Joint Energy and Environment Project (JEEP) in partnership with Food Agricultural organization (FAO) have laid down a plan to train Karimojong people who live in the North Eastern region of Uganda how to make energy saving stoves, tree planting and making live fences for their traditional houses locally referred to as ‘Manyatta’
Prior to the plan, JEEP staff (Ruth and Kevine) went on a familiarization tour to Karamoja with FAO staff in September 29th – 1st October, 2013.
Through this strategic sustainable partnership, the goal of JEEP and FAO is to enlighten the Karimojong communities on the importance of food crop cultivation and environmental conservation techniques with funding support from FAO.
Ice breaker moment!
Ruth interacting with the Karimojong women to prepare ground for environmental awareness and conservation. In the background, traditional Karimojong huts – Manyatta with a woody fenced around the homestead.
Ruth (CEO) encounters a delighted village resident in Butambala – Mpigi district during the solar lamp distribution – Lighting Africa project and she was impressed with the testimony of this man.
“My dialogue with this resident inspired me as I walked away laughing.”
Man: Madam, how are you? One village resident greeted me with a very big smile and remarked that ‘Let JEEP live for a hundred years’
Man: ‘With a solar lamp, I’m like a king’
Ruth: Why is this so I inquired further?
Man: ‘because I no longer ask money for paraffin’
Ruth: Doesn’t a king also need it?
Man: Who could ask for it, the queen or who? I would like you to know that I got rid of kerosene lamps (tadobas) we have been using at home for lighting!
On the 29th of August 2013 2 JEEP staff Rachael and Edna traveled to Bukoba District in Tanzania to follow up and assess energy saving stove project. A refresher course on energy saving stoves was done to equip the SAREPTA members with advanced skills. The members were also equipped with skills in tree nursery establishment and management.
In March 2012 Joint Energy and Environment Projects (JEEP) and Morso u-Landsforening (MUF) entered into a partnership to train members of SAREPTA womens’ group in the construction of Rocket Lorena energy saving stove, soap making, hay basket making, briquette making.
JEEP staff training the grassroots community in Bukoba district Tanzania – a refresher course on energy saving stoves. Rachael & Edna (Jeep Staff)
From the 24th to 28th of September was “Energy Week” at the National Theater in Kampala. That is an exhibition of many organisations and companies which are involved in energy saving solutions. Of course JEEP was also represented there with a stand where we showed our products. I would say, that we had the most varied items, like solar lamps, stoves, basket cookers, filtering systems but also soap. During every day the organisations could present themselves and so we also talked about our field work and trainings. Most of the other stands were only focused on one topic, but there were also stands of the German organisation “GIZ” which showed the results of deforestation and how energy can be saved. It was shown with some models and experiments they normally show in schools.
But what really disappointed me were the flyers of the Ugandan ministry about energy saving tips. I had the impression they just copied european flyers, because there was, for example, the advice to lower the temperature of the washing machine. That is really strange because I know nobody here in Uganda with a washing machine, yet. About cooking I only saw the tip, that you should think about cooking with gas instead of electricity. It was not mentioned to use a cap or a basket cooker. That assured me that there is still the need of organisations like JEEP who propagate how to save energy in the rural areas.
For me, a german volunteer, it was really great to see how many enterprises are only focused on renewable energies. For example the solar home systems showed there came from all over the world, most of which came from China, but also some from Germany and other countries.
This exhibition was not only important for JEEP because we sold our products and distributed flyers, but we could also exchange experiences about products and see new ones from other organisations.
On 24th September 2013, JEEP trained a farmers group of 36 members in construction of Rocket Lorena two pot hole stove. This group was from Paida district northern Uganda supported by Lutheran World Federation. They received both theory and Practical knowledge.
Participants being shown how banana stems and saucepans are removed from the stove to create space for firewood, air inlets and combustion chamber.
JEEP welcomes other groups, organisations schools and Institutions for such training and many others.
It is not an ordinary basket as your mind would immediately imagine, however, it is pretty appealing and unique in the dawn of renewable energy! Then what makes it extraordinary?
Not until I had been involved with the Joint Energy and Environment Projects (JEEP) folkecenter in Kyanja on Gayaza Road, Kampala-Uganda, did I come across hay baskets which originally obtained its name from hay – dried grass. I discovered that it obtained its name from hay – dried grass.
During one of the demonstration tours at the JEEP folkecenter, I was initially introduced into the world of solar technologies, which left a profound impression on me in the climate change mitigation initiative in Uganda.
Different sizes of hay baskets created by Alice Nanteza at the JEEP folkecenter
Thinking about African women from the grassroots community who depend on fuel (firewood) to sustain their standard of living, concepts of renewable energy; solar lamps, energy cook stoves, fuel cookers and hay baskets for warming food would definitely appeal to their circumstances compared to women living in Kampala whose standard of living is fairly different.
In developing countries, hay baskets are used in combination with stoves, solar cookers or fuel cookers to preserve scarce and valuable resources which cater for the needs of the grassroots household communities who can barely afford fuel. Therefore in rural communities, the economic benefit of using renewable energy cook stoves is far greater and with a combination of hay baskets have the capacity to extend their meager resources, although we must refrain from thinking that the idea of solar renewable energy is predominantly for poor communities. We must we are living in the age where communities must adopt the use of renewable energy technologies and devise sustainable ways to address the climate change impacts.
Alice Nanteza show casing one of the hay baskets she made and sold it at UGX 40.000/- with an inserted cooking vessel
The hay baskets caught my eye during my demonstration tour at JEEP and these baskets are simply a designed contraption made out of reeds obtained from papyrus and molded into a basket. The inner part is stuffed with thick cotton and shielded with polythene and a thick black cotton material which is sewed onto the polythene. The circular cover which is also stuffed with thick cotton and sewed with inner black cloth is created in such a way that it is measured precisely to fit the basket.
The inner material used must be black in colour although the outer covering material can be different.
How does it work?
Since it works as a fireless cooker, foods like rice in a saucepan can be prepared halfway over a flame and transferred to a well insulated container and in our case – Hay Baskets which cooks for a period of time until it is ready! It is covered well and fitted securely to permit sufficient heat retention hence maintaining warmth.
Therefore, the warmth of the food can be retained by placing the cooking vessel in the hay basket for as long as possible until your food is ready to be served – allowing for a timely and warm delicious meal as seen in the pictures. The cotton and the black material preserves warmth – acting as insulators. The inner polythene protects any food stains or sauce from shrinking the cotton and even if the cloth is stained with sauce, it can be easily washed and dried for future use.
Are you still living in a climate denial like I was? Get fired up and come visit our demonstration center – JEEP folkecenter which is endowed with diverse tree species planted, hay baskets (fireless cookers), in-built solar cook stoves and solar renewable technologies in our ecological sustainability initiatives in Uganda.
Ann Grace Apita
Information & Partnership with JEEP
My name is Patrick Lindner and I will stay for one year in Kampala and work at JEEP as volunteer. I just finished my Bachelor’s degree in physics in Germany and wanted to work more practically now. My sending organisation, “artefact”, already sent seven volunteers, to work at JEEP, therefore it became a good cooperation.
I arrived in the beginning of August at Entebbe airport with a group of artefact volunteers, staying in Uganda. In the preparing week we visited the folkecenter with Annika, my predecessor who returns to Germany in September 2013.
I was quite nervous to see for the first time my workplace for the next twelve months and I hardly slept the night before. It was also the first time we got so far from the city center of Kampala.
When we got out of the matatu (minibus taxi) the clean air at the comparatively silent place let me notice how loud and smelly the city centre really was.
When we entered the office everyone greeted us so warmly, I felt immediately comfortable and all the tension just vanished. Thereafter, we all sat down and introduced ourselves. Everybody shared about their future workplaces all over Uganda, and Ruth, the CEO of JEEP posed many questions to us. Accordingly, Annika guided us over the whole folkecenter beginning with the kitchen and the bathrooms that I first thought, she told us before. At the center, the solar backup system is also placed. So the photo voltaic panels are up on the roof load with four batteries during daytime and in case of a power breakdown a 3000W inverter transforms the 12V DC voltage of the batteries into 230V AC which sustains work operations for staff on their laptops. This happened once, but everything worked perfectly without even noticing the difference.
We left the office building by the back door and the first thing I saw was the bottle house, which looks very interesting! This type of house does not need bricks, but is constructed out of plastic bottles, filled with sand. The bottles are recycled in an uncommon way from the other bottle houses I have seen before on the internet that are covered carefully making it hard to differentiate it to a normal brick house. At JEEP, the bottom of every bottle can be seen on the surface, which makes it unique.
We went on with the cooking pit with clay stove, where Eva, JEEP’s Service Officer daily prepares staff meals.
In the garden many different plants are growing even lettuce, which is really rare at the markets. Also bag gardening is demonstrated and now I feel like doing it, too, at the flat where I stay in Kampala.
The most impressive building, I think, is the guest house as seen in the photo with a solar panel on the roof and a solar water heater in front of it. This method of water heating is very uncommon in Kampala even if it can save a lot of resources. It is quite roomy in the house and two volunteers stayed there for the last two months.
“The most impressive building, I think, is the guest house as seen in the photo with a solar panel on the roof and a solar water heater in front of it”
Apparently, I am working for some days in the office and I am grateful of being here because everybody is really helpful when I have some questions or problems.
I am sure this will be a great year with JEEP!
Volunteer with JEEP
JEEP together with Momentum micro development limited have finalised a six month pilot study on developing women groups in Kyanja Nakawa Division by giving them affordable loans. These women groups have completed their loan repayment and some of there businesses are doing well. JEEP has considered them for new applications but this time around, JEEP is giving individuals not groups.
Kyanja women group
Mrs Nalwanga Justine a resident of Kyanja Nakawa division she is enjoying the fruits of this loaning scheme. In a period of six months, she has been able top up some money on to buy a cow for her self. She said that; “I was looking for jobs before but as per now am employed by my cow and I have been able to repay the loan through our group”. Thanks to JEEP.
The enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on environment called for this year’s theme being-Think.Eat.Save. JEEP as usual participated in this year’s World Environment Day Celebrations on 5th /June/2013 in Kalangala District.
The above theme encourages everyone to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choice one makes and empowers everyone to make informed decisions.
JEEP still aimed at deepening public awareness and education of the need to preserve and enhance the environment.
Most of people who visited JEEP stall received knowledge on the following.
- Tree Planting (Raising seedlings, wood lot planting and maintenance, Grafting)
- Energy saving Rocket stove.
- Mwoto Stove
- Water fitters
- Solar energy among others.
People were so interested in the different technologies exhibited by JEEP including the Honourable Ephraim Kamuntu Cabinet Ministers for Environment, Honourable Flavia Munaaba State Minister for Environment among others.
Ministers being showed how firewood is put in Mwoto Stove
Water Filter being demonstrated to people
Ministers being shown solar technologies
JEEP still ensures a safe Environment for a sure future by promoting efficient management of natural resources and renewable energy technologies.