Living in a shack in South Africa
Our efforts to change the living conditions in informal settlements date back to the early 1980’s. We love solar cooking and for the past 35 years we shared this passion with everyone our paths crossed.
Currently we’re testing a solar baking home based business in Refilwe near Cullinan. By using direct sunlight as well as battery power from PV panels, the family manages to solar bake every day and earn a sustainable living.
But it was their efforts to heat up minimal quantities of water on a suffocating smoking fire, that made an everlasting impression on us. The only fuel source they can afford and readily have access to is wet wood from the surrounding environment.
Something had to be done
Keep in mind that informal housing has no housing regulations, no building regulations, no orientation regulations: Every household is built according to available funds and space. The roof and sidewalls are put together with the thinnest and cheapest materials they can lay their hands on.
Our dedication to find a practical solution paid off, as the SunGenius solar geyser can now be installed at almost any structure and provides the household with running hot water inside the shack.
Everyone wants it!
To be able to open a hot water tap inside the house, is convenience unknown to most informal settlements.
Using the already warm water for cooking, speeds up the cooking process and therefore uses less wood and other cooking fuels. As Ruben, one of our clients said, “The pap is cooked so much quicker.” We heard stories about teenagers fighting over the hot water and toddlers being angry with their parents when they did not fill up the geyser.
To fill up the geyser every day is still an inconvenient practice, but it is so much better and cheaper than the alternative of fire wood or paraffin.
Solar geyser for Africa
As a social enterprise, it is our mission to expand the SunGenius solar geyser range of products to further improve the lives of informal settlement families. The IP we secured will ensure that these families will have access to quality products at affordable prices.