That's why World Vision started a pilot project in Ethiopia, trialling the impact that improved stoves could have in a community.
World Vision’s project distributed 2,500 fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly stoves to determine what kinds of stoves would meet the community’s needs best and are the most practical.
The project offers work opportunities to people in the community, like single mother Bekelech. Local community leaders chose Bekelech to participate in the stoves project and she was trained in how to make the stoves and run her own business. Now Bekelech employs two other women and sells around 100 stoves per year. One of her daughters is sponsored through World Vision and her son was able to go back to school. He has promised that once he gets a job, he'll pay for his mother to get the education she missed out on.
After two years in the pilot phase, World Vision conducted an evaluation to see the impact of the improved stoves. The locally made stove models were preferred by most participants, but all of the models had an impact. The evaluation showed that each of the four stoves trialled reduced the amount of carbon monoxide released during cooking by up to 53 percent, and that the amount of firewood needed was reduced by up to 49 percent. Community members said they also noticed a dramatic reduction in the time spent collecting firewood and their children missed less school.
Thanks to these successes, the project is currently being scaled up. World Vision hopes to have 75,000 clean stoves in communities across six Ethiopian area development projects by January in 2015.
Find out more about the pilot stove project:
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