Solar Cookers International Network (Home)


the sun shines on all the earth's peoples

2002 annual report
solar cookers international

letter from the leadership

our message is as straightforward as the solar cookit is simple: solar cooking is as reliable, free and clean as the sunrise.

we help others to spread solar cooking. through education and information-sharing, networking, technical support and advocacy, we give practical wisdom to many organizations worldwide and encourage others to get involved. through our field projects and research, we continually expand the world's knowledge of how to spread solar cooking.

we strive always to enhance our capabilities to educate, advocate and collaborate on behalf of vulnerable people and fragile environments. this year, we've added three new staff people to our project delivery team, given staff additional training, and increased training services to other organizations.

the evaluation process in aisha refugee camp and a new research project in kakuma refugee camp help us to refine our methods - refinements to be documented and shared with a growing world solar cooking community.

this report outlines recent, real achievements in easing hunger and poverty, reducing impacts on forests and saving lives. meanwhile, crucial activities like research, evaluation, capacity building, and planning our next project will surely lead to much greater accomplishments next year and beyond.

thank you so much for your support and interest.

terry grumley 
executive director

dave anderson 
board president


evaluation: "best possible use and adoption of solar cookers"

an evaluation of the sci solar cooker project in aisha refugee camp, ethiopia, emphasized project effectiveness and sci's stress on involving the refugees. mr. alemayehu konde, a professional evaluator from ethiopia, conducted the evaluation under an agreement with the united nations high commissioner for refugees and sci.

sci launched the project to show that poor women would learn, adopt and benefit from solar cooking. the evaluation found that 94% of the families now use solar cookers - 22% on most sunny days and 72% regularly, but not daily. among all 14,000 camp residents, fuel use was reduced by more than 40%. 

more than two-thirds of the refugees previously relied on collecting firewood, the study says, "mainly on the backs of the women." firewood is collected from distances "between 10 and 50 kilometers" from the camp. solar cooking reduced trips for firewood from four times per month to two.

the report quotes a camp elder:

"forest is rain; forest is fuel energy; forest is crop; forest is livestock; forest is asset; forest is money. forest, in general, is livelihoods. by reducing their destruction and reclaiming them, even if it was to a limited extent, most of us have just started witnessing how valuable these things [the cookit] are ... and will benefit more if we continue using it."

sci's commitment to involving the refugees was confirmed. "significantly high performances are noted during the training and on site following up processes involving communities [and] their institutions, particularly women's groups. ..." the project reflected "the felt needs" of the community, while the "need for and appropriateness of the solar cooking technology is by all measures well justified."

the draft report also validates improvements in project planning and monitoring that sci recently began applying to present and future projects. a final report is due shortly.


the ashden trust of great britain honored sci's work as a "valuable model for others" and an example of "outstanding renewable energy projects that provide support to rural communities in the developing world, in a way that alleviates poverty and improves the quality of life, while remaining fully responsive to existing cultural values." sci was one of four winners of the 2002 ashden award, the only worldwide award for renewable energy. the photo shows sci's eastern africa regional representative, margaret owino (on right) accepting the award from her royal highness, princess anne, as sarah butler-sloss of the ashden trust and edward whitley, representing the whitley laing foundation, look on. the �7,500 award will fund cookers and training for 1,500 refugee families.

more highlights

  • sci's partner in tanzania, ahead inc., also won an ashden award for its safe drinking water project.
  • over 120 organizations in kenya applied to be sci's next partner in a solar cooking project to begin in a settled kenyan community late in 2002.
  • the sci board of directors formed an "ad hoc committee on afghanistan" which advises relief and refugee organizations about solar cooking for afghani populations. some solar cooking activities are under way.
  • over 200,000 visits were made in twelve months to the solar cooking archive (, mastered by volunteer tom sponheim.

sci - a catalyst

solar cooking multiplies when other groups borrow sci's teaching approach or our technology - like cookits and wapis (water pasteurization indicators). some recent examples are:

  • the government of india, through its ministry of non-conventional energy sources, decided to produce 100,000 units of a cooker based on the cookit to make solar cooking more accessible to low income people.
  • following a pilot project in 2001, the seyhan rotary club in adana, turkey, won a grant from rotary international this year for a multi-year project to bring cookits and training to 10,000 families.
  • the world bank's "development marketplace" awarded $100,000 to a project led by mercy bannerman, md, in ghana. the project relies on cookit-type solar cookers and wapis to destroy the guinea worm parasite in drinking water. sci shipped 1500 wapis to ghana in 2002.
  • several cooker projects in africa supported by the rotary club of fresno (california) use wapis. over 400 sci wapis were shipped to rotary and church groups in brookings, south dakota, usa, that support solar cooking in haiti.
  • solar solutions, a solar technology company in san diego, california, now produces a compact water pasteurizer called an aquapak that features a built-in wapi.
  • bolivia inti, a french group, has a solar cooker program in bolivia that promotes health with wapis. recently, bolivia inti requested and received sci's technical advice for producing its own wapis.

news round-up


despite drought, economic crisis and political turmoil, the development technology centre (dtc) of the university of zimbabwe keeps selling low-cost cookits with steady success. with advice from sci program staff and two training-of-trainers programs by sci's margaret owino, dtc has been researching, reviewing and adapting methods to promote the sale of solar cookers.

dtc seeks to help people earn incomes through sales and teaching.

over 1,200 cookers were sold in the past year as dtc's florence shangwa led a team of ten seller/teachers. they market cookers through existing church, business and social networks - making for easy follow-up with new learners.

kakuma refugee camp

over 3,100 more refugee families asked for and received cookits and training this year. the sci team, led by virginia ruguru and refugee shadrack alumai, conducted 13,000 home visits and group meetings to provide follow-up support. sixteen hundred refugees took advantage of refresher courses, while many learned about fuel-efficient stoves.

new research is exploring how increased encouragement can help turn an uncertain, occasional solar cook into a confident master of solar cooking. the research focuses on 180 families drawn from kakuma's six zones.

so far, solar cooker usage is rising markedly in the target group. water pasteurization is more commonly practiced. people's enthusiasm is shown by many new solar recipes created and shared by group members - and by neighbors increasingly borrowing solar cookers and seeking training classes.

sci will document results to help all future solar cooking projects (sci's and others') promote broad, rapid mastery of solar cooking.

saving lives in tanzania

sci's co-founder bob metcalf brings microbiology and solar expertise to a safe drinking water project managed by ahead, inc. in the remote meatu district.

working with elvira williams, ahead's executive director and sci's vice president, bob trained local health workers in water testing and solar pasteurization in 2001. here are two examples of recent results:

one village suffered a suspected cholera outbreak that killed four people. health workers tested the water and found contamination. villagers held a meeting and decided to pasteurize all drinking water with heat. they also gained matching funds from their district to sink a well (to be completed in october) and chlorinate their water.

in another village, the water testing methods showed that monthly chlorinating at water pumps yielded routinely safe water, whereas chlorinating yearly did not. the village now treats both its water pumps monthly.

bob trains water and health professionals in the largest city, dar es salaam, when he is in tanzania. officials there report that bob's methods have helped them reduce exposure to cholera.

bob led safe drinking water training programs in the kisarawe area in 2002.


assisted by other solar cooking activists, including some from india, sri lanka, indonesia and the united states, volunteer deling wang coordinated solar cooker visibility at united nations meetings in beijing, phnom penh, new york and bali in preparation for the world summit on sustainable development in south africa.

there are two key results of deling's work. first, the draft of the summit agreement that world leaders are expected to sign includes wording that endorses low cost technologies such as solar cookers in sustainable development. second, representatives of thousands of governmental and non-governmental organizations at the preparatory meetings saw solar cooker displays and received information.

sci's eastern africa regional office gave demonstrations at 10 major events in kenya, reaching 23,000 people. the events included a seminar for rural women's organizations, world environment day, and world refugee day - and connections were made with representatives of the government of kenya, the united nations environmental program and the united nations high commissioner for refugees. smaller presentations reached 18 other organizations in eastern africa.

sharing the tools of the trade

in february, sci's nairobi office began a new service - offering intensive courses in leading solar cooker projects. sci's margaret owino led the course. the eight graduates represented several countries and organizations.

attendees worked with a variety of cooker types, built cookers, solar cooked a variety of foods, and learned about creating awareness, leading solar cooker demonstrations and training others to teach solar cooking.

course graduate margaret odero of the uhai lake forum of kenya said, "in three months time, i'll be able to have created awareness of solar cooking in the whole lake region and have trained 10 sub-region women's groups. ..."

the next course will focus on solar water pasteurization.

courses are designed to meet the identified needs of attendees. future sessions will likely include components that touch on:

  • planning a project using tools such as needs assessments, feasibility studies, project selection checklists, and baseline studies.
  • applying tools related to home visits, group meetings, and measurement exercises (see photo, back page) to coach and encourage new solar cooks as they acquire new skills.
  • monitoring projects - to identify and correct problems early - using sci techniques such as spot checks and transect walks.

by sharing the tools sci uses, these courses will help others spread solar cooking more effectively.


2002 board

dave anderson president management analyst
elvira williams vice-president executive director of ahead inc., sci's partner in tanzania
gary hursh, jd treasurer attorney at law
john collentine, jd secretary retired attorney and business executive
k.c. bishop, ph.d. senior consultant in business
beverlee bruce, ph.d. program director in social science research
dick cochran ceo and president of a financial institution
paul funk, ph.d. agricultural engineer with a federal agency
joyce d. hightower, md president of nonprofit international development organization
barbara knudson, ph.d. retired professor of international relations
joe mccabe, pe owner/operator of an energy consulting firm
virginie mitchem software quality and technical support manager
judith ricci, sc.d. senior scientist in research
meredith richardson capacity building/knowledge management specialist
carolyn a. ristau, ph.d. scientist in ethology and human conflict
john roche retired engineer
jim uhl ceo of a communications company

collectively, these 17 board members have over 160 years of experience in international development - from afghanistan to austria, bangladesh to botswana, malawi to mexico, rwanda to romania, and many other countries. they have served as consultants or employees for africare, the american council for voluntary international action, national council of international health, overseas development administration, plan international, save the children, unesco, unicef, un international research and training institute for the advancement of women, un department of technical cooperation for development, us agency for international development, the world bank, and world learning, inc., among others.

four board members provide extraordinary technical assistance:

paul a. funk, ph.d., holds the world's first engineering doctorate in solar cooking. he helped set international standards for evaluating solar cookers, quantified the contribution of each component to cooker performance and designed a durable, affordable solar box cooker - the sport - now under production by persons helping people, a nonprofit group that is led by michael and martha port. 

barbara knudson, ph.d., is a professor of international relations whose professional experience with refugees and international development spans nearly 50 years in countries such as colombia, ghana, india, kenya, and mexico. she designed the refugees-teaching-refugees approach used in sci's kakuma project.

judith ricci, doctor of science in international nutrition, is an epidemiologist who guides sci in designing research and evaluation methods. her career in health includes long service in egypt, burkina faso, cote d'ivoire and niger.

john l. roche is a retired engineer with 30 years' experience in developing renewable energy products - especially reflective and transparent films used in solar cooking. he helped bring the sport solar cooker into production.


2002 staff

terry grumley

executive director

sacramento, california (usa)

pascale dennery program manager

virginia callaghan

resources coordinator

kevin porter

office manager

ramon coyle

database coordinator

eastern africa

margaret owino

eastern africa regional representative
solomon okumu programmes coordinator

nadir aden hassan

aisha project coordinator (ethiopia)

faustine odaba

field assistant

sci's eastern africa project delivery team, consisting of margaret owino, solomon okumu, faustine odaba, nadir aden and virginia ruguru, contribute over 60 years' experience in education and training, energy and environmental conservation and community development. they have 18 years of experience teaching and promoting solar cooking.

sci co-founder and superb volunteer bob metcalf, ph.d., is a professor of microbiology and the world leader in solar water pasteurization research. he has given solar cooking workshops in 18 countries and provides technical leadership in sci's partnership with ahead, inc. in tanzania.


financial summary




grants & contracts


sales & other





africa programs




fund development









inventory & equipment






promises to give 80,000







net assets 06/30/02


full audited financial statements are available on request. sci is a member of interaction and meets all of its standards for private, voluntary organizations.

*$140,000 of the $176,689 in grants and contracts are restricted to use during fiscal year 2003.

2002 foundation gifts $3000 and above

ashden trust

compton foundation

dora freedman levit fund
good works institute
greater kansas city community foundation

jkw foundation

richard and rhoda goldman fund
william e. slaughter foundation


for every purpose under heaven

solar cooking addresses root problems which cause misery and hopelessness for millions of people in scores of countries. to spread the solar solution most rapidly, sci works to help other agencies achieve their goals by including solar cooking in their programs. sci seeks to work with programs that focus on:

economic development and poverty reduction - many poor urban families spend above 25 % of their income on fuel to cook their food. by reducing these expenses, families who solar cook have more money to spend on education, medicine, tools, seeds, and food. solar cooking towns and villages retain more of their wealth for community needs.

health - water pasteurization destroys the organisms in drinking water that kill 3 million people each year and sicken many more. solar water pasteurization requires no expensive infrastructure - just simple solar devices and sci's re-usable water pasteurization indicators (wapis). smoke from cooking fires sicken millions of people. solar cooking is clean and smoke-free. it promotes better nutrition by enabling people to spend more on food, less on fuel.

conservation, forestry and agriculture - two billion people rely on wood and charcoal for cooking fuel. solar cooking relieves the conflict between their basic needs and the need to preserve earth's dwindling forests. loss of tree cover leads to climate change, flooding, erosion, loss of topsoil, the growth of wastelands and deserts, and reduced agricultural yields.

income generation - making, selling and teaching about solar cookers provide meaningful work, as the zimbabwe cooker project is now exploring.

women's rights-can a woman stand up for her own dignity while bent under a load of firewood? solar cooking saves countless hours of bondage to firewood collection and cooking, giving women time to pursue other activities. this point leads back to economic development; as united nations secretary general kofi annan said this year, "there is no effective development strategy that does not invest in women."

see the savings

mrs. pol wau, a sudanese refugee in kakuma camp, is shown with a solar "cookit" and the wood the cookit saves in just 20 meals. in an sci measurement exercise, pol cooked 450 grams of dry rice and 300 grams of dried legumes (an adequate meal for 5 to 6 people) on a traditional "3-stone" fire. she used 3 kilograms of wood. cooking the same food with solar energy used no wood. kakuma averages 20 sunny days per month. the cookit, if used just once per sunny day, can save 60 kilos of wood monthly. in kakuma, 60 kilos of wood costs about us $8 - more than the cookit costs.

sci basics

sci, a nonprofit, educational organization, was founded in 1987 to spread solar cooking awareness and skills - primarily to sun-rich countries where fuel shortages severely undermine human well-being.

education & networking

sci is a clearinghouse, creating and distributing materials on making, using and teaching about affordable solar cookers. sci publishes a solar cooker newsletter, sponsors an award-winning internet site (, organizes international conferences on solar cooking, and provides custom answers, advice and referrals to thousands of "clients" worldwide.


an sci team developed the world's lowest cost, mass-produced cooker - the cookit. sci volunteers invented the wapi - a reusable indicator that shows when heated water has reached pasteurization temperatures, making it safe to drink.


sci members and staff have spread solar cooking awareness through hundreds of media stories and through presentations at many national and world conferences relating to health, development and the environment and to schools, civic groups, government agencies and international organizations.

field projects

in 1995, sci began its first field project in kakuma refugee camp in kenya. now, more than 22,000 families have received cookers and training. at the request of the un high commissioner for refugees, sci opened a project in aisha refugee camp, ethiopia - the entire population has received solar cooking services. in late 2002, sci will launch a new project in kenya.

technical support

at the request of the united nations educational, scientific and cultural organization, sci led a small cooker project in zimbabwe in 1996-97. sci continues providing technical support to the university of zimbabwe's development technology centre to maintain and expand the program of selling low-cost cookers to middle- and working-class zimbabweans. in 2000, sci began formal technical support to ahead, inc. for a solar water pasteurization project in the meatu district of tanzania.

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