energy-efficient cook stoves and drinking water filters
Situation in rural Rwanda
In Rwanda's rural areas families cook on traditional open fireplaces with firewood. Women have to collect wood from the nearby forests. The laborious procurement of wood costs a lot of energy and time. Despite numerous reforestation measures, deforestation is progressing. The distances to obtain firewood are getting longer every day and the trees cannot grow back fast enough to meet the increasing demand. In addition, the open fireplaces bear many risks. Women and children suffer severe burns and health damage from the smoke. The pathogens transmitted in the contaminated water are an additional health burden.
The organization Rural Development Interdiocesan Service (RDIS), a partner organization of Bread for the World, supports the local communities in promoting sustainable development. By building 6,000 stoves and distributing 6,000 water filters, RDIS aims to counteract the aspects described above.
On-site: climate protection and clean drinking water
In the southern province of Rwanda, energy-efficient cookers are produced and distributed, thus reducing CO2 emissions. The climate protection project was primarily aimed at the poorest households. Among them are women and children who suffered from indoor air pollution and spend a lot of time and effort collecting firewood.
Additionally water filters were distributed to the families. Thus, the project not only reduces CO2, but also guarantees access to clean drinking water. Through the filters pathogenic germs are fought and the quality of water is significantly improved. Since the water filters substitute boiling of the water, further emissions can be saved at this point. However these are not included in the calculated emission savings, as they are difficult to determine. But the energy-efficient cooking units also contribute to better health. Families are no longer exposed to heavy smoke indoors and respiratory diseases are less common.
Advantages of energy-efficient cookers
With the energy-efficient cookers, the families consume about 45 percent less firewood or charcoal compared to conventional fireplaces. The lower wood requirement counteracts deforestation and shortens the time needed to find wood. The higher efficiency saves up to 23.5 percent of cooking time. This enables people to turn to other activities. In addition the energy-efficient cooking units reduce the amount of smoke produced as well as health risks to the respiratory tract and eyes.
The lolacl population is involved throughout the project cycle. From production and distribution to training, installation, maintenance and monitoring of the stoves. The resulting jobs are gladly pursued as they offer a reliable source of income.
Donatha from Shyogwe received a new stove and reports about her experience:
"When I cook, I just put a piece of wood in the stove and do my household chores such as sowing seeds on my land, cleaning my property, providing grass for my cattle, and sometimes I even manage to go to church to practice with the choir and come back when the beans are cooked and ready to eat. I have found that using the stoves makes my kitchen cleaner because there is not much ash, smoke and dust when cooking. Also, the amount of firewood needed is remarkably reduced. Previously, a bundle of wood was only available for one week, but now we use it for three weeks!
February 2020: Successful on-site inspection of the cooking units
In February 2020, the energy-efficient cookers were inspected by UN inspectors, technical expert David Lubanga and senior advisor Sarah Kihuguru, among others. Among other things, the project management, the functionality and the satisfaction of the users were scrutinized. The cookers passed in all points.
Rural Development Interdiocesan Service (RDIS) is an organization that promotes sustainable development measures in four dioceses of the Anglican Church in Rwanda namely: Butare, Cyangugu, Kigeme and Shyogwe. The organization raises awareness and mobilizes the local residents to sustainably develop their communities and reduce their poverty rates.