Rural Cook Stove Project is Now Underway
The first stage of the Stove Project began last week with the distribution of 100 brand new cooking stoves to 4 rural communities throughout southern Zambia. The stove project will run for a 6-month trial period and aims to teach and empower women about the health and safety risks of open fire cooking as well as the environmental benefits of using alternative fuels sources to wood.
Currently, many Zambian families in rural areas cook using the traditional method of heating pans on a three-stone open fire, unaware of the pitfalls. 100 families have volunteered to use a new stainless steel stove for all their cooking needs, attend training and information sessions and take part in extensive questionnaires about their cooking habits and life style.
The new stove aims to improves safety as it reduces fire and burn risks as well as having health benefits due to the reduction in smoke inhalation. One of the most notable impacts of traditional cooking methods is on health, an estimated 600,000 lives are lost each year in sub-Saharan Africa due to exposure to biomass smoke from cooking, disproportionately impacting the lives of women and children who are most likely to be present during cooking.
The stove burns with limited smoke after initial combustion, thereby reducing the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning and reducing the emission of black carbon particles.
The stove is also designed to accommodate many fuel sources such as small twigs, leaves, maize husks and nut shells to name a few. We hope many families will move away from using wood as their primary fuel source and trial a combination of dried biomass. This should have a positive impact on the surrounding forests and environment.
Regular training and questionnaires will take place throughout the trial to collect as much data as possible to access how useable, practical and cost effective the stove was, we will also look at life style, fuel collection and cooking habits. All the participants will be able to keep their stoves at the end of the pilot, we hope this will have a positive impact on their families lives going forward.
For more information please check out: www.musangufoundation.org and visit our project pages.