The Maasai communities
Maasai villages consist of bomas and may also have a small commercial center. A boma is a group of houses, usually those of the wives of one man. Each woman lives with her children, and perhaps a young unmarried sister who helps her out. There may be a corral for cows, another for goats, and a wood and thorn-bush fence encircling the boma.
The central living space is about three meters in diameter, surrounded with head-high partitions that create spaces for sleeping and areas to keep the baby goats. Traditionally, before the change to our stove, there would have been an open three-stone fire right in the center, leaving very little floor space. The smoke from the fire filled this space and left through the front door. There was always soot on the ceiling and over and around the door.
Traditionally, before the change to our stove, there would have been an open three-stone fire right in the center, leaving very little floor space. The smoke from the fire filled this space and left through the front door. There was always soot on the ceiling and over and around the door.
Improving homes through the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project
With our stoves installed, floor space increases, and there is no more soot production. Most women redecorate their homes, repainting the interior with light-colored mud wherever the old way of cooking has stained the walls with soot. Without our stove, their interior is all about cooking and smoke and ash and clutter. With our stove there is a new feeling of possession and control for the women. There is a complete change of atmosphere in the house. It is lighter in color, smells nicer, and is a much more pleasant place.
Introducing Maasai Stoves & Solar through the Buyer’s Club
All Maasai, women and men, like the idea of solar powered lighting in their home. And they all have cell phones and have to pay to have them charged.
Once a household has purchased a stove, the central and most important element in our work, they are eligible to purchase solar panels, lights, batteries, and cell phone chargers that we can supply at a very low price.
This is very attractive for customers. In order to make it feasible, we have set up installment plans for solar system purchasing.
We have designed a simple way to catch rain water with a tarp that cost $20 and are looking for other ways to bring home improvement items to the people who have bought our stoves. This is the “Buyer’s Club”.