality and quantity. Even more, the product was said to be of high quality by the chairperson of Sakata cooperative, Dorothy Chindamba.

“This is good quality bread. I am impressed that just with using the Sun we are able to produce this,” she said.

She added: “I am also happy that we will no longer use firewood and sand. It was a huge task by itself. Now it will just be a matter of getting the oven into the Sun, wait it to heat and we bake.”

Solar oven baked scones at Sakata Cooperative in Zomba

On his part, CEM’s Country Director, Edgar Kapiza Bayani, told both cooperatives to take care of the ovens to make them sustainable.

“We will continue empowering you in how to use the oven. As CEM, we would like to see them being used with care and for a long time so that you make enough profits and uplift your homes,” he said to Chang’ombe Cooperative on Tuesday.

CEM has also planted over 20, 000 tree seedlings in the two areas to replace the lost trees and conserve the degraded environment. The two cooperatives are empowering households with diverse social statuses including the elderly and women-headed homes.

Written By: Wonderful Mkhutche

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