Tuesday, 23 September 2014

FOTO goes to Remba Island on Lake Victoria!

Friends of the Old staff Seline and Pamela went on a four day work trip to Remba Island to promote solar cooking and water testing. Remba Island is on Lake Victoria and is rocky and very remote. There is no firewood or charcoal on Remba Island as must be imported from Mbita by boat. The scarcity of firewood on the island combined with plenty of sunshine makes solar cooking and water pasteurization an ideal solution for the locals.

Most structures are made of corrugated iron as there is no timber or construction clay.

Pamela demonstrates the use of the fireless basket

Seline makes a point about the solar cookit and fireless basket to keen listeners.

And a crowd started to gather.

Boats at beaches to get back and forth. There are eight beaches between Remba and the mainland which serve as fish markets and economic centres.

Seline at the beach at Remba Island

Pamela at the beach

Seline setting up before curious onlookers

Pamela answers all their questions

Another scene from the shore
 The economy of Remba Island relies heavily on fishing, therefore incomes rise and fall with the fishing seasons. At this time there was little disposable income as fish were off-season.

"Can this cardboard really cook without fire...?"

Seline clarifies solar cooking in the midday shade

More enquirers assemble

Smiles all round as Pamela presents a delicious solar-cooked cake!

Taking final questions
At the end of the demonstrations, Remba locals enthusiatically bought solar cookits, fireless baskets and CeraMaji. There was not enough to satisfy demand. Clearly, these things turned out to be good solutions for the energy problem at Remba Island.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Safe Water Packages Distribution - in Pictures

Every month, Friends of the Old distributes 100 safe water packages to needy senior citizens in Nyakach. This is done at two events at two locations, in each of which fifty packages are distributed. These events are always busy days full of activity.

FOTO Director Dinah Chienjo addresses recipients

Safe water packages sorted in formation
A cross section of recipients waving next to their new packages
A solar cookit is an important element of each safe water packages that is given. These events provide a good opportunity to practically demonstrate solar cooking to the recipients by preparing lunch on solar cookits.
Recipients sampling solar coked food with relish
The men also had their fill of tasty solar cooked food

His children came as well, to help carry the package home
Off they go!

FOTO staff (in blue) helped recipients with their packages

A handcart was "at hand" for door-to-door deliveries

Thursday, 13 February 2014

FOTO distributes new 2014 Calendar courtesy of IWHA

In the month of January, FOTO made and distributed calendars to residents of Nyakach. This was funded by our partner International Water and Health Alliances through facilitation of Prof. Bob Metcalf.
A happy friend of FOTO after recieving certified seeds and the calendar

The calendars were given to households, partner community organizations and non-governmental organizations operating in Nyakach.

Some recipients of calendars and certified seeds

The calendar depicts beneficiaries of some of FOTO's activities who have recieved reading glasses, Waterguard, certified seeds and safe water packages. The FOTO logo is centrally placed and a staff photo completes the gallery.

FOTO calendar 2014 hangs prominently in a recipient's living room
Due to high demand, more calendars are being made for distribution in early February.  This calendar will go a long way in increasing awareness of FOTO's activities and improving our visibility in Lower Nyakach. Many thanks to IWHA for their contribution towards this end.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

FOTO distributes100 packages in January!

2014 began on a high note for Friends of the Old, following a funding boost thanks to partners Solar Cookers International.

Starting January 2014, distribution of safe water packages increased to 100 recipients every month, up from 50 previously. One hundred household received safe water packages in January. The solar cookit will enable them to cook food and pasteurize water using renewable solar energy. Safe water pots will help recipients store drinking water, keeping it safe from contamination. Lastly, the upesi jiko and fireless cooker will minimize the use of firewood, saving costs and helping in environmental conservation. 

50 January Safe Water Package recipients (Nyalunya location) in a group photo

Also thanks to Solar Cookers International, starting January, Friends of the Old is currently conducting solar cooking demos in all the twelve locations of Lower Nyakach. Big crowds attend these events, which attest to widespread interest and curiosity in solar cooking. FOTO hopes to improve the adaptation of solar cooking in villages through these demonstrations.

Tasty: some foods solar-cooked at the distribution event

The current phase of funding will enable Friends of the Old to distribute safe water packages until June 2014. On behalf of the grateful recipients in Lower Nyakach, FOTO thanks Solar Cookers International for their generous funding towards this life-changing intervention.

Senior citizens taste solar-cooked food