Fuel efficient cooking stoves promote empowerment

Traditional fire cooking practices in rural areas often require women and children to gather fuel for several hours every day. As deforestation increases the time required to collect firewood increases exponentially as collection distances increase.

In urban environments wood and charcoal must often be purchased at a considerable expense – many southern African urban poor spend upwards of 40% of their income on charcoal and fuel wood for cooking. As resource pressure increases fuel costs will also increase placing further pressure on urban poor.

The use of fuel efficient cooking stoves can reduce fuel consumption by up to 80%.

A reduction of 80% of required fuel for rural poor creates enormous daily savings in labour, freeing woman to spend more time on food production and other economic activities. Benefits to children are also pronounced as they often have primary firewood collecting responsibilities and reduced fuel requirements leaves them with more time for education.

For urban poor a reduction of 80% of required cooking fuel has a direct and significant economic impact on a daily basis. A poor urban family using traditional cooking practices and spend upwards of 40% of their income of charcoal could see this cut to only 8% through the use of a fuel efficient stove, increasing the family’s disposable income by over 50%.

Efficient cooking stove projects often promote micro industries for the production and distribution of these new technologies stimulating economic development within poor communities.