Solar Stove Distribution in Nepal

Posted by: SAFE Administrator

Modified date: 10/18/2017

Solar Stove Distribution in Nepal


Technology field of reference: Cooking

Relevant sectors: Nutrition, Food Security, Education, Health, Environment

Population type: Refugee

Category of funders: Not Available

Project Description

The Vajra Foundation is a joint Dutch-Nepali foundation supporting a variety of education, health and environmental protection projects throughout Nepal, including in rural areas and refugee camps. It began a large-scale solar cooking program for refugees in Beldangi I camp in 1998, eventually providing 548 cookers for use by 75 percent of the camp population, at a ratio of one cooker per four families. Vajra began its solar project using the box cooker model, which is a wooden box lined with a reflective mat on the bottom, insulated sides and an adjustable glass top. All materials needed to construct box cookers were available in the local markets, and the average per-cooker cost was NPR 2275 (U.S.$30). However, box cookers are very slow cooking (taking approximately 2.5 hours per small pot of food) and broke frequently – particularly the glass tops. Maintenance and repair therefore became expensive. Over the course of the year in which Vajra actively distributed box cookers, it found that the refugees were often not repairing the cookers if they broke, casting them aside in favor of using strictly (free) kerosene. The foundation therefore decided to switch to a different model, the SK-14 parabolic cooker.After the program switched to using parabolic cookers, the program was more successful. Cooking times with parabolic cookers were much shorter, about 45 minutes to an hour.However, because the cooker must be turned frequently, it waslabor intensive. These cookers were frequently used and a waiting list existed for refugees hoping to purchase one. The main obstacles to the acceptance of solar cookers were the space they tookup, the strong preference for kerosene, and the desire to be able to cook breakfast in the mornings. There is also a belief that cooking outdoors is unhealthy.


Starting and ending date

From 01/01/1998 to 01/01/2013

Number of beneficiaries reached through energy related activites or interventions

548 Bhutanese refugee households

Cost of energy technology and/or fuel


Names of implementing partners

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Stichting Vluchteling, Vajra Foundation

Funding sources