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Maasai Stoves _ Solar Project
Making strides
     
 
Dear (Contact First Name),
 
Founder of Maasai Stoves _ Solar Project
Robert V. Lange 
I'm writing to give you an inside view from our headquarters in Tanzania where, with your support, we are making great strides with the In our recent Annual Appeal we asked you to support  innovation with solar-powered moveable pump systems. You also got behind our trial stove installation and testing, and solar training. Read below to learn more about how we are putting your generosity to work. 

As always, health is a great Project priority. New technology is allowing us to monitor the actual environmental smoke, and we are amazed at some of the early results. Read more below.

Where there are so many needs for action all across the world, we are very grateful that you are there to help make our aims a reality. You are changing lives. Thank you!

Twende!

Robert V. Lange
January 2017

 
Pumping

We are excitedly awaiting the shipment of 200 portable, high quality, military surplus solar panels on their way to us from Last Kilometer Solutions of Detroit.
 
 
Portable pump testing 
In preparation, we are developing pumping systems to solve problems for herders and farmers working in difficult environments. The systems will use these panels along with 12 and 24-volt submersible pumps.
 
The herders need to water their cattle without walking them miles across dry terrain.  In spite of drought conditions, there are places where herders can dig boreholes that fill with water. However, getting the water up to the place where the animals can reach it can be slow and difficult.

We are developing and testing inexpensive pumping systems. If successful, the plan is to have the herders purchase the systems and the Project would provide the necessary panels.

When the system's panels are not being used in the field, they can power home lighting.
 
Cows and goats will drink from this ditch
This
portability allows for an efficient, life-changing dual arrangement.

Irrigation is another potential use for the portable panels. Sometimes there is water in a nearby flowing ditch. The portable panels could be used to move that water into the field.

Funded, in part, with your Annual Appeal donations, we are making good progress with our experiments with both delivery methods.   
Important innovations in monitoring indoor air quality 
 
Can understanding womens' stove use help us improve indoor air quality? Can we improve our stove design by using detailed air monitoring data during prototype testing?

ICSEE smoke-removing stove needed here 
A smoky home without our stove
 
The answer to both questions is, "yes!" 
 
We are always pleased to see just how much nicer Maasai homes are with our stove. The difference is quite amazing. Where previously I was choked with smoke, I can sit and speak in comfort with the women who are cooking.

The women say, "the smoke is gone," and we'd like to be able to do direct studies to measure their improved eye, lung, and heart health. Although those studies are beyond our resource level, we are able to do quantitative determination of carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate concentrations in the air. We check these against World Health Organization standards.  
 
Successful measurement with PATS_ 
Hanging one of the new PATS+ monitors
      
With your help, we purchased  four of the new PATS+ air monitors produced by Berkeley Air.  They are easy to use, and it is easy to download and study the data they produce. We like them and recommend them.
 
Normally, monitors are used to measure average or long-term exposure levels. Such measurements are closest to health measurements. We are also observing the bigger picture, as it relates to cooking practice.

The data show that during the different stages of a three or four-hour cooking session,  the levels of CO and particulates fluctuate greatly.
 
Maasai Stoves _ Solar success 
Enjoying better air quality with an early version of our stove

To our amazement and pleasure, we found, by watching and logging details in time, that once the stove and chimney heated up, the CO and particulate levels went almost to zero, and well below what the World Health Organization considers the level needed for health.

For example, the stove comes with a kofia, ("hat" in Swahili) that covers the open burner when there is no pot on the lit stove. If the women learn to use it more quickly after removing the pot, and during stove lighting, they can reduce smoke. This means that small changes in cooking practice could make a big difference in reducing emissions even further.  

 
Why does that empower us? Knowing where in the cooking
Member Women_s Installation Team Maasai Stoves _ Solar 
We are confident that we'll soon have an updated stove version  
cycle there is pollution, during lighting and first use, we can look for small design and behavioral suggestions that can make even this stage of use better and healthier.

These detailed data are very valuable in stove design. We recently tested a new prototype in Rhoda's home. We are trying to improve performance and bring down production costs. We've already installed three versions, ready for detailed study.  We are confident that one of these versions will become our new production model.  
  
 
 
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