Kakuyu – Cooker production

Also read: Kakuyu – The Cooker

After the visit to the village, the French team left the cooker with them. Kakuyu stayed in contact with me and he was very interested in knowing when we would be back to produce them. And so I came back to Losirwa.

The drawings and presentation/instructions are available in French on their website. I translated them into English so that we could find production in Tanzania and that Kakuyu could provide the presentation in Masai. I also made minor modifications on the drawings, based on feedback.

When I first arrived, we set-off to find a welder that could produce more cookers. But first, we looked at the ‘old’ cooker and had some repairs and improvements made in town:

– as one of the early version it did not yet have feet,
– insulation soil was escaping through wear around the feeding pipe,
– the support bracket needed re-welding
– upon feedback, I designed a “reducer” to accommodate smaller pots and we made a new grill ( a little bigger than the original one).

The closest town to the village is Mto Wa Mbu and we went around a few welders with the drawings and the cooker (in Maya), to see if they would be able to produce them. Unfortunately, no-one could make the cylinder and it is difficult for them to get the raw material anyway. We kept being re-directed to Arusha, some 120 km away, but the main town/city (and closest) around. This would be in any case where the material would be sourced.

We thus went to Arusha, a couple of hours drive taking us from peaceful Masai land to busy city. I took Kakuyu to the main builders shops and we first checked raw material availability and cost. We then went to the place that everyone was referring to: the main place for metal work in town. A few hours after leaving the drawings, they came back with a cost that was clearly way too high and were not open to any discussions. The cost for a cooker, even mass produced, would be 450’000 TSH (about 180 €)!!! From my original “guestimate” based on raw material costs, we could definitely produce it for cheaper!!!

Now, we needed to find another place, which that day was not an option. Taking the opportunity of being in town, I took Kakuyu to a couple of shops to look at costings for the campsite and solar solutions. He then had to go back to the village and I stayed to find a place to set production of the cooker……

 

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