Over the past few weeks, Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip has intensified. Commercial crossings are now closed, preventing the transfer of natural gas and other essential resources for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents.
We saw earlier this year, when inventors Waseem Khazendar and Fayaz Anan created an electric car, that necessity is the mother of invention. As fuel and other resource shortages in Gaza increase, the trend toward innovation continues!
Yousef Abu Tawahina has created a solar cooking oven in his backyard in Deir Elbalah. Using a few easily accessible materials, Abu Tawahina converted a conventional oven that runs on scarce natural gas to one that runs on abundant rays of Middle Eastern sun!
“What you need is 15 cement bricks, mud mixed with straw and two sheets of glass,” said Abu Tawahina. “One sheet is incorporated into the top part of the oven and the other into the front side, and finally a metal sheet is placed at the base of the oven on the inside.”
The sheets of glass absorb the sun’s rays, heating the oven up to 100° C (212°F). A transistor attached to the metal sheet inside the oven heats the oven another 80° C (up to 356° F).
Abu Tawahina further explains that that transistor works automatically for 7 or 8 minutes every half hour, and the heat it produces together with the heat from the sun can cook food in one to one and a half hours. He estimates that now 40 to 45 Palestinian families, mostly from the rural areas of Deir Elbalah and Al-Zawayda in the central Gaza Strip, are now using his solar oven design as well.
Most importantly, Abu Tawahina points out that, since it was intentionally designed to run without the use of natural gas or other polluting fuels, his solar oven is one eco-friendly appliance!
For more environmental news from Gaza:
Teacher Promotes Solar Panels During Blackouts in the Strip
Natural Gas Alternative for the Middle East.