Mukasa (on the right) explains the parabolic cooker to Seydou Coulibaly, director of the Togo Tilé project in Mali.
Mukasa Kawesa, Director of Solar Connect Association (SCA), our project partner in Uganda, has been admitted to the Solar Cookers International Association. This Association is an elite group of academics, decision-makers, designers, producers, businesses, innovators, lawyers, humanitarians, environmental experts and NGOs that promote solar cooking worldwide.Globally the Association has over 40 members, of which 15 from Africa. Mukasa will be one of the speakers at the 6th Solar Cookers International World Conference that will be held in January 2017 in India.
Recognition for his work
This election constitutes an important tribute to his work. Mukasa has for many years now been active in Integrated Solar Cooking (ISC) and Renewable Energy (RET). Over these many years of cooperation with SCN, Mukasa and his SCA staff have been very energetic and innovative. He has also transferred his knowledge and experience to the project leaders of other Solar Cooking KoZon projects in Ethiopia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal.
Solar Cooking The Netherlands, together with Wilde Ganzen, has since 2007 provided support for Solar Connect Association in Uganda (SCA). SCA is an ISC business with a social business objective, engaged in the production, marketing and sale of solar and other energy-saving cooking appliances. SCA has considerably improved the standard of living of thousands of families in Uganda through the sale of energy-saving cooking appliances. In various parts of the country poverty has been reduced through the fostering of entrepreneurship among women in these regions. The marketing model (‘cooking together’ sessions, home visits) developed by SCA has set in motion a process of durable change. Activities are concentrated in 2 districts in the Mbarara region and 3 districts around the capital Kampala.
Mukasa (on the right) shows Seydou Coulibaly, director of the Togo Tilé project in Mali, how to make the CooKit.
A number of women, carefully selected in their own community, are responsible for marketing the whole range of energy-saving cooking appliances. They also manage a modest credit fund to enable poor households to acquire these cooking appliances. It is estimated that the income of these women / marketers has increased by 50 to 120%. At present over 50,000 families have benefited from SCA’s ‘Renewable Energy for Cooking’ programme. Pupils at schools in the region received extensive information from SCA staff about the advantages of the use of energy-saving cooking appliances.
In 2013, SCA and SCN drew up a business plan and a strategic action plan. Execution of these plans started in October 2013 with the purchase of a piece of land in Biharwe close to Mbarara. Shortly thereafter the construction of a new Renewable Energy Centre was started that is now fully operational.
Increasing demand for sustainable energy
But there are still enough challenges to be met. There is increasing popular demand for sustainable energy, in particular for the use of solar energy to generate electricity. Together with SCN and others he is trying to meet these challenges using the appropriate technologies that are at the same time feasible for larger groups of the population. Climate changes, in particular rainfall variability, increasingly take their toll. He is doing his utmost to integrate SCA’s work into the sustainable energy policy of the government. This policy aims to increase the use of sustainable energy sources in the country from its present 4% of the total national energy consumption to 61% in 2017.