How cookstoves help protect the rainforest
Nyungwe Forest National Park in the southwestern corner of Rwanda is the largest mountain rainforest on this side of the African continent and the country's most important site for biodiversity. However, the growing population in areas around the park and their increasing use of firewood for cooking are putting more and more pressure on the unique rainforest ecosystem.
The project enables households to reduce their wood consumption. Traditionally, families here cook over an open three-stone fire. This is inefficient and also a serious threat to health due to the heavy smoke pollution. The project introduces efficient cooking stoves made of local clay and sand. The so-called Canarumwe model is produced by a local cooperative and consumes two-thirds less fuel than the three-stone fire. The stoves are offered at a subsidized price so that low-income households can afford them.
How do cookstoves help fight global warming?
In many of the world's poorer regions, families cook their meals over an open fire, often in enclosed spaces. This method of cooking is, however, not energy efficient, as large amounts of heat go to waste. Clean cooking stoves are often simple devices made from metal or clay that use energy more efficiently. Families can thus save fuel and cut down on carbon emissions. Sometimes the stoves are even used in small businesses.