Over 80% of the rural population of Cambodia depends on firewood and charcoal for their household energy needs. As a result, women and children suffer disproportionately from eye infections and respiratory illness – pneumonia is the number one killer of young children worldwide. In rural Cambodia, firewood consumption leads to deforestation and the resulting erosion and nutrient depletion destructs the very soil upon which farmers depend for their livelihoods.
Our work in Cambodia is with two partners, The Royal Government of Cambodia together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), testing renewable energy technologies in rural Cambodia.
The Solavore Sport was selected for its light weight, rugged durability, cooking capacity and low cost. In addition to being a 100% renewable energy appliance for daily family meal preparation, the Sport effectively pasteurizes water and it efficiently dehydrates food. This provides an important means of increasing shelf life and increasing the value of products, for example transporting dried produce to market as opposed to perishable fruits and vegetables.
As wonderfully efficient and fully renewable as it is, as long as we have sunsets and monsoons solar cooking will never be a standalone solution. In Cambodia, the Solavore Sport is part of an integrated pilot including biogas, small-scale biomass gasifiers, and high-efficiency wood-burning stoves.
Early results: rice – passed. Stuffed bitter melon soup– flying colors. The famous Cambodian dish "Fish Amok" - ditto. But the “aha moment” came when our trainers ventured afar and challenged the cooks to bake M&M cookies. “I can SELL these!”