Solar cookers for affected families in Tajikistan

solarThanks to the funds collected by our past volunteer from Norway, nine families affected by the earthquake in Bartang received solar parabolic cookers.

"Little Earth" can be justly proud of its volunteers. Several years ago a blonde girl with big blue eyes from Norway - Helga Lerkelund, has joined our team. Helga came to Tajikistan as an international volunteer, and worked in our organization for a year. Within our projects, Helga visited some of the remote villages in Bartang river valley in Pamir where she met young activists and was fascinated by the beauty of nature and the hospitality of the locals. Later Helga returned back home to Norway where she continued to work in the environmental organization.

In December last year, some areas of the Pamir were seriously affected by a strong earthquake. The villages of the upper part of Bartang valley were severely damaged. Hundreds of houses and a number of schools, health centers and bridges were destroyed. For some time the road was closed, dozens of people were relocated and left their homes. When she heard about the earthquake in Bartang, Helga could not stay away and decided to collect at least some funds to help the affected people.

Helga initiated a fundraising campaign on her Facebook page and asked friends and colleagues to respond to her call for help. Within a few weeks she was able to collect a small amount of money, which she has decided to spend on the solar parabolic cookers for the families most affected by the earthquake. The NGO "Oyandasoz" (our local partner based in Bartang Valley) - helped to prepare a list of recipients. In turn, the "Little Earth" helped to purchase solar cookers and distributed devices among selected families.

In the middle of June 2016 staff members of "Little Earth" delivered solar cookers to Bartang valley. Cookers were assembled on place together with local residents. The new owners were trained on safe and proper use of the device. Some beneficiaries began testing the parabolic cookers right away. For example, in Kudara village they boiled water in the kettle and had tea ready in 15 minutes. Sunny summer is ahead and residents will be able not only to boil water, but also to cook food using a clean source of energy. In total, nine solar cookers were distributed among selected families in Kudara, Bopasor, Ruhch, Nisur and Pasor villages.

Solar cookers will help to significantly reduce the consumption of firewood on sunny days. They are smoke-free and easy to use. Their use will help affected families to improve sanitary conditions and make their daily life easier. They will spend less time collecting firewood and will avoid smoke by cooking on traditional stoves. We thank Helga and all those who responded to her request for help for this good deed!

Timur Idrisov
Little Earth, Tajikistan