Solar bread in Tajik mountains


In October last year, the family of 55-years-old Charog Yaftaliev who lives in remote mountain village Nisur of Rushan district of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan became the first to use a parabolic solar cooker - a simple device for cooking with the help of sunlight. It was made possible thanks to the project "Clean Energy" implemented by environmental organization "Little Earth" with the support of Naturvernforbundet.

At that time it was one of the first solar cookers in Bartang valley. That is why, in the framework of monitoring, we collected data on what family members are preparing with the solar cooker, how long it takes, etc. Later we heard that Charog is not just preparing a meal or boil the water on the solar device, but bakes the bread. First we took the news as a joke, but it turned out to be true.

The hero of our story had to be smart to bake bread with a solar cooker. . Since the temperature at the bottom of the dishes, standing on device reaches 200 degrees Celsius, the dough burns fast and there is no time to get it baked inside. The solution was found in a form of small plain iron sheet that Charog puts under the kettle - so it heats evenly and longer.

On clear sunny days Charog’s family bakes bread several times a week. On average, it takes 30-40 minutes and no firewood. Neighbors also come to Charog to bake solar bread. There is a lack of firewood in the valley and its residents try to spare each cord of wood. Being in Nisur village this June, we were lucky to taste the bread baked by the careful hand of the mountaineer with the help of sun.

In May this year, about 30 solar cookers were distributed to residents of several villages of the valley. Now Charog is not the only "solar baker" in Bartang - with the help of the most powerful source of renewable energy, bread is now made in Roshorv village. Solar cookers are inexpensive, easy to use and the fuel for them is the sun itself.

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News and photo by Timur Idrisov - Little Earth

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