Submitted by: ACRA- Cooperazione Rurale in Africa e America Latina
Implemented country: Chad
Title: New Kitchen Stoves Help Save Forests in Chad
Most people in Chad are poor. They base their livelihood on farming and agriculture. Because of the arid desert climate, Chad is often referred to as “the dead heart of Africa.” Herds of cattle are grazing in what is left of any green areas, woods are threatening to disappear – there is a huge need for fuel wood, which literally goes up in smoke because of inefficient cooking stoves. The situation is especially bad in the valley along the Logone River where tree after tree is cut down to provide fuel wood. This precipitates desertification and the river is silting up with nearly no water. Food is becoming scarce and conflicts have arisen between people. This has attracted the attention of the Italian ACRA Foundation which has been active in Africa and Latin America since 1968 offering financial, technical, and logistic help in fighting poverty. Angela Melodia, an ACRA staff member, has now entered their project for the Energy Globe award.
ACRA’s main priority in the Longone valley was to save the forests as a source of water, animal habitat, climate stabilizer and the basis for agriculture. The Foundation knew from experience what was needed more than anything else: More efficient cooking stoves. Although such stoves are available, the challenge lay in finding and adapting the right model. Consequently, the main focus of ACRA’s Chad project was to find the best available technology suitable to the people’s needs, training crafts persons in stove-building, and then building 500 prototypes. Then the women had to be shown how to use the new stoves, and the rest of the population required convincing that the new stoves were better.
First the best stoves for the region were selected. This was done by ACRA together with its partner CETAMB. Together they decided on the central African model, 500 of which were then build by local craftsmen from local and used materials. Up to now, 310 stoves have been distributed, 190 are ready for distribution. 23 craftsmen were trained by ACRA, who are now passing their knowledge on to others. This way, a small but successful market for stoves has come into being. Women are shown how to use the stoves as well as learning basic sales and marketing skills. ACRA and CETAMB have developed instructions for stove building, which means that training and stove-building can be done anywhere. These instructions are distributed among local organizations and communities. Through this project many people in Chad have been helped by ACRA. The Longone valley is one of 65 development aid projects that the foundation has been implementing in 12 countries since 2010.By doing so, ACRA has helped improve the living quality of nearly 700,000 people. And more projects are coming up. ACRA is very optimistic and following its motto of “The only fight that you lose is the one you renounce.”
“The real goal is to have the will to achieve it!”
ACRA – Annual Social Report2009