Solar Cookers International Network (Home)


15 years spreading solar cooking & water pasteurization

2003 annual report
solar cookers international

information exchange networks

sci gathers and shares expertise in solar cooker

  • design and manufacture
  • uses and health, nutritional and safety factors
  • site-specific, participative transfer and adaptation
  • patterns of uptake and use
  • dissemination methods
  • worldwide trends and leaders


  • responses to inquiries over 1000 in 2002-2003
  • the thrice-yearly solar cooker review sent to 11,000 in 160 countries
  • the solar cooking archive website, with nearly one million visits, that includes a recently-updated international directory of 700 solar cooking advocates
  • periodic surveys of promoters
  • international and regional conferences, the next expected in 2005
  • a resource center for eastern africa

�i am grateful for your valuable advice and i will follow your plan to spread the solar cooking idea in my country. � i am really impressed by the commitment the sci feels toward solar promoters everywhere and glad to be in good hands.�
y.a., djibouti

�you are a thoughtful, empathetic, indefatigable and helpful friend. i really appreciated your detailed dissertation on the parts of the solar cooking campaign which have puzzled me. i have forwarded your e-mail to distant helpers and will print out a number of copies for people here in chapala.�
j.b., mexico

field projects

sci�s guiding principles:

  • transfer of expertise and ownership to local businesses and/or humanitarian agencies
  • participatory adaptation to local needs with frequent consumer feedback
  • long-term (5- to 10-year) projects to build public awareness and successful businesses
  • quality standards and results
  • continued spread after sci�s role ends

project updates:

aisha refugee camp in ethiopia

this project, initiated by un high commission for refugees, ended this year, as the refugees will soon return to somalia. (see also research.)

kakuma refugee camp in northern kenya

trainers, themselves refugees, are now forming a co-op to continue providing instruction and replacement supplies with minimal outside support.

(new) nyakach community in western kenya

a new community-based project was launched, in partnership with nyakach community development association, to address acute wood scarcity and waterborne diseases in this droughticken area of kenya.

�since firewood has not been distributed for the last nine months, solar cooking is my only hope. � solar cooking allows me to save my food until the next food distribution, because i do not have to barter my food for firewood.
abera t., february �03

�i like using the wapi (water pasteurization indicator) because i can [heat] water collected from river tharach and avoid attacks of diarrhea or typhoid.
awut a., july �02

15 years in review

2002-2003 was a year of transitions. near the end of fiscal year 2003 executive director terry grumley left for a new career and sci welcomed back its former director bev blum as its leader. we wrapped up our project at aisha refugee camp in ethiopia, as these refugees expect to go home. we started a new project in the western kenya community of nyakach. we developed new materials for sci�s technical support services.

in july 2002, sci marked its 15th anniversary. this is a good time to ask: where do solar cookers really help people? how has sci accelerated the spread of solar cooking to the estimated one billion people that could benefit most?

in fifteen years, sci has:

  • empowered over 30,000 families with the skills and capacity to cook with the sun in three refugee camps in eastern africa, two settled communities in zimbabwe and one settled community in kenya. supporters included unhcr, unesco, many foundations and thousands of donors.
  • developed and field-tested the �cookit,� to date the simplest effective solar cooker and for many of the world�s poorest the only affordable model.
  • promoted solar water pasteurization. water heated to 65�c/150�f is free from waterborne diseases. we know of at least one cholera outbreak that was shortened because people could solar pasteurize drinking water. we also developed and field tested the wapi (water pasteurization indicator) that tells when water is safe to drink.
  • developed and shared solar cooking educational tools and materials including over 80,000 booklets how to make and use a solar cooker. our materials have been copied worldwide and translated into scores of languages.
  • provided training and consultation to hundreds of promoter organizations.
  • sponsored three international conferences in usa, costa rica and india bringing together world solar cooker experts to build on each other�s experience. we also organized two regional conferences in latin america and two national conferences in kenya.
  • established a regional resource center in nairobi to provide services adapted to eastern africa needs, cultures and languages.
  • provided the case statement for the unesco-initiated united nations world solar cooking and food processing programme, 2000-2005.
  • has grown from a membership of 17 founders to over 3,000 donor members.

there is much more to do to serve the one billion people who could benefit most from solar cookers. we are impatient but optimistic. consider another simple, yet effective piece of technology: the bicycle. the first prototypes appeared around 1817. it took another 75 years before a truly practical design was developed, and within a generation there were hundreds of millions in use around the world. today, deep into the automobile age, the bicycle is still a major mode of transportation and remains true to its elegant simplicity and affordability for all but the poorest. solar cookers have an equally bright future, and we�re dedicated to hasten that future.

dave anderson
sci president

one gift honors three stars of solar cooking

this year sci was the grateful recipient of a most generous $40,000 gift from solar cooking pioneers barbara kerr and sherry cole. the gift was given in honor of another pioneer, bob metcalf.

an inventor and public health nurse, kerr designed the simple, widely-copied cardboard box cooker, a through-the-wall solar cooker and solar sterilizers. she also had an important hand in developing the elegantly simple cookit and built the sustainable living center in taylor, arizona. cole advised kerr to pause her inventing to make her simple box cooker more widely available, then helped kerr to do so.

metcalf learned about solar cookers 25 years ago through kerr-cole enterprises, and has solar cooked ever since. he also took kerr�s efficient, simple box cookers to many corners of the world. more recently he has traveled and taught about the newer cookit and also researched and taught extensively about solar water pasteurization. he has spent nearly every recent summer break in africa sharing his expertise.

kerr, cole and metcalf are all sci founders and have been major inspirations for sci from its beginning. we honor and thank these leaders, who have worked tirelessly to spread solar cooking to those who can benefit most.

other activities

education tools

this year we began a process to update and expand our basic publications, starting with the popular booklet how to make and use a solar cooker.


our field projects have added to the growing volume worldwide of documented acceptance, use and fuel savings. an extensive, independent evaluation of the aisha refugee camp indicated that 94% of the families in this highly traditional society adopted solar cooking and on average they used 33% less fuel wood and 26% less charcoal.


our volunteer united nations representatives in geneva and new york continue to introduce solar cooking into discussions of policy makers.

solar cooking could benefit one billion people who suffer fuel shortages and/or deadly waterborne diseases. other benefits include

  • health and safety: reduce smoke, fire risks and respiratory diseases, preserve more vitamins
  • energy savings: solar cooks save on average one-third to one-half of cooking fuel
  • more sustainable environments: less wood and other biomass burned, cleaner air


financial summary






sales & other





africa programs




fund development









inventory & equipment












net assets 06/30/03


full audited financial statements are available on request. sci is a member of interaction and meets all of its standards for private, voluntary organizations. *$75,000 of the $80,000 in grants is restricted to use during fiscal year 2004.

funding partners

sci�s work is funded by 2,976 individuals like you as well as foundations, associations and major donors.

funding partners

good works institute, inc. helen kowtaluk
richard and rhoda goldman fund lorrie and richard mccurdy
barbara p. kerr and sherry cole burnett and mimi miller
nicole c. faulkner whole systems foundation
greenville foundation volunteer services st. martin�s table
dr. james and dr. nancy joye stephen j. plank
bob and mary beth metcalf dr. christina gore
janet and martin sheen judith jones
lorraine f. hubrich charitable gift fund daniel krummenacher
beverly and george blum william lankford
dora freedman levit fund jim and virginia moose
mary ann cobb and peter wilson judith ricci
mental insight foundation eunice mahler
vanguard public foundation don and nancy crosby
fred j. and alice stanback emma garrison
mark stone james g. moose and kirstie k. wilson
jkw foundation hannah and felix wassermann
joan myers gary and gayle hursh
mark cotham machiah foundation
virginie and john mitchem holly lapp
peter d�ascoli larry rockefeller
compton foundation john and mary ann roche
ann c. stephens dick and athena eitel
barb and chuck francis kent mein
rotary club of sacramento clark and eleanor shimeall
community foundation of greater memphis


2003 board of directors

david anderson
k.c. bishop, phd
beverlee bruce, phd
dick cochran
john collentine, jd
paul funk, phd
joyce hightower, md
gary hursh, jd
barbara knudson, phd
joe mccabe, pe
virginie mitchem
robert parkins, pe
judith ricci, scd
meredith richardson
carolyn a. ristau, phd
john roche
jim uhl
elvira williams

you light the way

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This document is published on The Solar Cooking Archive at For questions or comments, contact