Fuel-efficient stoves for tortilla makers
As we all know, partnerships can often be difficult. But in delivering local sustainable solutions they are often essential. TWP and ADESA are a perfect example. TWP is a Colorado-based environmental NGO focused on environmental protection in Central and Latin America. AHDESA is a Honduran NGO working to help the poor. Together they tackled the problems caused by poor home cooking facilities in Honduras.
The problems are typical of those experienced all across the world by users of open fires and fuelwood. Fumes damage health, the stoves are inefficient and the hunt for wood causes deforestation. An improved stove based on the design of Ashden Award winners Aprovecho Research Centre in Oregon, USA was an ideal solution.
Each partner focused on what it did best. TWP initiated the programme and sourced funding. AHDSEA was responsible for day-to-day operations, critically liaising with local community groups, many of which are led by women. Local people were involved in the design of the stove and subsequently trained in installation and maintenance.
The stoves cost US$60 but users can contribute 30% by providing labour and materials. By 2009, 35,000 stoves had been installed in Honduras and elsewhere in Central America. Benefits have been measured. Independent studies demonstrate total savings for the programme of over 53,000 tonnes/year CO2. And, as importantly, there is a statistically significant reduction in health problems among women.
Demand continues. There is a waiting list for the stoves as concerns grow about the cost of commercial fuel and a wider range of stoves are under development. TWP and AHDESA ‘s partnership is very much intact.