Gaza Strip, 08 January 2019 – As part of the efforts made by UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People to mitigate the harsh socio-economic conditions in the Gaza Strip, 47 vulnerable families received solar cooking ovens to improve their livelihoods. Families were selected based on their vulnerability status, family size, persons with disability within the family and the viability of their house to absorb energy.
The need to cook food for nourishment is fundamental and requires the use of energy in some form. In light of the energy crisis in the Gaza Strip that prevents families from using electrical ovens, and the inability of low-income families to purchase the gas needed for cooking, the utilization of a natural source, in the form of solar energy, that can be converted into heat was a viable alternative, especially that Gaza has an average of 320 days of sunshine a year.
The initiative was launched with UNDP resources to provide low cost solar cookers that have the capacity to capture sun rays, which will in turn power the cooker and heat the food safely. At the same time, and in complementarity with other UNDP interventions with the IRADA centre, the initiative will create job opportunities for local carpenters at the centre to manufacture those cookers. In addition, the solar cooking ovens are simple, safe and reliable devices to cook food without consuming fuel and with a reduction of utility bills. Access to affordable and sustainable energy is a necessity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, with significant impact on the economic, environmental and social well-being of the population at large.
The solar cooking ovens were provided across the Gaza Strip, benefiting nine families from North of Gaza, five from Gaza City, 23 from the middle area, six from Khan Younis and four from Rafah.