Introduction of energy-efficient stoves to communities

This project, aimed at introducing energy-efficient Lorena-rocket stoves, is implemented with the support of the student organization Humasol (Belgium).  In addition to directly helping the families, longterm impacts are the conservation of forests and reduction of CO2 emissions.

The problem

In Bwindi and Rwenshama, southwest Uganda, we aim to ease the problems associated with cooking on open fires. These open fires consume large amounts of firewood, which is not only problematic in terms of the time-consuming task of gathering it, but also doesn’t correspond with the organization’s mission to conserve. Additionally, the heat and smoke produced during cooking create hazardous situations for the cooks (a task mainly performed by women).

About the Rocket-Lorena Stove

Rocket-Lorena stoves are energy-efficient cooking stoves, powered by wood and made out of local materials. Wood is burned in an insulated combustion chamber, heating two pots, after which the smoke is rerouted outside by a chimney. As two pots can be used on one fire, cooking is faster and consumes therefore less firewood. Moreover, the chimney prevents the harmful emissions of entering the kitchen, which creates a more healthy environment for the cooks. The stove consists of a body out of bricks, where local (clayey) mud is used for the bricklaying. The heat flow path is strengthened using a mixture of sand, cement and sawdust (or other organic material), to make sure the stove withstands the heat in the combustion chamber. The sawdust ensures that the heat flow path is insulated, so less heat is lost in the stove body. Our design is based on a construction manual of improved household stoves provided by a collaboration between the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the German Technical Cooperation (Kabuleta, 2004).

About the project

Michiel, Douwe and Hannah

During the Summer of 2022, the design of the Rocket – Lorena stove was introduced to the Rafiki community in Bwindi. After testing the design and adapting it to the local needs and inputs, we built a number of stoves to get used to the construction and train some construction builders and the project coordinator. In a next phase, we started giving workshops to interested groups (such as the Mothers in Motion and a few Batwa families) in Buhoma and the surrounding villages, to teach the people how to construct the stoves. After following a 2-day workshop, the interested attendees can subscribe for the program. When 7-8 families in the same area are interested, one truckload of sand and cement can be delivered, after which construction can start (either with or without the additional help of a construction worker). As these building materials are provided by the Rafiki Memorial Wildlife Conservation Initiative, additional funds are needed to maintain the continuation of the program. The goal is to extend the reach of our program: to organise and give workshops in other villages around Bwindi in order to make the impact as large as possible. With your help, we can attain this goal of improving the living conditions of many families in and around Bwindi and contribute to the conservation of this important part of tropical rainforest

How you can help:

The  Rocket-Lorena stoves cost on average $40 each, and can greatly reduce wood consumption and harmful emissions. Due to the low incomes of the local households and high prices of the building materials, many families are having difficulties paying for them. With this fundraising, we hope to keep this project alive. Your donation contributes to the health of the people and the environment.
Many thanks for any support you can provide. Every little bit helps.
The Humasol team: Hannah, Douwe and Michiel
Sahaya International and Rafiki Memorial Wildlife Conservation Initiative
You can support this program via the USA-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Sahaya International. Donations from donors in the USA are tax-deductible.
Use the form below if you want to pay with your credit card, Venmo or Paypal. If you like to support in other ways, visit our donation page.

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