The project aims to scale up the use of improved cooking stoves (ICS) in households of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Quicker heating-up and longer cooking and heat retaining reduce fuel needs and lower combustion fumes. Reduction in needs for wood energy relieves workload associated with the collection and buying. The project improves lifestyles of vulnerable people, women especially, while limiting deforestation. It also leads to poverty reduction, including through higher employment and promotion of local markets.
This project therefore participates to build resilience and enhance DRC’s adaptation and development capacities. Decidedly solidarity-based it relies on ethiCarbon Afrique® to mobilize the necessary funding.
DRC accounts for the larger part of the Congo Basin rainforest, with 12 800 042 km² of forestry area . Wood energy has been identified as one of the main causes of deforestation in this country. The majority of energy used by households in DRC for cooking and heating comes from wood fuel and charcoal, with significant impacts in terms of environmental conservation and on health.
Traditional cooking stoves using solid fuels lead to internal pollution in housing, which is thought to kill 2.4 million people worldwide every year . This is especially true for a number of African dwellings with regards to energy poverty, when inhabitants have no acceptable economic alternative to buying and using charcoal or wood energy to satisfy their needs. Women and children are particularly vulnerable to severe related health impacts such as respiratory diseases, lung cancer or asthma. Finally, both environmental and social impacts of three-stone fire or traditional woodstoves are enhanced by demographic growth and endemic poverty . The country ranked 176 over 188 countries in terms of Human Development indicator (HDI) in 2014 .
The ICS programme have numerous environmental, social and economic benefits:
This project fully enters within the scope and the vision of ethiCarbon Afrique®: it is decidedly solidarity based and ethical, participates to reduce vulnerability of the target population to the impacts of climate change, improve inhabitants’ lifestyles, particularly of women, alleviate poverty and has strong co-benefits in terms of mitigation through a reduction of wood use. It fits national development priorities, and skills and knowledge are transferred to local people so that they become the main actors of their development.
From an economic perspective, this project generates savings in the long term as well as annual certified emissions reduction (CERs). Our partner made the choice to keep parts of the CERs for the ethiCarbon Afrique® initiative, so that they serve ethical and solidarity purposes. The funds generated will be used for social needs such as education, building capacities, awareness raising, creation of cooperatives and women associations, scholarships, etc. This innovative approach is the key contribution from ethiCarbon Afrique®, an approach to which anyone can participate.
The use of improved cooking stoves is widely accepted as an alternative to traditional stoves to reduce environmental degradation and improve health and comfort in African dwellings. The transfer of technology and know-how within the framework of this project will enable duplication at local level. The project will also serve as a benchmark for scaling up such initiatives in DRC but also in countries where inefficient stoves are still commonly used. Similar programmes were already carried out not only in Africa but also across the developing world. It is now about scaling them up.
In Benin for example, 107 000 improved cooking stoves were sold in just 6 years within the framework of another ICS project, reaching over half a million people and saving about 15 tons of wood annually .
More info and credits pictures:
Aera group website:http://aera-group.fr/activities/investment/
Jikomanu project website: https://www.facebook.com/jikomamu/?fref=ts
Programme of Activities: https://cdm.unfccc.int/ProgrammeOfActivities/poa_db/SBY0G49DCHIFOUKTVELWQ51ZA6NM3P/view