February 25, 2014

Follow-up course: solar dryers and improved Lazola box cookers

In January 2014, Hans-Georg Klaphake went to Kenya again for another course at the Kiini training centre. He wanted to do a quality check of the Lazola solar box cookers which had been built since his training course in August 2013 and make a few alterations to the design of the cooker. In addition, he was going to build solar dryers with the trainees. 

The activities at the training centre in the meantime had attracted a lot of attention. In November a member of a Swiss organization visited Kiini. He gave a very positive feed-back. On November 19th, the German and Kenyan representatives of the Senior Expert Service - the organization which MKICDO requested to send H-G.Klaphake - came to see the project. They signaled that they were willing to send him again. 
Meru county politicians realized the potential of the Kiini centre to promote appropriate technologies and provide technical training for school leavers. They are interested in cooperation and have promised their support.

Maintenance of the Kiini training centre and payment of the employed craftsmen is one of the big challenges of MKICDO. In the long run the organization wants to become independent of foreign donors and generate their own funds. In order to accomplish these goals, the MKICDO board of directors decided to offer a variety of courses at the centre, e.g. carpentry, metalwork, masonry and computer skills. In addition, they were going to make furniture on order. Production for customers would be an integral part of the courses.
Mugo had requested to use part of the donations we had sent to purchase a planing machine and a lathe for the Kiini workshop. When H-Georg arrived at Nairobi they went to a part of town where enterprising craftsmen (re)produce all sorts of goods. 

inside a workshop

Final touches: The lathe still needs some spray-painting. The planing machine is already packed on the pick-up in the background.

ready to leave

outdoor upholstery

polluted river - a negative side-effect of economic growth

During H-Georg Klaphake´s assignment at Kiini, the Minister of Training, Industries and Cooperatives came for a tour of the centre. He had a great interest in advancing the economic development of the region and brought up a number of ideas on how the Kiini training centre could play its part: production (and export) of dried fruits, manufacture of thermal collectors for hospitals and other institutions that need large quantities of hot water, ... His ideas were quite overwhelming to Mugo and to us as well. After all we need to set priorities and consider carefully what is realistic and affordable. And we should always keep in mind that whatever we do should serve the people and the protection of the environment.

 The Minister of Training, Industries and Co-ops meets MKICDO board members.
demonstration of the new planing machine

in the workshop: bending and drilling machines

Mugo explains how the retained-heat (basket) cooker works ...

... and demonstrates a Lazola cooker.

The tree nursery at the centre is well-established.

In the course of his stay, H-G Klaphake had several opportunities to promote the Lazola cooker. Together with some MKICDO board members he went to a regional teachers meeting. From there they were given a chance to visit two schools.

The students are curious what the shiny box is all about.

The teachers want to find it out as well.

The headteacher of the next school gives an introduction to the children.

Ivonne explains how the basket cooker and the solar cooker work.

One highlight was a visit to a mango plantation. The owner had worked with the German GTZ for 12 years. When he retired he bought a piece of land, planted mango trees and built a solar dryer.

Now we know how they grow.

Hmmm, delicious mangos!

The mango farmer shows his visitors the solar tunnel dryer.

After Georg´s demonstration the farmer bought a Lazola.

On a Sunday, the County Economic Advisor, Mr. Mputhia, took Georg and MKICDO members on a trip up the Mount Kenya forest.

Mugo and Mr. Mputhia

in the forest

another interesting project

traditional bee hives

At the Kiini training centre Georg built two solar dryers with some of his former trainees. As the workshop was not yet fully equipped, a welding machine and an angle grinder had to be rented.

the frame

in front of the workshop

What´s next?

making trays for the dryer

lunch break with maize and beans

When the dryers were finished, they were tested by the MKICDO board members. The first results - dried mangos - were quite tasty.

Mission accomplished!

Thank you, bwana George.

Two dryers were taken to the members of Rev. Nkanya´s group who live in an area where people grow a lot of bananas. They want to dry the fruits as well as the maize, beans and vegetables they harvest.

banana plants everywhere

happy recipients