College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Social Sciences Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Anthropology and Geography



Primary Advisor

Andrew G. Fricker, College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences Department


The World Health Organization estimates that 3 billion people depend on biomass fuels for cooking, heating, and other day-to-day activities, which causes approximately 4.3 million people annually to die from illnesses attributable to indoor air pollution. The issue is especially pressing for women and children in developing countries, because women care for the home and are consequently responsible for attaining household fuels and cooking. In 2015, ISECs (Insulated Solar Electric Cookers) were developed at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, as a technology that utilizes solar electricity to directly cook food in a well-insulated chamber. They are capable of bringing 5 kg of food to a boil, collect and store solar energy throughout the day that can be used to cook after dark, and, most importantly, do not emit any indoor smoke. In this study, the top ten suitable areas for ISECs in three partner countries (Ghana, Togo, and Jamaica) were determined using deforestation and solar DNI (direct normal irradiance) data from 2000-2019. In Ghana, an area in the Upper West region was found to be the most suitable for ISECs, in second an area between the Upper East and Upper West regions, and in third an area in the Upper East region and slightly in the Northern region. In Togo, all of the top three areas that were deemed the most suitable for ISECs were located in the top portion of the Savanes region. In Jamaica an area in the Clarendon parish was found to be the most suitable for ISECs, followed by an area between the parishes of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland. The third most suitable area for ISECs in Jamaica was an area mostly in the St. Thomas parish, and partially in St. Andrew parish. ISECs provide a way to reduce indoor air pollution, as well as a way to empower women, however they will probably not decrease deforestation, because in all of the countries analyzed deforestation is largely poverty-driven.