Increased access to Ecostove by commercial food vendors in local markets has had a significant reduction in energy costs, and reliance on biomass for cooking energy.
Shared Action Africa has an Eco fund that supports women both in business and homes to get cooks stoves on credit to support their work.
58-year Nalongo Kinene a food vendor in the Nakawa market is grateful for having got the cookstoves in doing her 15-year business.
I purchased a cookstove in 2019 on the credit of UGX 900,000 which I was able to pay back. Using this eco stove has reduced my fuel expenses. When I used traditional biomass, I needed 2 bags of charcoal per month each costing UGX 100,000 making a total of UGX 200,000 per month ($54.79). However, with the eco stove, I use one sack of charcoal dust per month which I get at UGX 8,000/= ($2.18). With this saving, I was able to repay my loan in time.
I also prepare meals within a shorter time i.e. from 7 hours to 5 hours now. This saves me time which I put to other use in business. Moreover, the timely preparation of meals is important in my business because I am able to provide food for my clients within a short time. This is because the stove has the ability to emit the maximum energy needed to cook fast because it has been designed in such a way that the user can moderate the amount of energy needed to suit their cooking needs.
The eco cookstove too does not emit fumes when lighting it, unlike the traditional charcoal stove that needs a lot of paper to light it up. It also has a proper storage compartment for the ash which makes it easy for me to collect the ash at the end of the day when I am done with the cooking and dispose of it well. Ash does not get littered as I do the cooking because the ash compartment is well enclosed. This keeps my cooking place clean and hygienic.
Ecostoves are good for business and homes. I believe that many people especially in urban areas would like to acquire them.
SAA supported 10 refugee women in Nakivale Refugee Settlement with cookstoves to promote the use of energy-efficient cookstoves given the limited access to fuel in the settlement.
26-year-old Monique mother of two and a refugee from Rwanda was among the beneficiaries who testify that having a cookstove has reduced the amount of effort in terms of time and energy she puts into preparing meals.
‘’My name is Monique Makengo. Through the training and support from Shared Action Africa, I saved up UGX 800,000 which I used to buy the energy-saving stove. I was tired of using firewood for cooking and it was becoming scarce with the high rate of cutting of trees in the settlement. I used to walk long distances (about 3 Kms) to get firewood in that I had to close my shop; this made me lose out on income during this time. In addition, I had no one to leave my three young children with hence I had to request neighbors to keep them whenever I went to get firewood. so that I can stop using firewood for cooking. I also had to wake up very early in the morning at times which was uncomfortable and very tiring.
With the cookstove, I don’t have to go through all the trouble since I use one bag of sawdust. I also spend less i.e. from UGX 88,000 on fuel to UGX 10,000 on sawdust per month. In addition, the cookstove is less straining in lighting up. I use less time to prepare meals from 4.5 hours to at least 3 hours a day. I use this time for my business and spending time with my saving group as we learn different things. I also get to boil our drinking water which was not the case before since I was sparing the firewood. The cookstove is also smoke-free which makes the cooking experience a delight. There is such a high demand for these stoves in my community especially among women due to their health benefits as well as their cost-effectiveness.
Though it may seem like a small item, this cookstove has changed my life in so many ways. I am grateful to Shared Action Africa for this support.”