In Guinea, firewood and charcoal meet around 98% of the household energy needs. Demographic growth is leading to an increasing pressure on the woodlands, with deforestation currently progressing at 6'800'000 m3/year. According to FAO figures, Guinean forests have decreased by around 10% over the last 20 years.
Women and children are often in charge of wood collection, a time-consuming and sometimes dangerous task, which can take up to 15 hours per week just to meet the needs of one household. Generally, cooking is then done on open low efficiency hearths. Consuming a high quantity of firewood and generating a lot of smoke. Long-term use of these open hearths are known to cause serious respiratory diseases.
Through the distribution of cookstoves adapted to the needs of the local communities, this project aims to improve the conditions of Guinean households, tackle global warming and reduce pressure on woodlands by preventing some of the drivers of deforestation.
The project developers listened to the local communities, adapting the cookstove design to better meet local conditions. This included, changing the dimesions of the pots to better fit the requirements of the beneficiaries and to be workable by the local smiths, providing much needed employment to the region. They were also made compatible with materials available locally and the design ensures a complete combustion with no visible smoke, less consumption of wood and produce only a small amount of ash.
The overall result is a cookstove that has an excellent performance, saving time, money, forests and reduces harmful emissions that helps to prevent health diseases, especially among the women in charge of the cooking.
Project impacts and benefits:
- More than 3,000 improved cookstoves sold since 2015
- Over 25,000 people benefit from the project
- $80 save per household per year with a reduction of 60% in wood consumption
- 17,000 tons of wood saved since 2015
- More than 11,000 tons of CO2 saved since 2015
- 30 local smiths are trained and equipped with tools to produce these improved cookstoves