Submitted by: GERES (Groupe Énergies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarités) Cambodia
Implemented country: Cambodia
Title: Trendy Stoves for Cambodian Housewives
The main priority in introducing new and improved kitchen stoves in Cambodia was offering more efficient ways of cooking. However, being able to cook as many meals as possible was not the issue. Instead, the main concern was to create the possibility of preparing environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient meals. The New Lao Stove (NLS) is adapted to the local culture and the needs of the persons cooking. Incidentally, the stoves are also very trendy. Their popular design as well as effective marketing efforts are the secret of the new stoves’ success despite the fact that they are three times as expensive as conventional stoves.
The New Lao Stove has obvious advantages: Among them, a life-cycle of three years (unlike traditional stoves) and thanks to its efficient burning of wood and coal, expenses pay off after ten weeks. These are the advantages from the viewpoint of Cambodian housewives who now have more time and money for healthier food, personal well-being, or other things. The project organizers see the benefits of the NLS from a different viewpoint: It uses 22 percent less fuel than conventional stoves. Because of its improved combustion chamber and optimized heat transfer, 1,000,000 tons of CO2 were saved; households have saved 6,870,000 euros and 1,100 new jobs have been created since 2003. Add to all this an improved quality of living and better health for the housewives who haven’t been exposed to smoke and exhaust fumes.
Over one million New Lao Stoves have been sold thus far, which is a great success for the project. Another great success is that the endangered Cambodian forests are now better protected. 80 per cent of the population use wood and coal. Hence, it is no surprised that project submitter Sokhanaro Hep enjoys “playing with fire.” This is one of his hobbies, as well as pottery, planting trees, and karaoke.
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