By Wezi Tjaronda
Fuel-efficient stoves manufacturers and promoters are meeting in Windhoek to develop a promotional strategy for the stoves.
The Promotion of Fuel Efficient Stoves, encou-rages the sustainable use of
biomass energy resources through effective marketing of fuel-efficient stoves.
The Okahao Quick Stove Project has been appointed by the Global Environmental Facility/Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) to implement the project by way of a promotional strategy.
The project aims at raising awareness on the use of fuel-efficient stoves in selected pilot regions through the application of the promotional strategy and to facilitate biomass energy projects nationally.
Members of different stove projects from Okahao, Onaene, Windhoek, Gobabis and Mariental are attending the two-day workshop.
The Okahao project started nine years ago with support from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and focusses on manufacturing, training and selling of Tso-Tso stoves.
Since the project started, more than 1 200 Tso-Tso stoves have been sold. Although people know about the stoves, many do not use them probably because they know little about their advantages, said Nickey //Gaseb, GEF/SGP National Coordinator.
About 93 percent of Namibian households depend on wood for cooking. A biomass-efficient stove reduces wood consumption by about 60 percent and charcoal consumption by 80 percent. This means an average household saves about 730 kg of wood yearly.
The project became self-sustaining and started training unemployed youths to start making the stoves as an income-generating activity and to satisfy the growing demand for the stoves.
Some of the projects have applied for funding from the GEF/AGP but have not received the funds because of growing fears that the supply would surpass demand.
//Gaseb said the workshop was the beginning of an initiative to market the stoves which would in turn give impetus to mass production.
He said the project is concentrated in the northern areas of the country, where deforestation is severe and the impact of climate change is already felt.
Project members attending the workshop have problems in either getting started or marketing their products.
The Gobabis Stove, Ongendo and the Mariental project started this year.
Cornelius Sydney of the Windhoek Stove Project said: “We need standard requirements on how to produce quality products and be able to market them,” said Sydney.
Consulting Services Africa’s Catherine Uunona said the projects especially Onaene experience problems in getting some of the material from Windhoek and have to rely on the CSA to buy it for them. The Onaene project, which started in 2004, is now self-sustaining.
Tso-Tso stove, which costs N$300 and uses wood, briquettes and cow dung, is insulated and uses less wood than the traditional open fire because the flames go directly to the pot.
The stove is also safe to use in the homestead and near children, it is portable and cooks faster than the traditional open fire, which means that the meal is prepared and served faster.
The promotion comes at the start of the rainy season when the stoves are needed most as they can be placed in a sheltered place when it is raining.
The project, in conjunction with CSA, has produced leaflets in five languages to raise awareness about the stove.