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Swedish solar water boiler becoming popular in Uganda

Solvatten solar heating container on Exhibition at Lugogo in 2019

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  A boiling container powered by solar energy has eased life for communities without adequate energy in different parts of the country.

Users can now avoid catching diseases like typhoid fever, cholera and Hepatitis A or E, and by boiling water they can get rid of other microorganisms that induce diseases like diarrhea.

James Muhangi, a motorcycle rider and resident of Nansana in Kampala bought the 40 litre Solvatten solar heating container at 200,000 shillings.  He fills the container with water and places it under the sun for some four hours a day, and now has boiled water in his home. He has also trained his wife and children to use the solar container.

Gloria Atule, a resident of Arua municipality but doing business in Kampala and Arua says the solar product has helped many in up country areas where power outages are high and access to on grid electricity is low. Arua suffers power outages yet charcoal is expensive and takes more time to boil drinking water. Atule says that the solar container can help boiling simple foods.

Emmy Kimbowa, Chairman Uganda Solar Energy Association says the technology has been widely exhibited by the association for people to adopt, live healthy lives and protect the environment. The Solvatten solar heating container can boil water and some foods like fresh vegetables, fish, porridge among others.

The Solvatten solar heating container heats up to 75°C, and makes unsafe water drinkable.  

The portable 10 to 40-liter container was scientifically proven by the Centre for Research and Energy Conservation (CREEC) for its efficiency. The Solvatten solar heating container is black in colour on the outside with silver metallic walls inside, uses direct solar radiation to have impact on the purification results of the water and other products.

Dennis Rukundo, a Solar PV Expert Technician at CREEC, says the container attracts heat but does not lose it leading to an increase in heat at a very fast rate.

The Solvatten solar heating containers are manufactured to accommodate different content sizes for example some take up to 10,000 litres of water. In Uganda most people in the rural areas have embraced them at a fee between 50,000 to 200,000 shillings depending on the size of the Solvatten solar heating container.

One container lasts between 7 to 10 years.

According to the Ministry of Water and Environment access to clean and safe water improved from 19% to 26 % between April 2019 to August 2020, but this remains very low according to Uganda’s vision 2040 which targets 95% and 100% access to clean and safe water.

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