Here’s another interesting idea from Dominic Wanjihia (see links to his other gadgets below) – the fuel efficient Sufuria. A sufuria is the aluminium pan that is used by virtually everyone in Kenya to make tea, ugali and for cooking vegetables. Like all pots that we use, energy is wasted around the sides of the pot. In Africa this is expensive as fuel be it gas, kerosene or charcoal is expensive.
This is what it looks like when assembled
This is what it is comprised of – two sufurias to make one efficient one. Basically a hole is cut out of the bigger sufuria – and the piece cut out becomes the lid so nothing is wasted. To wash the sufuria you just dismantle the pieces by just slipping it out. The heat that otherwise escapes around the edge of the pan, is trapped between the cooking pot and it’s sleeve.
Though it’s not in production, Dominic is using this sufuria at home and swears that it saves at least 50-75% energy on a kerosene stove (his estimate is based on how long it’ takes to boil water).
The following story came in from Luca Varaschini (by way of David Sasaki) who was born and raised in Robertsport, Liberia where his father was a doctor. He now lives in Milan, Italy, but was in Robertsport a couple weeks ago for the first time since he left as a child.
During my first week back in Liberia I had been invited to Hawa’s birthday party, on Sembehun Beach, not far for Robertsport, so I passed some time with the ladies while they were preparing western-style food for everyone: rice, beef stake, pasta and potato salad. Then they started stirring what would have to be two cakes for the dessert, and I started wondering how they’d be able to bake them, since the only cooking apparels in the big warehouse were these coal pits on the ground.
They showed me the oven, a big metal cabinet against the far wall; looks like a refrigerator on legs, to allow a coal pit to fit under the bottom, but when I get near it, I see it’s a Blockbuster Quick Drop Booth! The front, where the slit had been closed, faces the wall and the back door is to access the oven; inside are several fridge trays, on which they lay the pans. The door is then locked with a simple bolt and sealed all around with wet cloths.
The cake was fabulous.
[Editor’s note: I’m find myself incredibly curious trying to figure out where they found this… How did a Blockbuster drop box get to Liberia?]
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