Monday, January 18, 2010

Cookstove Summary

Hi all,

The next set of blog entries will include a brief summary for each section of the assessment trip. This entry will detail what we have learned for cookstoves.

We introduced 4 stoves to URF, the women's groups, and the surrounding communities:

(1) Stovetec rocket stove - This is a wood fueled stove manufactured in Oregon by Aprovecho. It has an adjustable pot skirt and is designed for smaller saucepans (~$35-$40)

(2) Ugastove rocket stove - A wood fueled stove manufactured in Kampala by Ugastove Manufacturing Ltd. It has a fixed pot skirt and is designed for larger saucepans (35,000 shillings).

(3) Ugastove charcoal stove - A charcoal fueled stove manufactured in Kampala by Ugastove. Designed for smaller saucepans (13,000 shillings).

(4) Solar oven - A solar oven manufactured by the solar oven society in Minnapolis. It's intended use is as a supplement to other cooking methods (i.e., rocket stove or 3-stone fire) Cost: $85.

The four stoves are shown in the picture below (from left to right: Stovetec, Ugastove (wood), Ugastove (charcoal), Solar oven):

There was a significant amount of interest in the wood fueled Ugastove as well as the solar oven. Most of the women's groups members preferred the Ugastove over the Stovetec because of the larger size (most families are large and thus large saucepans are common) and concerns over children bumping saucepans off the top of the Stovetec stove. Passive observation indicated that there is a significant reduction in smoke and fuel use from all four options. However, users seemed to only be concerned with reductions in fuel use (not the reduction in smoke). This means health benefits from smoke reduction may be ancillary. Below are some photos from our meetings with the women's groups:

We were able to bring water to a rolling boil in all the stoves (except the solar oven). Overall, the Stovetec stove seemed to perform a bit better (i.e., boiled water more quickly and reduced smoke the most) but the vast majority of users seemed to prefer the Ugastove over the Stovetec. Below are a few pictures of the team testing these stoves (note the visible reduction in smoke from the improved stoves as compared to the three stone fire):

Finally, we found many modified stoves (see pictures below) in the households surveyed. These stoves were constructed locally for ~15,000-30,000 shillings. After speaking to the owners of these stoves it seems that most were not be performing as desired (i.e., not reducing smoke or fuel use).

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