Energy Saving Stoves
Cooking in rural Tanzania is usually done in a kitchen separate from the main dwelling, on a simple wood fire on the ground, which is surrounded by three large stones to support the pot and contain the flames. A lot of the heat from the fire is wasted, so this is an inefficient use of precious fuel, and the cooking room is full of smoke. Working in these conditions over many years means that manywomen suffer from eye inflammation and infections and respiratory conditions.
MRHP trains and supports women in villages in the Mwanza Region to make cooking stoves which use less fuel and produce less smoke than the traditional three stone fire. Different types of energy efficient stoves can be produced, ranging from simply reinforcing the traditional 3 stone fire with clay and cow dung, to making a pottery or metal stove, built to be the right size for the owner’s utensils, which can be either carried around or built into the cooking room with clay. Where possible a small chimney is incorporated, to try to remove the worst of the smoke from the kitchen.
While training women in the construction and use of these stoves, care is also taken to ensure that they also understand simple energy saving techniques, such as ensuring pan lids are used, and the most energy efficient way of feeding the fire.