Tanzania Posts

Global Resource Alliance and GoSol in Tanzania

Posted Wednesday 27 September 2017 by Heikki Lindfors.

Global Resource Alliance (GRA) is a small international NGO located in Musoma, Tanzania. They work on issues of orphan care, water supply, permaculture, herbal medicine, reforestation and sustainable household energy use – which are all pressing issues in Tanzania. The GoSol team is a big fan of sustainable activities and appropriate technologies, so working together with GRA was a logical choice when GoSol was starting its operations in Tanzania.

The country is in dire need of such sustainable activities. Deforestation is a slowly but steadily occurring environmental disaster – as people have used the original forests for firewood, the price of this commodity has skyrocketed, and there is just a fraction of natural forests left. There are not enough clean water resources for the rapidly growing population. And the basic needs of thousands of orphans require special attention of caring individuals – such as from GRA’s employees.

Global Resource Alliance (GRA) personnel drilling a well. (Photo: GRA)
Global Resource Alliance (GRA)'s Training Centre produces food for 35 families. (Photo: GRA)

GRA is active in Musoma, the capital of Tanzania’s Mara region, and across from Lake Victoria at a remote village called Kinesi. Most of GRA’s personnel and volunteers work in their Musoma office. They do their agricultural projects at surrounding communities, and conduct water surveying and drilling in nearby regions. The local orphans gather at their office every Saturday, to receive food and educational materials. At Kinesi there is a permaculture training centre, where GRA employees and volunteers work together with orphans, to grow food for 35 families.

GoSol arrived to Tanzania in May 2017. Our collaboration with GRA was in full swing from the start, as GoSol was representing its technology besides GRA at Butiama’s annual Environmental Expo. The expo is the most important annual forum for environmental organizations is Tanzania.

GRA volunteer Sliafrank Shaushi introducing the SOL5 at Butiama Environmental Expo.

GoSol also worked with GRA artisans, to manufacture locally the first two SOL5 solar concentrators in Tanzania. Working with these skilled professionals was a delight and immediate success. Even tough there were language barriers, as the artisans spoke Swahili, and GoSol’s project managers English, these motivated professionals managed to fabricate the solar concentrators in record time because of our improved visual instruction material and construction guide that manages to bypass such language barriers.

Constructing solar concentrators with GRA artisans.

Global Resource Alliance and GoSol worked together in May and June 2017. During this time, we witnessed they are a professional, deeply devoted and passionate group working to make Tanzania a better place for the people, environment and children. We are very happy to continue our collaboration with GRA, to benefit the Tanzanian people and environment!

The First Solar Bakery in Tanzania

Posted Sunday 10 September 2017 by Heikki Lindfors.

Gosol arrived to Tanzania in June 2017, with the goal to replicate the success of the SOL5 solar concentrators that they had in Kenya and other countries. The very first oven was featured in Butiama Environmental Expo, where many visitors enjoyed this new technology and where it was visited by the vice president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu.

The two first SOL5 solar concentrators in Tanzania came with a baking oven. And this solar oven has a design improvement: The user can put in a roasting drum, turning the oven into a peanut roaster.

Showcasing the SOL5 Hybrid Oven/Roaster device at the expo.

The SOL5 was first introduced to the users at the Butiama Environmental Expo. Monica and Joyce of the Alpha Women’s Group from Musoma, Tanzania, were baking all weekend and selling their solar baked goodies to visitors.

After the expo, the Alpha Women’s Group received the SOL5 solar concentrator to their compound. The group consists of ten women, who bake for themselves as well as sell to their neighbors in the suburbs of Musoma town. Musoma is the capital of the Mara region of Tanzania, and the town is located on a peninsula in the shores of Lake Victoria. We were introduced to them through our local partner Global Resource Alliance - Tanzania.

Before the SOL5, the Alpha Women’s Group used to burn charcoal to run their bakery business.

The Alpha Women's Group produces bread and cakes made from wheat and kassava flour.
Before, they burned charcoal to bake their bread.
Bread is in high demand in the area.

The Alpha Group has previously been baking for their own needs and for their neighbors. The group used to bake with charcoal 2-3 times a week. Until now, the baking hasn’t been a serious business endeavor. However, in their first weeks of solar baking, they increased their baking to five times per week. They don’t need to pay for charcoal anymore and they can buy baking ingredients instead. The elimination of fuel cost has increased their business productivity, and now they are selling more breads to more people, making the group the first real bakery business in their neighborhood.

First solar baker of the country!

Buying charcoal is part of a poverty trap, and free solar energy creates new entrepreneurship.

Preparing the freshly baked solar bread for selling.

Landing in Tanzania: Butiama Environmental Expo

Posted Monday 4 September 2017 by Heikki Lindfors.

When GoSol arrived in Tanzania in May 2017, the goal was to replicate the success our SOL5 has in Kenya among the local entrepreneurs. With sponsorship from Wärtsilä, the very first SOL5 was displayed at annual Butiama Environmental Expo, on June 2nd, in Mara region.

Butiama Expo, June 2nd 2017, 1000-2000 visitors each day.

The expo featured different companies and organizations whose activities are related to the environment and sustainability, and there were 1000-2000 daily visitors at the expo.

Intrigued visitors are checking out the SOL5 at Butiama Expo.

The expo also featured a high-level workshop related to charcoal use in the country. Charcoal use has resulted in serious forest loss around Tanzania, which in turn has resulted in high domestic fuel prices and environmental degradation. There were discussions about imposing a tax on charcoal, as well as concerns that such measures might result in higher use of firewood, because there is no other alternative to charcoal use in the country. Until GoSol arrived!

Does it work? Visitors experiencing the thermal power at the focal point of the SOL5.

With help of our local partner, Global Resource Alliance, we’ve been able to present our technology to visitors.

The SOL5 at Butiama expo was a baking oven, which was designed to also house a roasting drum. The oven was operated by the Alpha Women’s Group, a small bakery business group that was to receive the SOL5 Oven after the expo. They learned the use of the SOL5 within a day, and began to bake with it during the first day of the expo. And after the day’s baking was done, they roasted peanut and sold all these solar goodies to the visitors.

Solar baking for visitors at Bautima Expo. Freshly baked buns are coming out of the SOL5 Oven.

During the first three days of the expo there were rumors about the guest of honor, who would be arriving on Sunday, the last day of the expo. Public secret was that this guest of honor was Samia Suluhu, the vice president of Tanzania, who’s responsibility is the environmental affairs in the government. And on Sunday, this guest of honor was given an honorary welcome; there were two hours of dances and parades first, after which the vice president visited the most interesting organizations and technologies on display. Most interesting being the SOL5 Oven.

Vice-President Ms Suluhu discovering the SOL5.

Madame Suluhu and deputy minister of lands Angelina Mabula were impressed by the SOL5 solar concentrator. The GoSol team is excited to work with the Tanzanian government, to bring the solar solution to the pressing problems of deforestation and high energy prices in the country.

The Butiama Expo was the first introduction to solar thermal technology to many Tanzanians. Next Gosol will work with the government officials and other Tanzanians to bring solar thermal technology for the benefit of Tanzanian people, businesses and the environment!

The SOL5 continued to get many curious visitors all day at Butiama Expo.

Global Ressource Alliance: Our Partner in Tanzania

Posted Tuesday 8 August 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

After a successful mission in Kenya, working with World Vision Finland and World Vision Kenya, and with sponsorship from Wärtsilä, we have piloted our technology in Tanzania.

As local partner, we have chosen the Global Resource Alliance, a Tanzanian organization also connected to the Californian spirit through the co-founders, Tara Blasco and Lyn Hebenstreit. Lorin and Heikki have worked closely with the great Tanzanian team, mainly Madaraka Nyerere and Elizabeth Bugidu.

GRA’s mission is to facilitate innovative solutions and community development that fosters hope, joy and abundance among the people in the country’s Mara region, and with GoSol.org they are able to compliment their existing activities of organic agriculture, permaculture and reforestation by supporting the rural population in sustainable, income-generating activities with the GoSol.org technology.

We love their holistic approach of solving poverty by empowering people of the Mara region, working at the same time on solar cooking, permaculture to restore soils and provide food, and natural healing of malaria with "neem" (a very powerful tree from India).

We’ll soon release inspirational videos of new communities using different applications of the Sol5. Meanwhile, discover the achievement of GRA-Tanzania below.

Wärtsilä sponsors GoSol in Kenya and soon in Tanzania

Posted Wednesday 29 March 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

All the GoSol.org team is happy to announce that Wärtsilä is now sponsoring our work to empower entrepreneurs in Kenya and in Tanzania.

Check out Wärtsilä’s announcement.

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