This project is activating women to distribute solar and efficient cook stoves on the sunny island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The partnership aims to change not only cooking habits, but also minds in the long term. Since the “ADES solar and efficient stoves in Madagascar” partnership started, it has spread to distribute solar and efficient cook stoves across the whole country.
More than 22,000 solar and efficient cook stoves sold to date
Emissions from 12,000 tons of firewood and 13,800 tons of charcoal saved annually
The project envisions solar/efficient stoves in every household of Madagascar
The island nation of Madagascar has a serious energy shortfall, especially as fuel becomes more scarce and expensive, both locally and worldwide. In its developing economy, Madagascar’s rural populations remain disconnected from electricity networks, relying instead on charcoal and firewood for basic needs such as cooking.
Demand for wood to burn and for making charcoal is driving deforestation on the biodiverse jungle island – especially as the population increases. And the deforestation and burning of biomass is contributing to climate change.
“ADES solar and efficient stoves in Madagascar,” or ADES, is making women leaders distributing solar and efficient cook stoves. ADES trains women to host solar stove cooking demonstrations, animating others to spread knowledge and use of solar box stoves, e-solar stoves including photovoltaic cells and solar parabolic stoves. The project, which represents a partnership between the international Climate Protection Partnership and the Swiss-Madagascan nonprofit ADES, even includes distribution of easy-to-understand solar cookbooks.
The project – which includes input and feedback from the communities to develop and enhance products oriented toward them – not only taps the key role of women in adopting and spreading use of solar and efficient cook stoves, but also aims for long-term change in building sustainable Madagascan societies.
Helping the planet
ADES’ distribution of solar and efficient cook stoves reduces greenhouse gas emissions by preventing deforestation and burning of biomass. It also protects forests on Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot with a tremendous number of plant and animal species found nowhere else on the planet. Conserving forests also prevents erosion, and enhances freshwater quality and quantity.
Households with solar and efficient stoves save money in the long run – up to 55 per cent on fuel expenses – helping to alleviate poverty. Women and children also spend less time gathering wood, giving them more time to devote to education or business ventures. Solar and efficient stoves also result in cleaner kitchens and better indoor air quality, as smoke is greatly reduced.
The project started in southwest Madagascar, but due to great demand in other regions, is now nationwide in scope. “ADES solar and efficient stoves in Madagascar” intends to double its reach over the next seven years, improving cooking conditions for nearly 300,000 people in Madagascar. Its ultimate vision is for every Madagascan household to use a combination of solar and efficient cook stoves.
The partnership has potential for replication in other, similar countries, particularly those with a large number of sunny days per year and a set of traditional dishes that can be adapted to solar cooking.
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