Monday, 19 April 2010

Trees Water People are steaming ahead bringing improved cookstoves to families in Haiti and Honduras

Nearly half the world’s households, around three billion people worldwide, eat food cooked on traditional stoves and fires that kill around 1.6 million people a year -- most of them are children. Trees, Water & People (TWP) have been working hard in recent months to bring improved stoves to thousands affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti and to communities in Honduras.

TWP and Honduran NGO, ADHESA won an Ashden Award in 2005 for their work installing efficient stoves in Honduras. In the last 5 years, TWP and its local partners have continued to bring benefits to communities and ecosystems in Central America through their work installing efficient cookstoves and planting trees. To date, TWP has produced and distributed 35,000 improved Justa and Ecostoves to families in need and planted 3.5 million trees with local farmers in Central America.
In 2005, with the help of Ashden award prize money and USEPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency), TWP built its first factory in Honduras. Since then, with funding from private foundations and individual donors, they have remodelled an old shoe factory into one for stoves. And production from the stove factory is steaming ahead! In the last 6 months, local partner NGO, AHDESA has produced and sold 5,000 stoves, with almost 2,700 sold in first quarter of this year. These have been for agencies and organisations such as the European Union, CARE and Rotary clubs.

The project has been careful to ensure social sustainability. ADHESA has been training local community leaders in Honduras to help deliver production and distribution in communities. In the last 3 months, 156 community leaders have been trained and about a third of these people now have the technical skills needed to construct and install Ecostoves.
In Haiti, since the earthquake, Trees, Water & People has been part of the effort to provide relief and continued development for the local people. It has already sent 430 stoves as part of an emergency aid effort and raised $28,000 for medical and emergency relief in Haiti. In the next seven years, Trees, Water & People hopes to help get 100,000 cookstoves into the country, where millions of people still depend on unhealthy open fires to cook food for their families.
Improved stoves have multiple positive benefits, they can drastically reduce the toxic effects of cookstoves on health, develop lives and mitigate climate change. For instance, each stove installed in Honduras saves families around one dollar per day and stops around 4 tonnes of C02 being emitted each year.

More information about the impacts and potential for cookstoves can be read in our recent report “Stoking up a cookstove revolution: the secret weapon against poverty and climate change” which draws on the work and experiences of our winners.

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