Creativity & Innovation in Africa

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Abibatou Banda FALL: the brain behind the thermal basket

This is the journey of a gentle, and humble woman full of ambitions and goals to reach the top in creating a greener world. One of her innovation is the “thermal basket”. Let’s discover her story.

A Glimpse into her profile

Geographer-environmentalist, political scientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Abibatou Banda FALL has thirteen years of experience in coaching and organizing grassroots community associations in Senegal.

Involved since 2006 in national and international development projects (Spanish, German, Senegalese and American), she worked as a trainer on environmental education and natural resource management in Senegal.

Between 2006 and 2008 she was involved in the Project to Support Equal Opportunities between Gender and Youth in the Senegal River Delta Biosphere Reserve, implemented by the Spanish Association Amigos de Doñana. In 2009, she invested in research-action within the framework of the program “Social Marketing of solar cookers” initiated by the network of eco-villages of Senegal.

In 2013, she became head of the University Education Development Design (EDD) program between the American University City College of New York and Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop University, before moving on to biomass energy and eco-development strategies in the Sahel.

In 2012, Dr. Abibatou Banda FALL created the Association for Research Action Development and Environment in the Sahel (ARADES) which, to date, brings together twelve associations, and implements initiatives on various issues, such as the protection of the environment, climate technologies, the promotion of thermal baskets, the promotion of green entrepreneurship for women and young people, the creation of digital interactive centers, the promotion of local products, eco-arts and crafts.

Abibatou holds a Ph.D. in Geography (Ecosystem and Environment) and a BA in Political Science from Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis, Senegal. She has received training in Green Economy at UNITAR, and the Civic Leadership Program at Rutgers University in the United States as a Mandela Washington Fellow (an initiative of President Obama). Currently, Abibatou is a teacher-researcher in the Geography section of Gaston Berger University, and a focal point of Enda Diapol-Oxfam as part of the project “Barometer of citizen engagement and local accountability. She is also a co-author and author of books and articles on energy and sustainable development.

Highlight on the innovative thermal baskets

One of the projects on which her association works on is the dissemination of thermal baskets.

But what are thermal baskets?

A Thermal Basket is a pressure cooker operating according to the law of thermal insulation. It’s about a simple method of heat preservation the allows the basket to finish the cooking and keep the dish warm or drink cold for 12 to 24 hours. It does not emit odors nor smoke and presents no risk of fire. Which allows a reduced cooking time and greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to publicize the thermal basket, ARADES organized a series of training on the design and use of thermal baskets. An internal monitoring and evaluation program on the use of thermal baskets in Senegalese households was also done. More than 50 households use the thermal basket in Senegal. Over 60 different dishes  were cooked with the basket thermal.

thermal basket presentation by Abibatou

Their merits so far…..

With the Thermal Basket Project in Senegal, ARADES won three awards between 2014 and 2016;

ARADES, was winner of the Sparknews prize at the Francophone contest of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) in 2014 in France;

ARADES,  Winners of the 2015 Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice Award;

ARADES, laureate of the Francophonie OuiShare Award in Montreal in 2016.

The Solar cooker: a new addition to the family

For Abibatou Banda Fall “the environment is the beginning and the end of everything” for that reason they  engaged in the distribution of solar cookers to women’s economic interest groups in partnership with the inventor. Mr. Abdoulaye Touré, a Senegalese physicist. He created in the 90s and has a center that is in Thies who makes the solar cookers.

The creation of solar cookers is gradually taking place in Africa and it is one of the alternatives because the high production of charcoal for cooking is one of the main causes of the continuous degradation of forest areas, including annual deforestation, which is estimated at 80,000 hectares.

Natural forests, which in 1980 amounted to 8.1 million hectares, amounted to only 7.5 million hectares in 1990, representing a 7.4% disappearance of plant resources in 10 years.

These are a few of the multiple social activities organized by Abibatou Banda Fall. Her ultimate goal is preserve our environment by using our natural resources otherwise.

According to Abibatou Banda Fall “The involvement of the population, especially women and the youth, is an advantage for the integration and participation for the development of a country”.

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