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Set in the West African countries of Ghana and Benin, Thirsty Planet (27 min.) reveals the surprising potential of solar ovens. With temperatures often near 40 degrees Celcius, these equatorial regions hold great promise for using the sun to cook food and pasteurize water. We travel to northern Ghana where villagers are forced to draw drinking water from pools contaminated with parasites. We meet local doctors, Mercy Bannerman and Patrick Apoya, and learn how solar ovens are used in an attempt to eradicate the Guineau worm.
Following the successes of Bannerman and Apoya, Canada World Youth participants start up their own solar oven project in Bolgatanga, Northern Ghana as well as in the neighboring country, Republic of Benin. Eventually, the participants gain the courage to present solar oven workshops in remote villages. Locals, who normally walk two or three kilometers to find firewood, are delighted to learn of an alternative method to pasteurize water. Excitement moves through the towns as the people find that they can not only save on fuel costs but also preserve their forests by tapping into the free and limitless energy of the sun. (For more info on solar ovens: