Providing cleaner cooking for tortilla businesses in Nicaragua
There are over 4,000 small tortilla-making businesses in Nicaragua that provide much needed income to poor households. Nearly all tortilla-makers are poor women who make the tortillas on a simple hotplate over an open wood fire, so they and their children are exposed to smoke and heat for hours every day, and fuel costs are high.
Prolena worked with users to develop the efficient ‘Ecostove’ – a rocket-type stove made of metal, with an enclosed combustion chamber that has a hotplate on top of it, and a chimney to take smoke away. The Ecostove halves wood use and air pollution, making a healthier environment for household tortilla businesses, and saving money. By reducing the use of unsustainable wood, Ecostoves also cut greenhouse gas emissions. Ecostoves are sold to tortilla-makers at a subsidised price of about US$50.