The Global Peace Foundation’s Cookstove Project, which provides families with clean stoves that limit deadly indoor air pollution, is expanding from Uganda to Kenya through an initiative of Global Peace Women.
Each day, nearly three billion people prepare food for their families using an open fire in their home. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, indoor air pollution from fireplaces almost exclusively impacts the world’s poorest communities, killing some four million people per year—mostly women and children. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that open fire cook stoves currently in use produce more than three times the greenhouse gas emissions of all the cars throughout the world combined.
In early 2013, Global Peace Women (GPW) with support from the Global Peace Foundation began the implementation of a clean cookstove project with Ugandan women in the villages of Nabisweera and Mijeera in the Nakasogola District; Kyomunembe and Nyaibarukya in the Kibaale District; and multiple villages in the Mukonu District.
The cookstoves create airtight cooking chambers that prevent smoke from escaping around cooking pots. Simultaneously, a tin chimney provides an exhaust channel for the dangerous fumes that would otherwise fill the kitchen.
GPW cookstoves are made almost entirely from materials that are easily accessible, such as clay, dried grass, straw, banana stems, and water. Additional construction materials, such as tin for the chimney, are provided by GPW.
“With this new stove we use much less wood, saving time and money,” said Sebonya, a forty-two year old mother of four. “The fuel that I used to use in one day I now use in four days. Sometimes even the children missed school to collect firewood. The kitchen is more clean now and smoke-free. We can sit and eat in the kitchen, which was not the case before.”
“This stove is safer and there are less accidents with the children getting burned,” added Jessica, a mother of three. “This one has two burners so I can cook two things at the same time.”
Bringing clean cookstoves to Kenya
GPW has now expanded the Uganda Cookstove Project to Kenya, serving the densely populated and underdeveloped Kariobangi community in Nairobi. In preparation for the project, GPW representatives met with the Global Village Energy Partnership and Pak Fabricators in July to learn the benefits of briquettes that are produced and sold in the local communities.
Briquettes are blocks of compressed biomass material such as farming waste, charcoal dust or waste paper that can be used as a safer and more affordable fuel than firewood or charcoal. All materials necessary to produce briquettes are readily available in the surrounding environment.
Global Peace Women is implementing the Cookstove Project with the support and involvement of local partners. Women in the community collect and prepare the construction materials, build the stoves alongside their neighbors, and teach others about the construction process. When stove construction began in Uganda, villagers decided to imprint the name “Global Peace Women” on their stoves before the clay dried. Women proudly explained that this branding embodied their sense of membership in a worldwide women’s movement.
Global Peace Women intends to build 5,000 new clay cook stoves in the next 12 months. To find out more or to donate to this project, visit cookstoveproject.org or contact Africano Byrarugaba, Program Manager Uganda [email protected] or Madina Nyomera, Global Peace Women Uganda, at [email protected]