A simple cookstove developed as part of the UNV-supported Community Based Adaptation (CBA) programme in Namibia is getting its moment in the spotlight at the current United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. The EzyStove is a fuel-efficient, easy-to-use and environmentally friendly stove designed for poor rural households dependent on burning wood or paper on open fires for their cooking and heating.
The easily assembled stove consists of a fire chamber fitted into a metal frame. Because the chamber concentrates the fires heat, it reduces wood fuel consumption by two thirds to heat food or liquid.
One and a half kilograms of wood can produce the same heat as 6 kg of wood on an open fire. Tests also proved that the stove can boil two litres of water within 11 minutes whereas it takes up to 30 minutes to do this on an open fire.
The design also produces between 60 and 80 per cent less emissions and a fraction of the wood smoke. As a result, the stove can be used indoors.
Cutting trees for fuel in Namibia is resulting in alarming amounts of deforestation, causing extensive desertification. Widespread use of the new stove will markedly reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.
Originally designed by university students in Finland, the EzyStove came to Namibia through Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions (CES), the NGO implementing the CBA programme in Namibia. A group of Namibian women tested and tweaked the stoves design and received backing from CES and the Swedish company Ergonomidesign to incorporate their ideas into the updated product.
The CBA programme in Namibia promotes self-help groups to increase the resilience of communities to the effects of climate change. There are CBA programmes in nine other pilot countries. Delivered through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)-Small Grants Programme (SGP), the CBA programme is a five-year UNDP global initiative, largely funded by GEF along with other donors, such as the Governments of Japan and Switzerland, and AusAID.
In seven out of nine CBA countries, UNV partners with UNDP to enhance community mobilization, facilitate volunteers contributions and ensure inclusive participation in the project, as well as to facilitate capacity building of partner NGOs and community-based organizations (CBOs).
The CBA programme in Namibia strives to create an enabling environment that encourages self-help groups of men and women to form and generate collaborative community initiatives on a voluntary basis and across the various sectors of the community. The members share the same experiences of the socio-economic challenges of poverty and the same common purpose to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The stove comes from the factory as flat sheet metal panels, a few bent steel rods and some rivets. It can be easily assembled in a small local workshop without advanced tools.
CES has donated 150 EzyStoves assembled in its Ondangwa workshop to communities around Namibia to make the product known and get communities to commit to producing the stove independently. The stove costs about 150 Namibian Dollars (N$)(<20US$) to produce, but will be sold at a subsidized price of 30N$ (<4US$) to make it an affordable alternative even to the poorest households.
The stoves local manufacture will create new jobs and encourage entrepreneurship.
The Namibian Government is presenting the stove among the climate change mitigating measures and devices it is showcasing.