Forget the marshmallows. Cooking on an open fire isn't fun for thousands of women in Kenya and around the world. It causes chronic health problems and there's a huge environmental impact too, in deforestation and CO2 emissions.
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Video of cookstove production!
Help fund a cook stove for Kenya!
Our latest project, in partnership with Taunton based company CO2balance UK Ltd., and the Aniga Women's Group in Kisumu, Kenya, will provide energy efficient cookstoves which use around a third of the wood consumed by a traditional cooking fire. Global Footsteps will match the money we raise, to pay CO2balance to train the women and buy the raw materials to make the stoves – using local staff in Kisumu.
These stoves, produced by local women from local resources, have enormous benefits. They significantly reduce the amount of toxic smoke that is produced which has considerable health benefits. The women don't need to gather so much firewood, giving them time for other more economically beneficial activities. There are also environmental benefits in reduced carbon emissions and less deforestation.
The project is totally sustainable as all the materials used to build the stoves are produced locally. The stoves will be sold at an affordable price, and the income will allow the women to buy more materials and train more people Local women, led by the Aniga Women's Initiative, will be trained to manufacture them and given support in marketing and promotion. The Aniga women are a well established group who already have a number of self-help projects in rural Kisumu. They have had strong and positive links to Global Footsteps over a number of years.
Efficient cookstoves projects are a tried and tested method of improving women's lives and reducing carbon emissions in the developing world.
The small print. The cost of producing a stove is approximately £20. When you buy a cookstove for £20 you are making a donation to Global Footsteps which will be used towards our Cookstoves for Kenya project. In the unlikely event of us not being able to implement the project all funds donated will still be matched and transferred to an existing alternative cookstove project.
Report from a Q & A session between Global Footsteps, CO2Balance and local reps in Kisumu to explore what the Cook Stove project is all about.
The project is for 1,000 cookstoves - where are all the families that you believe will have them?
West Kisumu has a population of 30,000, with 10 sub-locations. We will target 2 sub-locations with 3,000 people in each – West Reru and East Reru. This is where the Aniga women are based.
Have you seen the CO2balance stoves? are you confident that the families will like them?
Yes – they are good quality stoves, better than some of the others. One household already has one, and everyone is very interested. The main interest is because there is a shortage of firewood, so people are interested in anything that will conserve it. Many families collect the firewood, which takes time, so other things are neglected. The families that can afford to buy firewood are keen to save money. Most of the families use 3 stone fires for cooking.
Are the Aniga Women keen to start learning how to make them? How many people do you think will get involved in making them?
Yes we are very keen. We have been talking about it since you came to Kenya 3 years ago(!) a group of 20 women would do the training initially, then they can train others.
We would be interested in supporting you to develop an ongoing project making more cookstoves to sell. Do you think there will be a market for this? Do you think this is a good idea, to provide ongoing employment and income for the women?
Yes – marketing will be easy – to the other sub-locations in west Kisumu. We will use the supermarkets to sell them – they are keen to support the local economy where there is a well-made product to sell. They will need to make a profit on the sale.
Tthe primary motive for the Aniga women was to have stoves for themselves and their families and neighbours, and thus for their lives to improve. The longer term aim is to get skills and employability.
Do you have ideas where the training might take place? Also where the materials and finished stoves might be stored?
The training will need to take place in Reru, where the women are living. It will be possible to get a venue for the training. Some electricity will be needed for making the stoves – which is scarce in the area, but it should be possible. Also somewhere to store the stoves.
We are ready to start as soon as possible. It would be good to make the stoves during the dry season, to sell in the rainy season, when getting suitable firewood is even harder. The rainy season starts in December.