The Case for Clean Cooking
Marie Madeleine MUKANDUTIYE from Ngororero district used to spend the majority of her day collecting firewood. The amount of smoke generated from cooking resulted in vision and respiratory problems for Marie Madeline.
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is the single most important environmental health risk worldwide, with around 4 million premature deaths annually due to household air pollution. Women and children suffer the most as they spend a significant proportion of their time cooking and gathering wood.
“It is clear that we need to do more to eradicate this terrible global problem,” says Bernie F. Chaves; Country Director of SNV in Rwanda. “At SNV, we are putting clean cooking firmly at the top of our agenda and believe that if we are to be successful in reaching SDG7 - clean-cooking solutions must be a top priority.”
Globally, SNV has a long and established history of working in this sector. Through clean cooking and biogas programmes in 2017 alone, 200,000 people gained access to clean cooking, 70,000 to a bio-digester and emissions were reduced by 280,000 tons.
In Rwanda, SNV entered the Improved Cook Stove sector in 2013, with the Market-based Solutions to Eliminate Energy and Poverty Project, focusing on market development for improved wood and charcoal stoves, in particular, canarumwe which is made locally from clay and installed by local youth.
Upon completion, the project achieved 138% of its target in producing and selling 18,000 stoves in four months. In addition, the distribution of fuel-efficient cookstoves reduced the amount of wood burning in households, meaning less harmful smoke-less indoor air pollution, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to market-based programmes, SNV also implemented the Opportunities and Youth Employment project (OYE) which ensures that in growing and developing markets; youth have the right skill sets to benefit from new and emerging opportunities. The OYE project also contributed to the biogas sector with almost 1,000 masons, supervisors and appliance manufacturers trained by SNV and grouped into cooperatives, helping to create valuable jobs in rural areas while also increasing clean cooking alternatives.
SNV will be attending The Global Clean Cooking Investment Forum to be held on 5-6 of November which will convene business leaders, investors, donors, and government representatives to collaborate on developing an industry at scale to deliver affordable, modern, clean cooking solutions.
After purchasing an affordable improved cook stove, Marie Madeleine MUKANDUTIYE said; “Now, I have a clean kitchen, my cooking time has reduced and I save about a third of my firewood since I started using my improved cook stove.”
This article was originally published in The New Times, Rwanda, a leading daily newspaper. To read the full article, please click here.