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Empowering urban slum refugees through vocational skills building and application

Train urban slum refugees in manufacturing improved energy saving cook stoves for environmental protection and job creation.

Photo of ronald ssenfuka

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The ideaaims at promoting vocational hands on skills through training in improvedaffordable energy saving cook stoves for environmental and job creation.It seeks to empower vulnerable groups of people to identify their strength,creativity and turn them into business opportunities. It engages the localcommunities to contribute to the development in their areas and createsustainable benefit for all.

Challengesaddressed

The ideaaddresses the following challenges;

Lack ofpractical skills for job creation

Lack ofentrepreneurship skill

Lack ofstart up capital

Isolationand depression

Fear toengage in practical hands on skills. As a result of the challenges slumvulnerable youth have resorted to engaging in risky behaviours such as drug andsubstance abuse, prostitution, increased HIV/AIDS and other STIs, increasedviolence all which increases the vulnerability level for the urban slum youth.

Strategy

Wemobilise and organise the vulnerable urban slum youth inbusiness working groups of their own choices. Train them in group dynamicsand leadership to facilitate them effectively manage their group businesses established.

Throughorganised training we equip youth with entrepreneurship skills to enablethem manage and effectively run the businesses they establish for incomegeneration.

We linkthe groups to local government and private sector to enable them have a chanceto benefit from the existing opportunities to stimulate them selves and expandtheir initiatives through application of the knowledge acquired.

Weprovide support supervision and continuous mentorship to the groups and westrengthen their capacity through gaps analysis, business performance analysis,self measurement and together propose relevant solutions.

 

Project justification

Theproject reduces green-house emissions by disseminating fuel-efficient stoves.The project will contribute to increased manufacturing and distribution ofimproved fuel-efficient charcoal stoves for domestic and restaurant use. Theimproved charcoal stove reduces fuel consumption by introduction of aninsulated combustion chamber which increases combustion efficiency and retainsheat. Tests were conducted in 2006 to measure the fuel savings introduced bythe improved stoves, with the following results: 

-the improved charcoal stove reduced charcoal consumption in sampled householdsby 36% on average, in some cases saving more than 50% of the fuel usedpreviously.  While these stoves willsignificantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they simultaneously provide co-benefits to users and families in the form of relief from high fuel costs andreduced exposure to health- damaging airborne pollutants.   

Currentlyinefficient and polluting cooking regimes are deeply established in theculture. The project aim to break this mould and move large populations awayfrom conditions under which GHG emissions are unacceptably high, and healtheffects are unacceptably inhumane, for the women and children spending longhours each day in conventional kitchens. The cook stove project reduces greenhouse gasemissions by replacing traditional stoves with fuel-efficient cook stoves inhouseholds. This project reduces pressure on Uganda’s forests, improveslivelihoods and improves users' health. 

Uganda isone of the poorest nations in the world, with 38% of the population livingbelow the poverty line of US$1.25 per day. More than 95% of people in Ugandarely on wood and charcoal for cooking, one of the major causes ofdeforestation. The improved charcoal stoves reduce fuel consumption by anaverage of 36%. 

Compared to other energy options which arecurrently expensive, this project makes the stoves more affordable and promotestheir distribution, and in doing so brings substantial environmental, socialand economic benefits to Uganda’s poor. Nearly all people inurban setting prepare food for their families using an open fire in their home.This inefficient cooking method exposes users to dangerous pollutants andimpacts livelihoods due to the high cost of fuel. The Clean Cook stove Projecteliminates preventable deaths of mothers and children caused by open cookingfires in developing and newly industrialized countries by providing cleaner andmore efficient alternatives.

Innovation

The ideauses locally available technologies which are easily accessed by the slumyouth. It offers hands on skills in making improved affordable energy savingcook stoves for environmental protection and jobs creation. Female youth aregiven a chance to participate therefore it addresses gender stereotyping amongfemales and empowers them to generate incomes of their own.

Marketaccess

Majorityof people in Urban areas use cook stoves  to make a meal every day. Thestoves saves energy, saves money, saves lives, saves on tree cutting anddurable. The demand for energy saving stoves is high since majority of urbandwellers would like to improve their cooking behaviours. Households,restaurants and small businesses need the energy saving cook stoves.

 

Success potential

Starting improvedenergy saving stove business is not expensive since all materials andtechnology used can be locally accessed. Youth will be able to start businessesand earn incomes thus improved livelihoods.

Youth participated inidentification of this enterprise therefore ready to take it on, create jobsfor themselves and fight unemployment that has led to high rate of povertyamongst themselves.

Youth will be trainedin practical improved energy stoves making and in entrepreneurship skills , theknowledge they will use to successfully start and sustain their businesseswhile conserving the environment  andearning incomes.

Improved energy savingstoves are substitutes to local charcoal stoves thus having potential to beadopted by the entire community. It will also provide an opportunity for peopleto save energy and money at the same time.

Scale up potential

The cheaper technologyused in   production of improved energysaving stoves is easy to operate and available within the projectimplementation area. This will make it easy to be adopted by youth in the area.

AFHI will also equipthe youth will good marketing and interpersonal skills to be able toexceedingly sale their products hence a larger courage. Existing marketpotential of products will lead to the expansion of the project, because morerevenues will be generated and new businesses will be created and jobs for theyouth.

Favourable governmentpolicies  will enable this project to bescaled up to other areas in the municipality.

There is  abundance of almost cost free raw materialwhich is a potential for scalability.

There will be skillsacquisition which will enable youth scale up the project to other parts in thedivision

The expansion of Improved affordable energysaving stove making project entirely depends on the higher number of interestedyouth to join and acquire skills for job creation since they have no practicalskills and no formal education for income earning.

The targeted group isin the youthful working age with enough strength to undertake innovativeventures for survival and development of the self and the community in general.

Some youths haveelementary knowledge in enterprising, this is a quality possessed by promising future entrepreneurs, who will and also make others succeed in business. 

 

The sustainability matrix presentedbelow assesses the project in terms of environmental and sustainabledevelopment impact. The indicators are scored on the following basis: 

1. Water quality and quantity: The project has no negative effect on both water qualityand quantity in the country. It can be argued though that indirectly due tobiomass conservation, the project could, in principle result, in increasedforest cover in the water catchment areas, among others, resulting in increasedwater quantity. 

2. Air quality:  Mothers and childrenwill be exposed to fewer hazardous air pollutants through reduced emissions ofcarbon monoxide and fine particulate matter. Air pollution from cooking withsolid fuel is a key risk factor for childhood pneumonia as well as many otherrespiratory, cardiovascular, and ocular diseases. (Refer  to Pennise, D., Haigler, E., Ndemere, J.,Charron, D., “Indoor Air Pollution Monitoring Summary for Urban CommunityDevelopment Association’s Wood Stove Project”, CEIHD 2007, and “Assessing theSpread of Improved Charcoal Stoves in Urban Areas, Tanzania” by TanzaniaTraditional Energy Development and Environment Organization-TaTEDO;http://sgp.undp.org/download/SGP_Tanzania1.pdf).  

3. Biodiversity: Will be improved through the stove program reducingpressure on remaining forest reserves. Uganda is home to more than 5,000 plantspecies, 345 species of mammals, and 1,015 types of birds5. Once the projectachieves the expected 20,000 AFHI-Uganda users towards the 2nd and 4thyears, the annual conservation effect is therefore calculated as 1.8 savedtonnes/energy saving cook stove users multiplied by 20,000 users, or 0.16million tonnes of wood, representing 1,000 hectares saved each year. This is asignificant mitigation in the context of current deforestation causing loss ofhabitat and biodiversity in the order of 100,000 hectares per year, as itdemonstrates a practical step forward which can be followed with increasingdissemination of improved stoves contributing to increasing preservation ofbiodiversity. 

4. Employment quality: The improved stoves will give rise to employmentopportunities in manufacturing, distributing, retailing, and maintaining thestoves, as well as in relation to business development and management, and inrelation to technological skill. The jobs involved are almost all skilled orsemi-skilled, ranging from artisanal skill in ceramics, tin smithing, tobusiness management and marketing. Accordingly the quality is high, providing acadre of youth able to contribute positively to their society and able to earnincomes securely. 

5. Livelihood of the poor: The circumstances of poor families will be improved by areduction in expenditures on fuel due to the more efficient stoves. 

6 Access to energy services. The improved stoves require less fuel, which in many areascan be a very scarce resource or expensive to buy.  

7.Technological self-reliance. Theintroduction of locally manufactured technology with optimized energyefficiency will help to build technological self-reliance. The project willintroduce specialist skills in ceramics, involving careful mixing of theingredients of the stove insulation liners and the associated kiln constructionand kiln operation skills.

Beneficiaryownership

Youth were actively engaged in enterprise selection processusing pair wise ranking scores and choose improved energy saving stove as aviable business to venture in depending on its benefits to the youth, generalcommunity and the same time very easy to start and maintain since all rawmaterials are accessed locally. In the selection they looked at the costeffectiveness, availability of the technology, relevance to the environment,health and flexibility.       

Risks and assumptions

·        Improvedenergy saving stoves are fragile, and they can easily be destroyed duringdelivery to our customers.

·        There are existingcompetitors in the same business and have been in place for quite long time. Thismeans they have a potion of customers they sell their products in Kampala.

·        Unfavourablegovernment policies affecting project operations. For example the KampalaCapital City 2010 ordinance might jeopardize establishment of small stalls foryouth businesses.

·        Failure ofcooperation with partners, diverting project roles and responsibilities of eachpartner.

·        Pricefluctuations, affecting access to raw materials thus low productivity and lessbenefit accrued.

·        Limitedparticipation of project beneficiaries in the entire project implementationprocesses.

Assumption of the project include

·        Availabilityof funds for implementing project activities in and on time will facilitate thesuccess of project.

·        Youthwillingness to be trained and implement the knowledge and skills acquiredleading to businesses and jobs created.

·        Favourableweather condition for products enabling easy drying and maintain quality, thusincreasing market potential and sales.

·        Stable  prices for equipment's ,machinery and raw materials  enabling young single mothers to have acomparative advantage to engage in active production and creation of businessesand  jobs   

·        Durability ofproducts made to differentiate them from the existing ones thus out competethose already on market.      

Mitigationmeasures

·        Lobby andpartner with government and Involvement of local leaders at all levels ofproject implementation, will give leverage for Youth to understand key existingpolicies and regulations on garbage management.

·        SignMemorandum of understanding, with project key partners will clearly defineroles and responsibilities of each partner, thus addressing anticipatedmiss-understandings and resulting into proper management and replication ofbest practices.

·        Stocking rawmaterials for production will solve the problem of low productivity resultingfrom unstable prices of production materials.

·        Reporting intime to donors will enable funds to be disbursed on agreed time, thus adheringon project plan and budget.

·        Sensitize andencouraging youth to fully participate in the project activities will enablethem develop a sense of ownership and thus starting businesses and create jobsfor themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

95% of Ugandans residing in Urban centres cook on the daily basis. However majority use ordinary cooking options that cause heat loss and contribute to in door pollution in the house causing respiratory tract infections. In the proposed project we will provide hands on skills in manufacturing improved affordable energy saving stoves for environmental protection, job creation and improved livelihoods to the refugees residing in urban slum areas of Kampala.

WHO BENEFITS?

The idea will benefit 200 urban slum refugees in Rubaga Municipality Kampala district in Uganda. These refugees are living in congested houses, challenged by poverty, poor housing and insanitation conditions and poor cooking habits. They stay in central region of Uganda.

PROTOTYPE

Researched on the idea and found out its viability. Identified the market for the products mobilised beneficiaries

FEEDBACK

We have already received feedback from the community and partners. They appreciated the idea of increasing access to improved energy cook stoves and those that use them offered their perception on the usage, how they save energy, how they reduce in house pollution, how they save on heat loss, how they save on money spent on buying charcoal. They also gave feedback on the quality and durability. Others commented that they earn money by selling the products.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

We need help to expand the idea to benefit more people. To achieve this l will need financial support to train more people and manufacture more improved affordable energy saving stoves. I have experience working with refugee communities and have come to understand their needs and have practically engaged them in trainings that improved their livelihoods.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

RONALD is a social and development specialist, passionate about working with vulnerable groups to reduce their vulnerability by improving their socio-economic living condition. He has knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of development programs

IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?

  • Yes, I have implementation capacity and am interested in and able to make this idea real in my community.
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Attachments (2)

THEORY OF CHANGE.doc

Project theory of change explaining how the project is implemented. In a nutshell it shows the interconnectedness of the skills provided and how they contribute to realisation of the entire goal of the project.

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Photo of An Old Friend
Team

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Photo of Hassan Bashir Ahmed
Team

These is a great contribution,and it can work here in kakuma refugee camp which mainly is the youth and there the most adventitious ones and it will help them gain skills through engineering and become self dependent.

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Ronald! This is a great idea. I wonder if you could tell us a little more about how this initiative will engage refugee communities?

Photo of ronald ssenfuka
Team

Hi Chioma,
Thank you for the comments on the idea.
The project will mobilise and facilitate urban refugees to form business working groups. Train them in group dynamics , leadership and governance skills, offer them practical sills in energy saving stoves making, train them in entrepreneurship and business management, start and improve your business idea, marketing skills and branding. We will provide psychosocial services through counselling and create market linkages for their energy saving cook stoves. Urban refugees will be empowered to establish market stalls for their products.

We will work in close relationship with INTERAID who will support in mobilising and organise urban refugees for training as well as enabling them form groups.

The project will create 200 jobs for the urban slum youth refugees 18-35 years which will enable them generate incomes and improve their standards of living. We believe that skills acquired will be replicated mong other refugees even outside Uganda.

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Ronald, this is an inspiring initiative to empower refugee youths with vocational training while improving the living conditions of families in Kampla! We're also glad to see that you've uploaded a Theory of Change map for this idea. To what extent have you piloted this project? How many refugee youths have gone through the vocational training? And aside from funding, what other type of support might you hope to gain from the OpenIDEO community?

Also, you might be interested to check out this clean cookstove project that was done by IDEO.org in Tanzania: http://www.ideo.org/projects/a-human-centered-approach-to-cookstoves/completed

Looking forward to how this initiative will grow!

Photo of ronald ssenfuka
Team

Dear Shane,
Thank you appreciating. Your contribution and comment is very relevant on my idea. We believe in practical (hands on skills rather than theory) as one way of supporting vulnerable groups of people to have capacity to support themselves. The Improved affordable energy saving cook stoves idea is now 1 year old. It was started in 2014, with a mini research that involved some end users of the improved energy cook stoves. The results from the research revealed the fat that cook stoves have an impact such as the environmental, economic and social benefits. Participants said that the cook stoves are durable, save energy, save money, saves lives and contributes to environmental protection. further participants revealed that even training in manufacturing them is easy, the technology used is simple and available in Uganda which makes it a viable skill to offer others.

After a field research, we came up with a simple demonstration concept of the idea which we are still building on to ensure that we increase the improved cook stoves usability in urban areas.

In the middle of 2014, we participated in a Youth to Youth fund competition that was organised by International Labour Organisation and European Union, which aimed at promoting green businesses in Uganda. We merged among the winners team and managed to get a grant that has supported in training 30 youth in urban areas in improved energy saving stoves for environmental and job creation. In addition the grant supported us to train youth in entrepreneurship and business management skills. We would like to be supported to scale up the idea and also replicate it to other areas in Uganda to benefit other vulnerable groups of people.

Am glad that you have looked into the theory of change for the project and you have also shared with me the experience in Tanzania. With the Open IDEO community, am looking for financial and non financial support which also includes contributions from different participants on how l can effectively grow my idea. Am also looking at creating strong partnerships and networks with organisations/individuals interested in the idea to support me come up with a model that will enable me reach out my goals.
The current education system in Uganda does not give capacity to students to create jobs for them selves, but rather empowers them to seek for employment. In our design of the idea we are promoting refugees are people with very many challenges and need education that is directly giving them capacity to have immediate solutions. The fact that slum areas in Kampala have diverse challenges, the refugees who stay in them are not exceptional and solutions to address their education needs are relevant.

With this open platform of building and sharing viable ideas for improving education of refugees, we plan to use the community they stay in as training centres to enable them easily access training. We also plan to involve organisations such as InterAid, United Nation High Commissioner for refugees(UNHCR),Local government to seek guidance and how best we can continue to engage with refugees at a more organised forum.

Documentation of best practices on how the idea changed the lives of urban slum refugees will be availed on the social networks and the developed website for shared learning.

I do welcome more support and comments from different participants on how l can grow the idea.

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Thanks for the additional details Ronald! Looking forward to how this will grow. As your idea develops, it'll be helpful to include the updates in the Full Description section of your idea post. This way, it'll be the most visible to people who will be reading your idea for the first time.

Photo of ronald ssenfuka
Team

Thank you Shane, l will ensure that l share more information on the project as l can. l will also re-visit the description and add more details. Thank you your suggestions and comments. l believe they will help me improve on the presentation of my idea for the public consumption. Your support to see the idea grow is still welcome.

Photo of Richard Zulu
Team

Ronald, great post! Just iterating Shane's suggestion. You could add what you did in your research into the idea description above. Something similar to what you described to Shane

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Or, you could also use the Feedback section! (if there's not enough room in the other section)

Photo of Les LaMotte
Team

To Ronald, 5/12/2015

Ronald, You may not be aware of “The Skunk Works” this is the term that all of the high tech firms in the US came up with so that they could do anything to invent new ideas. Having this kind of a Skunk works environment allows students to seek and try things that are not developed into final projects or products but they can invent with all of the tools of production, without the constraints of actually making something that is at present understandable or even useful, but NEW and UNTRIED prior to this. This is the Stuff that allows for innovation of ideas, materials, social interaction, planning, and completely new technologies and products to emerge. It is what I use in my creations... in art, in product design, FOUND OBJECT DESIGN it has been used in many parts of the world very effectively.

An African Example: A young fellow found a book (a key point here is access to books even used ones) that showed him what a wind generator looked like. He went down to his local junk pile and found a small bike wheel generator, hooked up a make shift windmill propeller and he was able to charge his cell phone, and then went on to make a business of charging his local villagers to charge their cell phones. This kind of Skunk works attitude and environment, can produce huge leaps in a short time in terms of new product offerings. Then others can begin to make these devices and as they say... the rest is history, a real company can develop. other cooking options and equipment, there is a whole realm of Solar Cookers that you may or may not have investigated and some of them are nothing more than some cardboard and aluminum foil or mylar and I am getting samples so I can give you the right one and where to purchase it.

I did some general online “Skunk Works” research and found at least 25 more ways to cook food with NO smoke, NO fuel and almost NO cost.

1. A Solar cardboard box and foil (this can be further developed in to a self adhesive polished surface added to cardboard and punched or cut out using an aluminum template to produce a marketable product that extends a village or cities boundaries and begins a market trail back to more innovation and product.

2. Fornel lens from an old large scale projection TV... the front plastic lens can be claimed from these now antiques for free and then put into a wood frame with a clamping device made of iron or PVC plastic tubing adjust its angle to the sun and aim the rays into the cooking pot.

3. Using an old TV Dish, you can glue a broken mirror like a mosaic onto it and mount a universal righting hoop within a hoop design to keep the pan straight at whatever the angle of the Sun Disk is placed for best sun gathering.

4. Cooking using a simple silver mylar front car heat reflector forming it into a wing like structure or simply wrapped around a pan.

5. A more sophisticated parabolic (not spherical) shaped heat refractor which is made of a series of highly designed wedge shapes that you just connect or hinge together in 8s or 12s to get a parabolic or refracting lens shape that all rays converge on the center where your cooking pot is located, even on the ground.

6. An in and out oven, yes, if you have access to the sun from one direction in your house or your house was designed for that very purpose, then you can build an outdoor addition to your window or a specific hold cut in that is insulated outside and in. You then can access your food from inside the house through a wood and insulated hand made hinged door and access your food and check while cooking. In addition to all of these kind of devices there is a very inexpensive product you can sell with the cookers (included and sell additional) a small glass sealed tube, with fish line and a washer attached. Inside there is a small dab of a specific wax like material that melts at the exact temperature that water is safe to drink an it can be used over and over by just allowing it to cool.

So all of these ideas come from innovation and an environment where everything is possible, and everything can be experimented with, and a level of socially conscience thinkers can work together to review ideas with a positive inspirational attitude. This is NOT a natural state... it must be nurtured and cultivated in a professional and artistic positive group critique method.

Photo of Les LaMotte
Team

Ronald thank you for your confirmation of the need for a good shop... tech space. Just remember in using containers, the entire space does not have to be cramped as you can design using containers to make wonderful open spaces by using 2-4 of them in a configuration with additional less expensive overhead roof for large spaces.

Photo of Les LaMotte
Team

Ronald, I believe what you really need is a self enclosed portable shop... which contains all of the tools necessary to build or experiment. It has tables chairs, counters, out door overhead pull out tents for teaching, conferences, demonstrations, and working. This can all be done with two - four 40 foot containers with a metal roof canopy structure with water proof canvas over head. Then you could find, store, and sell materials, making it your first entrepreneurial space and business. Serving the community teaching a more practical way of seeking your own quest for work and self practical education, here in the US we call them Tech schools. For many years college and university were taught as the only way to go, however, they have become so expensive (almost $25-$50,000 USD per year) and the opportunities for even students in the US is degrating. So, the tech schools and Tech universities where medical skills and practical aspect of creating or coming in a lower positions which have an upward career path are the hotter trend.

Photo of ronald ssenfuka
Team

Dear Les LaMotte,
Thank you for your contribution towards development of the idea. It is true space is needed to establish a good training workshop that will support effective training of the youth. A container is ideal to have a well spaced training centre that can accommodate enough trainees. The idea of a Tec school is great and l think it can be replicated in Uganda as well. To have a self directed education, trainees need to have enough space for their personal training and learning.

Practical skills for refugees need tools, materials to enable them be exposed to working environment, learn from fellow learners skills so that they perfect themselves. A good learning environment is a pre requisite to learners if they are to acquire transferable skills to better their lives.
In our interventions, we will establish a good training workshop that will act as a mentorship centre for youth. It will be designed to accommodate a reasonable number of trainees putting in consideration individual skills development

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Team

Congrats on this post being featured in this week's highlights! https://openideo.com/blog/refugee-education-weekly-highlights-may-1-2015

Photo of ronald ssenfuka
Team

Dear Les LaMotte,
Thank you for the comments made on my project. Thank you for the work you do as well. I believe in partnership because it is strength' and strongly agree that two heads are better than one. I do welcome the partnership suggested and looking forward to see ideas growing to benefit the refugees. l strongly agree with you that building entrepreneurial mind-sets among urban refugees will be a way to tackle their immediate needs.
It is also true that as practical skills are offered to the vulnerable groups of people, there is need to research on the market availability and strengthen their capacities to find market for their products. The factor of value addition to products is relevant in competing for available markets. It is also not only about imparting practical kills but also taking care of what quality of skills provided to them matters.

Nearly three billion people around the world burn wood, charcoal, animal dung, or coal in open fires or in inefficient stoves for daily cooking and heating. This reliance on inefficient cook stoves and fuels leads to a wide variety of environmental problems including deforestation, air pollution, and climate change.

Use of Solid Fuel for Cooking Causes Environmental Harm
In many countries, much of the native forest cover has been stripped to support charcoal production, and in others reliance on wood fuel for cooking has led to pressure on local forests and natural resources. In most of the urban or peri-urban areas in developing countries, charcoal is often the fuel of choice. The unsustainable collection of wood for charcoal production can contribute to mud-slides, loss of watershed, and desertification, which places further pressures on regional food security and agricultural productivity. In many countries, especially those with remaining old growth tropical forests, the increasing loss of forest canopy for charcoal production also brings devastation to local biodiversity, while the construction of logging roads damages the environment and exacerbates the dwindling habitat of endangered species. Unsustainable wood harvesting also contributes to deforestation, reducing carbon uptake by forests.

Burning solid fuels in inefficient cookstoves releases toxic pollutants into the air leading to levels of household air pollution which often far exceed World Health Organization health-based guidelines. Unfortunately, the potential for harm does not stop when smoke leaves the home. Instead, in many areas, fine particulate emissions from household cooking with solid fuels are a major source of ambient pollution. Indeed, according to a recent study, household air pollution accounts for 12% of ambient air pollution globally. The ambient pollution which occurs as a result of household cooking with solid fuels has major implications for both human health and the environment.

In addition to deforestation and air pollution, burning solid fuels releases emissions of some of the most important contributors to global climate change: carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). Unsustainable wood harvesting also contributes to deforestation, reducing carbon uptake by forests.

Black carbon, which results from incomplete combustion, is estimated to contribute the equivalent of 25 to 50% of carbon dioxide warming globally, and residential solid fuel burning accounts for 21% of global black carbon emissions, about 84% of which is from households in developing countries. In South Asia, for example, more than half of black carbon comes from the use of inefficient cookstoves. Black carbon also disrupts the monsoon and accelerates melting of the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers. As a result, water availability and food security are threatened for millions of people. These problems are compounded by crop damage from ozone produced in part by cookstove emissions and from surface dimming, as airborne black carbon intercepts sunlight.

Benefits of Clean Cooking Solutions

Many of today’s more efficient cookstoves have been shown to reduce fuel use by 30-60%, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions and reducing impacts on forests, habitats, and biodiversity. Recent evidence also demonstrates that advanced (efficient and low emission) cookstoves and fuels can reduce black carbon emissions by 50-90%. Since the atmospheric lifetime of black carbon is only a few days, reducing black carbon emissions can bring about a more rapid climate response than reductions in carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases alone. In addition to having an immediate impact on the climate, reducing black carbon emissions would have a regional effect.

Studies show that controlling both short-lived climate pollutants and long-lived greenhouse gases can increase the chances of limiting global temperature rise to below 2ºC, a long-term international goal for avoiding the most dangerous impacts of climate chan

Photo of Les LaMotte
Team

Ronald, EXCELLENT IDEA! I totally agree that taking the most needed things that refugee or those in large urban setting and making suitable devices by the people, even solar panels in my case... is the answer to jump starting their thinking, training, and building their entrepreurial spirit. As in food production in Africa, it is not about the lack of the food produced, it is in the Market set up to guarantee 1. Delivery to the market unspoiled. 2. Markets ready to accept the products. 3. Marketing and branding of these products. This kind of holistic market set up has been proved by an organization from Minneapolis MN USA Cheetah... which uses support to farmers, giving them loans for tens of thousands of dollars not just $50 so they can buy the equipment and hire personnel and set up as a real company. Then they sell them solar dehydration equipment that allows them to use 100% of their food ready for market. They then set up markets to receive the goods and pre-set pricing that they can count on. Then they help to package and brand the product into the market for repeatablity.
I would like to do the same in teaching the concept of Solar, the design of solar systems for families and small business, the making of solar panels and better systems to retain the power, the use and development of 12V equipment specific to the needs of cooking, pumping, lighting, etc. So that the general public becomes knowledgeable in the iGet, iHold, and iUse... designing a specific system in this order. These same processes and then ones you have discussed is the real backbone of what is missing in the poverty equation in many countries but especially Africa. I would like you to please join with me as we are on the same track together and I feel we can really make a difference in collaboration...

Photo of Hannah Tran
Team

Interesting and practical ideas! Look forward to read more updates on this project.

Photo of ronald ssenfuka
Team

Thank you Hannah for your comments. Am looking forward to continue updating viewers on the project. However the idea mainly focuses on promoting hands on skills through promotion of application of new technologies. The improved affordable energy saving cook stoves idea is mainly looking at empowering slum refugees through practical skills in manufacturing, use and marketing for social, environmental and economic benefits. With the nature of the areas where refugees stay and the challenges they face, ideas that address their immediate needs are more applicable. This idea does not only build their capacities but also supports them generate incomes that can be used to meet the other basic needs of life.

With or without external support when these skills are acquired, refugee communities can continue to apply the knowledge and practical skills acquired to sustain themselves. The skills acquired will also be passed on to others so that majority of people can benefit.

Photo of Hannah Tran
Team

Thanks for your more detailed info. Althouth there are some limitation, this would definitely beneficial for refugees to have extra skills to support themselves at least.