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- It’s a method that some are hoping will take off across Africa, to help protect forests and improve the lives of women
- The stoves use heat-holding volcanic rocks broken down to the size of charcoal
- The Kampala city authority has installed 230 of the stoves at Wandegeya Market where Bamugamire and her colleagues rent the premises from the government
Kampala, June 29, 2017: Cooks at a community kitchen in Kampala’s Nakasero Hill business district are preparing a traditional breakfast of green bananas in offal sauce using a very untraditional means of cooking – volcanic rocks.
It’s a method that some are hoping will take off across Africa, to help protect forests and improve the lives of women.
“Rocks for fuel is a reprieve to all women in Africa,” said Susan Bamugamire, one of the 55 cooks in the community kitchen set up by city authorities in the Wandegeya Market shopping mall to help feed local workers.
“Save for the high cost of purchasing and installing it, the special cookstove is something every woman will crave to have in her kitchen,” she said, saying it would largely free women from having to seek out firewood, charcoal or kerosene.
But cost is an issue in a country where a third of the population live on $1.90 or less a day and even small domestic stoves are priced at $100.
The stoves use heat-holding volcanic rocks broken down to the size of charcoal. The rocks are heated using starter briquettes and then remain hot for hours with the help a fan blowing a continuous flow of air over them.
According to Rose Twine, the director of Eco Group Limited – the Kampala-based company that produces the stoves – the main aim is to provide an efficient form of cooking energy that is user friendly and good for the environment.
“It pains me when I see people cut down trees, some of them indigenous and decades old, just for the sake of making charcoal or firewood,” said Twine.
“It is now good that we can talk of an alternative,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The volcanic rocks can be repeatedly heated for up to two years with the aid of the fan, which is solar-powered and needs very little energy. Any surplus solar power produced can be used to light the house, run a radio and charge mobile phones, Twine said.
Alternatively, the fan can be run off mains electricity if the owner’s home or business is connected to the power grid, she said.
It is the cost of the fan, battery and solar panel that push up the stove’s production cost, pushing it out of reach of most people in Uganda.
“We can only achieve the environmental benefits of these stoves if they are made affordable for poor Ugandans who desperately need them,” said David Illukol, a senior mechanical research engineer at the government-run Uganda Industrial Research Institute.
“All we need is further research on how to reduce the costs of production, and perhaps [on] maintaining them,” the engineer said in an interview.
Despite the cost, more than 4,500 individuals and institutions in Uganda – including schools – are now using the stoves, according to Eco Group Limited.
The Kampala city authority has installed 230 of the stoves at Wandegeya Market where Bamugamire and her colleagues rent the premises from the government.
There are plans for the stoves to be used in other parts of the continent too.
Twine’s company began exporting them to Rwanda this year, and plans to take them to Kenya and Somalia as well.
An umbrella group of more than 1,000 climate organizations and networks – the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance – wants to spread the cooking method across Africa, according to its secretary general Mithika Mwenda.
Volcanic rocks have the potential to become a key cooking method for East Africa and perhaps the entire continent, engineer Illukol said.
They are a largely environmentally friendly form of cooking because – unlike charcoal, kerosene, gas and firewood – they do not emit climate-changing gases and produce no smoke at all, he said.
About 94 percent of Ugandan households use firewood or charcoal for cooking, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
Only 20 percent of households had access to electricity in 2014, and most of those connected to the grid rarely use electricity for cooking because of the high costs involved, the statics bureau said.
Demand for wood for fuel has put pressure on Uganda’s shrinking forests.
The country had some 3 million hectares of tropical forests under government control at the beginning of the 20th century.
But by 1999, tropical forest cover had fallen to about 730,000 hectares or 3.6 percent of Uganda’s land area, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
“If we can stop using firewood and charcoal completely, then we will have saved a huge volume of wood that is used for fuel every year, and that is good for our environment,” said Illukol. (VOA)
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India