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"Here only work"

Happy New Year to all.

For us, the year is off to an excellent start. Many have asked us what next steps are in our micro-grid electrification plan and we are pleased to share news below.

As you read this, women's stove and solar installation training is underway in the remote and beautiful Ngorongoro crater region.

Are you wondering how changes in the Tanzanian government may affect us? Is stove demand increasing? Look below for a discussion of these questions.

As always, it is you who make all this happen. Your support is at the heart. We're very pleased to share this with you.


Robert V. Lange
January 2016

Extending the micro-grid electrical work
It goes without saying that it is a great benefit to have a light switch and plenty of power every night,  instead of the hardship of darkness and the need for open fires to see. 
Maasai Stoves & Solar electrified boma at night 

And to be eligible to receive our micro-grid electric service, the settlements must first have smoke-eliminating ICSEE stoves. This is an essential first step for Maasai to have a healthy home, with a particular impact on children. 
Once the Maasai see what nights can be like with micro-grid electrification the demand spreads. Of course they all need the light for a healthy and convenient life.
Solar training course 
We are seeking funds from private and government sources to scale up this work.  We thank the USAID for enabling the ten-boma pilot project electrification research.

And now we express our gratitude to the Putnam Foundation of New Hampshire for enabling us to keep the micro-grid work going as we pursue larger-scale funding.  
Thanks to Putnam, we recently held a solar training course for twenty-two Maasai women's leaders and staff. The training covered principles of solar electric energy and installation procedures, The newly-trained team has already installed grids in six bomas. Each installation took the team only one day of hard work.

A clear direction - will you help?

Men of Monduli and Longido districts have committed their share of the costs and are now waiting for us to have the resources to bring the installation teams to their bomas.
The direction is clear. It is important to create earning opportunities for all. The people are ready to learn and master exciting new technologies once they see how valuable they are for their families and communities. Do you want to be part of it? We welcome your input and support.  
"Here only work"
Thank goodness for Tanzania.  Whereas other East African nations are grappling with unresolved leadership issues, Tanzania seems to be ready to move ahead confidently with newly- elected president, Dr. John Magufuli, who has the great new slogan, "Hapa kazi tu" or, "Here only work". Formerly a math teacher and chemical engineer, he is known as "The Bulldozer" because of his accomplishments with Tanzania's roads.
President of Tanzania
Dr. John Magufuli, President
The Maasai Stoves & Solar Project enjoys excellent relationships with Tanzania's district and regional government leaders. They appreciate our straight-forward and productive collaboration with  pastoralists, merchants, and workers.  Read more.

There are many new appointments in the local governments. Our meetings with the new leaders of the districts assure us that there will be no interruption in the relationships and the enabling environment we are so fortunate to find around us.

The demand for our stove is increasing 
Maasai Stoves & Solar Factory Staff
We are not just in the stove or solar business. We collaborate with  the people to make life better and healthier. The stove's intrinsic benefits are a big part of this. Smoke removal, decrease in wood use, child safety, and lessening of women's menial labor drive demand. The spreading enthusiasm for electrification is also likely to increase stove demand, as we do not install the systems in smoky homes.

Expanding stove production capacity 
So the demand and scaling up of electrification means a new demand for stoves and a need for greater factory capacity.
Machines to cut and shape the steel sheets for our stove firebox are not readily available. In fact, the company in Dar es Salaam where we bought our current steel bending machine no longer carries them.
Shopping for equipment in Gikomga

Thankfully, Africa is full of resourceful people who use their minds and hands to produce what is not being imported.  We went to Nairobi to the amazing Gikomga neighborhood.  Hundreds of men run shops manufacturing every sort of metal thing imaginable. And there in the streets and alleys of Gikomga are those who design and build the machines that the rest of us need for our metal work.

We purchased a new bending machine and shipped it to Monduli. We are working with the metal craftsmen to design the motorized punch to cut the holes we need in steel sheets. This will significantly speed up and improve our production. 
Training teams in Ngorongoro district  
NCN and Maasai Stoves & Solar collaboration

The Ngorongoro Community Network (NCN) is dedicated to improving the lives of the people of that region. When Founder Judy Lane of central Massachusetts discovered our stoves, she realized that installing them could help bring about a profound change for the Maasai of Alailelai.  
We are very happy to collaborate with NCN and grateful for their support.

 A beautiful region just to the north and east of the Ngorongoro crater, Alailelai is reachable only by driving through the crater or around its rim. The roads are now passable after the rainy season, and the training is underway right now.

 A team of our expert Maasai women from the Rift Valley and Monduli region are up in Alailelai ward and are training the women of Alailelai , Archani Omelok,  and Isenduii villages to install the stoves and solar.   

Meet Alapajara Matingoi Tawo 
Alapajara Matingoi Tawo, new staff member (on left)
o keep the stoves installations growing and to support the work of the women's teams, a Maasai Stoves & Solar staff person is close to all villages in which we have ever worked.  Join us in welcoming our newest staff member, Alapajara Matingoi Tawo  from Alailelai. We look forward to his participation in all our staff activities, near and far.