Efficient Charcoal Stoves in Uganda

Almost 3 billion people in the world cook daily over an open fire or on simple wood and/or charcoal stoves. When burned, both charcoal and wood release toxins, smoke and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, both of which are responsible for climate change. Almost two million people die annually from sicknesses that are caused by inhaling smoke generated through these methods of cooking. Searching for wood, inefficient cooking and health problems take time away from other household tasks such as finding work outside the house raising children. As a result children are needed to help out in the house at the expense of going to school.

Almost 3 billion people in the world cook daily over an open fire or on simple wood and/or charcoal stoves. When burned, both charcoal and wood release toxins, smoke and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, both of which are responsible for climate change. Almost two million people die annually from sicknesses that are caused by inhaling smoke generated through these methods of cooking. Searching for wood, inefficient cooking and health problems takes time away from other household tasks such as finding work outside the house and raising children. As a result, children are needed to help out in the house at the expense of going to school.

Background

In Uganda, 94% of rural households cook over an open fire while in the urban areas households make use of inefficient charcoal stoves. These inefficient methods of cooking have a direct impact on deforestation and climate change. Deforestation is responsible for numerous issues such as soil losing its water retention capacity, which cuases soil erosion leading to a negative impact on agriculture. Poor families in Uganda spend up to 15% of their income on charcoal or wood. Searching for wood can take approximately 6 hours per day – time that could be spent finding paid work. All of these factors contribute to the severity of the poverty situation in Uganda.

The Solution

This project has the goal of fighting climate change and helping to improve the lives of local people. In partnership with local communities, efficient charcoal stoves have been developed and made accessible to the poorest households. The production and sale of these stoves takes place all over Uganda, making a positive impact in Uganda, both socially and environmentally through job creation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The project now supports a large network of local entrepreneurs in setting up a sustainable supply chain. There are regular marketing campaigns carried out to create awareness and stimulate demand for the efficient charcoal stoves. Income from the sale of carbon credits is invested in the project to upscale it and give more people in the local communities access to the stoves.

Partnership

Climate Neutral Group is working with the charcoal stove project by investing in the production of charcoal stoves. We are proud of this Gold Standard project, one of the socially responsible projects that you can invest in to offset your impact on the climate.

¹ WHO ² Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2010 ³ Godfrey et al, 2009

 
Benefits

Climate and the environment

  • 500,000 tonnes CO2 reduction per year
  • 140,000 tonnes of charcoal per year saved
  • 80% less unhealthy smoke in houses
  • Less air pollution
Economic
  • 240,000 charcoal stoves sold to Ugandan households (by the end of 2014)
  • $110 saved in fuel costs per family per year
  • 5 million people helped with lower fuel costs
  • 900 retailers spread throughout Uganda have been able to raise their income through the sale of efficient charcoal stoves at local markets.
  • 230 Ugandans are working at the stove factories

Social and Health

  • Lowered risks of pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer
  • Cooking a meal is no longer comparable to smoking 40 cigarettes per day
  • More time to spend with the family, at work or at school