Cookstoves in Africa
Almost 3 billion people in the world cook daily over an open fire or on simple wood or charcoal stoves. The charcoal or wood that is used releases toxins, smoke and greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane, both of which are responsible for climate change. Almost 2 million people die annually from sicknesses that are caused by breathing in smoke in their houses. Looking for wood, inefficient cooking and health problems take away from other household tasks, work outside the house and/or raising children. Children need to help out in the house instead of going to school.
In Africa, 94% of rural households cook over an open fire; in urban areas they cook on inefficient charcoal stoves. This leads to a lot of deforestation and climate change. Deforestation means that the soil loses the ability to retain water, which causes erosion. This has a negative effect on agriculture. Poor families in Africa spend up to 15% of their income on charcoal or wood. Searching for wood themselves costs about 6 hours per day, time that cannot be spent on paid work. All of these factors make the poverty in Africa worse.
The Stove Project
This project has the goal of fighting climate change and helping improve the lives of the local people. In cooperation with locals, efficient charcoal stoves have been developed and made accessible to the poorest households. The production and sale of these stoves takes place all over Uganda. The project now supports a large network of local entrepreneurs in setting up a sustainable supply chain and increasing profits. There are regular marketing campaigns carried out to create awareness and stimulate demand for the efficient charcoal stoves. Income from the sale of CO2 credits is invested in the project to upscale it and give more people access to the stoves.
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