- Title: ZAMBIA/FILE: Energy saving cooker reduces strain on forests
- Date: 14th April 2010
- Summary: LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (RECENT) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) LUSAKA RESIDENT MAVIS MBATSO COOKING, USING "SAVE 80" STOVE CROWD GATHERED AROUND STOVE
- Embargoed: 29th April 2010 13:00
- Topics: Science / Technology,Energy
- Reuters ID: LVABT2XQAK9F3WIMZ7QLTZ6GJMT1
- Story Text: Mavis Mbatso used to spend hours bending over a smokey charcoal stove to get her family's lunch ready. Today the "Save 80" stove allows her to prepare the meal in as little as 15 minutes.
The stove uses twigs and got its name from the fact that it uses 80 percent less wood or charcoal than an ordinary stove.
"The Save 80 Stove is much better than charcoal because when you use it there are no fumes and you can even cook inside the house. With charcoal you would get terrible headaches when you use it inside the house," said Mbatso.
The stove is manufactured by a locally based German company called Climate Management Limited. It was originally commissioned by the United Nations for use in refugee camps but is now being used by about 40,000 people in their homes across Africa.
Claude Trifellner, managing director of Climate Management Ltd, explained how the stove works.
"It doesn't use a ventilator it is just by a thermodynamically developed airflow system. It has a lower and upper reflector which avoids the heat - heat is lost and it makes it possible to use only very small twigs so the amount of wood which is needed to cook your food is reduced less than 80 percent. Tests have shown that with one kilogram of wood you can cook up to 50 people," he said.
The company's field officers go door to door to advertise and check how clients are adapting to the new technology.
"We make sure they should know how to use the save 80 and mostly how to cook. Some they say they don't know how to use it with beans, how to boil water, if it's cooking 'nshima' maybe how you can prepare 'nshima' with the stove," said Rachel Manda, one of the company's field officers.
"I used to use charcoal and I was spending a lot of money but now I am using the save 80 and I have saved a lot," said one user of the stove.
Environmentalists are encouraging its use, partially because of its potential to reduce deforestation.
Though most governments have adopted policies to stop deforestation, it may already be too late in some countries where the effects of climate change are already being experienced.
Professor Emmanuel Chidumayo, a Zambian ecologist, says every bit of energy saving is important.
"By replacing the use of charcoal, Zambia will be reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by somewhere around 130,000 tonnes per annum which is a big step towards curbing global warming and emissions," said Chidumayo.
In Zambia a tin of charcoal costs about 4 U.S. dollars and is still preferred by many middle and lower income households due to its costs.
"I have no choice, charcoal is what I use. I have heard of the other stoves but I don't have one," said Lusaka resident Pamela Sakala.
About 1,700 households in Lusaka have a "Save 80" stove but the manufacturing company wants to sell 180,000 stoves countrywide.
The stove costs about 320 U.S. dollars. Those who can afford the stove have been able to do so by paying climate management in instalments.
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