The Rwenzori Clean Cook Stove Project
Over 3 billion people worldwide, the majority in developing countries, burn solid fuels-wood, crop residues, charcoal, or coal for cooking and heating, in open fires or rudimentary stoves. This results in the release of dangerous Particulate Matter (PM), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and other toxic pollutants and greenhouse gasses into the air. The use of solid fuels also puts pressure on local natural resources and carries opportunity costs for the women and children tasked with collecting or buying the Fuel.
Three (3) major strategies can reduce dependency on solid fuels for cooking and their impacts:
- Increase use of alternatives to solid fuels for cooking
- Increase adoption and proper use of improved cook stoves (fuel-efficient stoves, solar cookers, and retained heat cookers)
- Improve kitchen and fuel managemen.
These strategies can have many positive effects for families who traditionally use solid fuels for cooking; they can improve health and reduce the time and burden of collecting firewood, among other benefits.
The Uganda Population and Housing Census (UPHC) 2002 revealed that 97% of the households depend on biomass for cooking. Specifically, 81.2% of the household use firewood, while 15.2% use charcoal. This indicates that firewood is the most important source of energy for the population of Uganda, utilized by the rural population that constitutes 85% of the population. Biomass will remain the dominant source of energy for the projected future. This implies that the demand for energy puts a lot of pressure on the biomass resource, hence becoming the greatest threat to the environment. The driving factors for biomass consumption include a rapid population growth rate of 3.4%, poverty that hinders fuel substitution and use of inefficient end use devices. The traditional 3 stone fire stove (characterized by a very low efficiency of less than 15%, and high health risks including Indoor Air Pollution) is the main cooking device used.
About The Rwenzori Clean Cook Stove Project.
Therefore, in mid-2018 our environmental conservation department implemented and launched The Rwenzori Cook Stove Project.
The project is currently selling improved cooking stoves across the region and will scale up soon, add a production unit and offer short course training in production and maintenance to the Youth.