Cob Oven Construction Project - Bio Village, Malaita, Solomon Islands
During July 2014, I traveled to the Solomon Islands with a small group of people with the goal of teaching the members of Bio village how to build cob ovens. These ovens are beneficial to the women of the village as they allow them to cook while standing upright. Traditional cooking methods force women to bend over for many hours at a time, creating back problems later in life. In addition, these ovens use less firewood than traditional cooking methods, thereby decreasing deforestation. After ten days in Bio, we were able to construct one large oven at the village meeting center. The surplus materials were distributed to several other villages on the island, so the members of Bio could teach neighboring villages how to build their own cob ovens. The following photographs illustrate the steps involved in building the oven, as well as the important role of every member of the village in its construction.