Solar aid continues a year after Haiti earthquake

In Haiti, Illinois-based Sun Ovens, Inc. staves off hunger one solar-cooked meal at a time.
Written by Melissa Mahony, Contributor

Today marks the anniversary of the 7.0 MW earthquake that hit Haiti, killing upwards of 200,000 people.

A year later, conditions remain dismal. Nearly a million people are homeless, cholera has killed thousands, unobstructed violence is rampant, and electricity is scarce in the some 1,200 tent camps.

Finding food is difficult, cooking it is another problem and boiling (often contaminated) water yet another. Deforestation on the island has reportedly made charcoal and wood hard to come by as well. But for families lucky enough to obtain solar cookers that's one less thing to worry about. Sun Ovens International, Inc.has been bringing almost 500 of its solar-heated ovens to Haiti since last January. And there are more on their way. Working with Friends of Haiti Organization, they recently held a coarse to teach 135 people how to cook via the sun, which is required in order to receive the subsidized ovens.

The Illinois-based organization says their $200 family-size cooker can boil, steam, roast or bake food at up to temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The larger oven can cook about 1,200 meals a day.

In a country where much humanitarian aid has been delayed and only 5 percent of the building rubble from the earthquake has been cleared, reportsOxfam,preparing one's own plate of warm food is one of few comforts.

According to Sun Ovens, 100 percent of donations (which are tax-deductible) go toward purchasing the ovens for Haitian families and communities. This month all will be matched dollar for dollar.

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Image: Sun Ovens International, Inc.

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