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Solar ovens and efficient stoves

The massive deforestation of this region from which 85% of the wood consumed in Senegal comes; cooking food, for example, is 98% ensured by the use of wood and coal;

Massive Deforestation

in this region, ever greater distances have to be covered by women and young girls who are responsible for fetching firewood and who are exposed to aggression and rape in isolated areas

the meager daily income of women who cannot go into the forest goes almost entirely to the purchase of wood;

under such conditions, the incentive to boil water before drinking it to avoid the parasitic and microbial diseases which  are in this area  (only 8.9% of the population has access to tap water and 7.4% has a protected well).

Sexual Assault

Dependence on wood

infections and diseases


Consequently, in this region with a Sahelian climate, the use of solar energy in terms of sustainable development finds its full justification.

This is how ENS and the ASDPR (Association of Solidarity for Rural Development) worked on the project to set up solar ovens and efficient ovens. To do this, the association has organized and financed the training of craftsmen in the construction of these tools. At the same time, it organized the awareness of a hundred women representatives of women's groups to their use.

The  observations that led to think and carry out this project

A local company in Dakar was approached and dispatched trainers on site.

During  3 days,  5 metal carpenters and 6 wood carpenters (from Kolda, Velingara and Sédhiou) were trained in the manufacture of solar cookers and efficient stoves.


These energy-saving stoves are more successful than solar ovens  among the female population who  has some reluctance to appropriate them. However, solar ovens are gradually becoming popular and are mainly used to heat water, make jams and dry seeds.

These actions could also lead to a reduction in tension between the Water and Forests administration and the carpenters (400  in the town of  Kolda) or the people who illegally supply them with wood; without cut reduction or regulation, some species could totally disappear (for example, Ven species takes 80 years to mature). Echange Nord Sud is now looking for ways to widely disseminate these tools.


We hope that a natural emulation will ensure the sustainability of the project when the population will see the positive effects of this innovative system.  and that the requests for individual kilns will employ the trained craftsmen and thus improve, in several ways, the living conditions of the population of the region.


For  to be able to renew training in the manufacture and use of these ovens and to expand the project in the region, by

  • the protection of the Mahon forest,

  • the development of a market gardening area (new methods, new seeds to widen the range of vegetables to be consumed)

  • the implementation of other projects related to the protection of the environment combined with the improvement of the standard of living of the population,  

  • ENS has received a grant from the Regional Council of Aquitaine.

The training of wood/iron carpenters has borne fruit:

  • They have organized themselves into a federation which is now approved by the Chamber of Trades, which gives them access to mutual insurance.

  • The federation participates in the dissemination of training and can use the premises and tools of the Chamber of Trades.

  • The order of the Regional Council of Sédhiou  has been delivered  : 20 solar ovens (for cooking jams and drying fruit) and 50 efficient stoves (including 1 given to scouts for their own use and for popularizing this new equipment in the villages they pass through).

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