Submitted by: IDER - Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável e Energias Renováveis
Implemented country: Brazil
Title: Fuel-Efficient Kitchen Stoves Help Save Forests, Health, and Cash
Jörgdieter Anhalt is technical director of IDER, an institution concerned with sustainable development and renewable energies in Brazil.
The focus of his job lies in providing rural areas of the Caatinga region of northeastern Brazil with efficient kitchen stoves - a region twice as large as Germany. With a population of 60 million, Caatinga is also one of the most densely populated and poorest areas of Brazil.
Anhalt received the impetus for his commitment by observing the large-scale deforestation in this area as well as the lack of governmental initiatives for improvement, unlike in China, India, or Africa. Lumber and fuel wood are in high demand, especially the latter. 6,000 tons of wood literally goes up in smoke every day because of inefficient wood-burning kitchen stoves, along with causing respiratory infections and eye irritation because of pungent smoke. And the wood isn’t free, either!
In 2007, Anhalt was able to convince the State of Ceará (which is part of the Caatinga region ) to cooperate with IDER with the goal to disseminate kitchen stoves that burn less fuel wood and take away smoke from the kitchen. Local bricklayers were qualified for stove construction. The new stove consists of a steel frame encased by heat-resistant bricks. For adequate construction, engineers observed the cooking habits of the local rural population. This resulted in a stove with three cooking areas, good distribution of heat, better thermal insulation, and a smoke-free kitchen. The families were also instructed how to use the stove in a most efficient way. Generating environmental awareness is an additional part of the agenda because, as a result of massive deforestation, 900 plant species, 150 mammalian species, 500 bird species and numberless insects as well as other creatures are threatened to become extinct. The greatest challenge was implementing a logistics for the stove parts fabrication, transportation of the stoves to remote villages, training of masons and instructing the housewives in how to use the new stoves. Add to all that diverse technical and bureaucratic hurdles.
Anhalt‘s motto of “Do an honest job and respect the people“ has proven to be successful. By March 2012, a grand total of 26,000 stoves in 800 communities benefiting 110,000 people were built. Total financial expenditures were 7.5 million dollars. The environment will benefit from 80 tons less firewood burned every day. Per stove and year that amounts to 1 to 1.2 tons reduced CO2 emissions – in sum less than 31,800 tons of CO2 per year. Now IDER is planning on building an additional 8,800 stoves with even better design and lightweight materials. IDER is also looking at convincing other states within the region of this good cause. This doesn’t leave Jörgdieter with much spare time, but when it does he enjoys spending it by riding his motocross bike, travelling and hiking. He also finds relaxation by repairing all sorts of things in his own little workshop.
„Change Climate Change“