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102

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

LOCAL LENS

BY PATRICIA MCARDLE

n

IRIDIMI, CHAD

Please submit your favorite, recent photograph to be considered for Local Lens. Images must be high resolution (at least 300 dpi at 8” x 10”) and must not be in print

elsewhere. Please include a short description of the scene/event, as well as your name, brief biodata and the type of camera used, to

locallens@afsa.org.

T

hese Sudanese women, who live in the Iridimi refugee camp in eastern Chad, have been constructing simple solar cookers for

distribution to refugee families for years. In a region where there are few trees but abundant year-round sunshine, this method

of cooking can dramatically reduce the need to burn wood and animal dung. Although the United Nations High Commis-

sioner for Refugees in Chad is considering a variety of more expensive and durable solar cooking devices for possible distribu-

tion in the camps, for the moment these simple panel solar cookers are boiling water for tea, cooking beans and simmering the local

staple sorghummeal almost every day of the year using nothing but sunshine.

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Patricia McArdle is a retired Senior Foreign Service officer, who has been promoting solar cooking technology since her 2005 tour of duty with

a British Army Provincial Reconstruction Team in northern Afghanistan. She is also the author of the award-winning novel

Farishta

(now an

audiobook), which was inspired by her year in Afghanistan. She took this photo with her I-Pad mini while conducting a survey of solar cooker

use in two refugee camps in eastern Chad.