R20 initiates second phase of solar bakery project in Burundi

Gitega. Ferbuary 26 - March 2, 2014. The second phase of the solar bakery project was launched by R20’s East Africa Program Manager, Jini Sebakunzi who went on mission to Burundi at the end of February to meet with local stakeholders and project partner CIRID.

The second phase of the project began with a stakeholder consultation workshop where 32 participants (women bakers, local officials) gathered to discuss the potential benefits of having a solar bakery as well as concerns they may have. The workshop was a success, and the women bakers expressed their gratefulness to R20 and CIRID for helping to start this project that will reduce the amount of smoke they inhale as much less wood will be needed to bake. 

In addition to the workshop, interviews were conducted to recruit a local project manager who will oversee and coordinate all activities on the ground.

The solar bakery project will provide a solar-powered oven to a small bakery in Gitega, Burundi, that employs women that have been marginalized by their communities.

Through this project, the R20 and CIRID aim to reduce environmental impacts, as well as generate social and economic benefits for the local community. The project aims to train more than 100 marginalized people on bakery management, allowing them to be socially and economically integrated.

Currently, the bakery relies on burning wood to produce baked goods, which exposes the bakers to large amounts of smoke, is costly as the price of wood keeps rising and promotes deforestation.

The project is funded by the EEP Programme in Southern and East Africa, which is jointly funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (lead donor), The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). For further information click here.

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