Kenya Posts

Flagship video of the projects in Kenya and Tanzania

Posted Tuesday 31 October 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

After a year of operation with support of our sponsor and with our local partners, we are happy to present our achievements in Kenya and Tanzania.

Our local partners are ensuring the follow up of the project as well as data collection to prepare scale up.

Several communities have been equipped with our SOL5 device and have successfully adopted the technology to bake, roast peanuts or dehydrate fish, increasing income, decreasing charcoal use and improving working conditions.

It has been an exciting and challenging year and all the team contributed to make it a success, welcoming also new motivated people to make this world a better place for all.

Download our manifesto, "Direct Solar Economy" for free!


Fish dehydrated with solar energy at Bao Beach, Kenya

Posted Monday 28 August 2017 by Lorin Symington.

Food dehydration is an important part of food security and solar thermal tech is the perfect energy source to power food dehydration. In partnership with World Vision Kenya, we have been introduced to the Bao Beach beach management unit, a cooperative that operates within a small fishing community of 300 people located on the shores of Lake Victoria, in the Western part of Kenya. People have come together to do business at Bao Beach. By cooperating, and being business-oriented they have more stability as they fish, dry and sell sardines (known as "omena" locally), Nile perch and tilapia.

The previous method: Woman turning the fish drying on the ground.

Fresh fish only last so long. Without refrigeration fish spoil relatively quickly and so instead, local fishers dry fish by spreading out the fish on nets on the ground. The sun and the wind eventually dry them. Sometimes they are eaten by birds, sometimes the dogs get at them, many flies are on it, the air only flows over the side facing up, so they must be turned often. It amounts to a considerable amount of work, which generally falls to the wife of the fisherman. It can take 2 days to dry the fish, especially if it is one of the two rainy seasons in this part of Kenya. If there is not enough sun, or it rains suddenly, the fish will spoil.

Lorin training the Bao Beach technicians how to prepare mirrors for mounting on the SOL5. Simple materials with careful assembling, can do amazing things.

We have teamed up with the Bao Beach community and equipped them with our Sol5 powered dehydrator. Lorin and Heikki trained 4 technicians from among the young men in the community on how to set up and maintain their solar concentrator. The SOL5 uses high heat, moderated by PV powered high airflow. The product being dehydrated is in an enclosure that prevents flies, dust, birds, dogs, etc., from spoiling the fish. We expect the SOL5 to improve the quality and hygiene of the dried fish, increasing the price on the open market, as well as reduce post harvest losses during the rainy season.

Lorin testing the SOL5 Dehydrator to determine how many kilos of fish fit per tray.

Now, we’re starting to get the first data from the communities and it is exciting to say the least. Unfortunately during the initial installation the concentrator was damaged, but it was recently repaired by our fabricators in nearby Kisumu and the initial reports are very promising. Very soon we’ll share footage of this new application of the SOL5. We’ll be evaluating the profitability of the fish drying value chain in collaboration with World Vision, as well as providing capacity building opportunities for stakeholders to adopt best practices.

Loading omena (sardines) into the SOL5 Dehydrator.

1 Year After: Expanding Solar Bakery in Kenya

Posted Thursday 29 June 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

Thanks to Wärtsilä, our founding sponsor, we were back to Kenya, collecting a lot of data after 1 year of almost daily use of the SOL5 Oven by bakers in cooperation with World Vision. But most of all, we were able to provide an additional SOL5 solar oven to these motivated solar bakers.

Watch David and Lorin explain!


Yier Ngima - Solar Peanut Butter

Posted Thursday 8 June 2017 by Urs Riggenbach.

In this video we’re back at the Yier Ngima cooperative in Kenya, to follow up on their feedback after using the Sol5 for a year.


Preserving the green beauty with the power of the sun

Posted Friday 19 May 2017 by Heikki Lindfors, Heikki Lindfors.

Misire youth group is an agricultural community in Nyamira County in southwest Kenya. The area is known for its rich agricultural production. The main crops in the area include bananas, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, beans and tea. The land is hilly and green and one can see small fields everywhere around.

We were introduced to Misire youth group by World Vision Kenya in January 2017, and they were interested in having GoSol’s Sol5 solar baking oven. The group bakes bread for four local schools in the vicinity. However, their baking business has been limited by charcoal. One bag of charcoal costs 1200-1500 Kenyan shillings (US$12-15) in the area - much higher than we have seen anywhere else in the country. This is due to the fact that cutting down trees is illegal - the local government has decided to keep the green and lush land as it is by this ban, resulting in extreme traditional energy prices but hopefully beautiful preserved landscape for their children.

The group grows maize, bananas and beans on their land. The bananas in the area are plentiful and even overabundant. Instead of selling all the bananas fresh, the group dries them into banana chips, grinds them into flour, and bakes bread using 20% banana flour, 80% wheat flour. The bread is very sweet and tasty, with exotic banana flavor. Environmental consciousness and unique bakery product; the perfect setting for a Sol5 solar bakery.

Thanks to our sponsors Wärtsilä, we delivered a Sol5 solar bakery to the Misire youth group on a sunny April morning. The group (as well as extended family and neighbours) immediately gathered around the Sol5, helping us to assemble it. Eagerness and excitement was radiating from the faces of the villagers when we all together, erecting the frame and putting up the mirrors on the Sol5.

The Sol5 was assembled in few hours, and the next day we gathered with the community to bake with the Sol5. The group leader Afros Ochieng was delighted by the efficiency of the Sol5, as it was faster to bake the buns and breads than their previous charcoal oven. And as the fuel cost is zero as opposed of their previous huge charcoal cost, they can now bake more. Afros Ochieng explained with enthusiasm that the group previously baked only two times per week, but now he thinks that they can bake every day and expand their bakery business.

GoSol’s solar innovations creates new sustainable businesses, and that means preserving the beautiful scenery of Nyamira County for locals, visitors and future generations.

Watch the video showing this great group !


You make the world a better place by working...

Posted Friday 28 April 2017 by Heikki Lindfors.

You make the world a better place by working together, and sometimes small local partners can provide the best value for the local people. Like a solar bakery in a community center.

Lokichoggio is a Kenyan town in in northwest Kenya, near the border with South Sudan. The town is very remote, located in the desert region of Turkana. Between 1989-2005 Lokichoggio was a forward base of UN Operation Lifeline Sudan. In those busy times many international NGOs were present in Lokichoggio, and air transports were flying to South Sudan several times a day from the local airport. After the operation ended, the NGOs left, leaving the town quiet and desolate and the locals jobless. All that remains from those busy days are abandoned compounds and a few hotels.

Kea and Birgitta Arnlund work for a Swedish NGO Barnmissionen. Barnmissionen has provided an elementary school for local Turkana children, providing basic education for over 500 students.

They also work together with the ANA Women’s group, which runs a local bakery. ANA Women’s group is a local NGO, with six members. They bake bread, scones and queen cakes every morning and deliver them to local schools and shops. The school children enjoy their fresh bread for lunch every day, and the local shops sell it to townspeople.

Kea and Birgitta and the ANA Women’s group have a dream: to build a community center and a library, where people can come to read, use computers, and study to provide these educational and beneficial free-time activities for the local Turkana people at no cost. They will also now have a solar bakery at the community center so people can enjoy tea and some solar-baked treats in the cafeteria.

To make lives better locally, you only need a handful of visionary people working together, such as the women of ANA Women’s group, and also Birgitta and Kea.

Check the vblog of this group:


Presenting Results and a New Application in Kisumu

Posted Saturday 15 April 2017 by Eva Wissenz, Lorin Symington.

Last Friday, on April 7th, at the World Vision Lake Region compound in Kisumu we presented 3 SOL5’s to around 65 representatives from a wide variety of NGOs and the Kisumu County government. It was the occasion for our team to present the spirit of our work, its impact since a year and the synergy with our sponsor and partners.

A wide variety of people from different sectors attended the presentation.

Attendees were primarily involved in agriculture, enterprise development, environmental stewardship and poverty alleviation, all very interested in hearing the results of our first pilots installed about a year ago in the area, and curious about the new food dehydrator we’re presenting.

Attendees inspecting the SOL5's and their different applications.

Chief Officer Lorna Omuodo (below) from the Kisumu County Green Energy and Climate Change Authority expressed her vision of making Kisumu the premiere sustainability county in Kenya.

Chief Officer Lorna Omuodo: "Let's make Kisumu the premiere sustainability county of Kenya"

The day was beautiful, though the morning was too cloudy to bake all the goodies Lorin and Heikki (below) had planned, there was enough sun to show the focal point and for people to witness the power of our solar concentrators.

Lorin Symington and Heikki Lindfors of GoSol.org in front of the SOL5 solar concentrators.

We were happy to welcome Mr. George Oywer, from Wärtsilä, who presented his company and their sponsorship of GoSol. Also presenting were Maija Seppala, Chris Asego and Joseph Tinkoi, representing World Vision Finland’s WEconomy Start Program and World Vision Kenya’s livelihoods and resilience program.

To top it off we welcomed back David Chepkwony (below), our first solar (and happy) baker who you met last year. He shared his daily experiences and use of SOL5 oven, making a strong appeal to the county government to GoSol.

Solar Baker David Chepkwony presenting on his experience with GoSol.
David Chepkwony spreading his enthusiasm for solar baking.

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