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High-Efficiency Stoves for Darfur Refugees

Item # 31012

2,000,000 people die each year from illness related to breathing smoke from cooking fires. This is equivalent to the entire AIDS epidemic and 3x as many annual deaths as malaria.

Poor Health: Cooking over an open fire is equivalent to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Women and children in developing countries are exposed each day to pollution from cooking smoke, up to 20 times the level recommended by the World Health Organization. Cook fires in poorly ventilated homes cause more than 3 deaths per minute. Exposure to cooking smoke leads to low birth weight, childhood pneumonia, tuberculosis, and a number of chronic illnesses.

Poverty: Families pay as much as a third of their income to purchase fuel for cooking. Cooking over open fires imposes high financial costs on families, especially the very poor, whose incomes of less than 2 dollars a day must be stretched to cover basic necessities.

Environment: Cook fires cause deforestation and climate change. Cook fires emit greenhouse gases laced with sunlight-absorbing black carbon, and hurry deforestation. Black carbon is the second greatest contributor to global warming, responsible for an estimated 18% of the Earth's rising temperature.

Safety: Women and girls face assault as they forage for fuel in conflict zones. Finding wood to cook meals is a daily struggle for many women around the world. Women and girls must walk many hours, several times a week, just to find a single tree with usable wood to fuel their fires. Outside the relative safety of refugee camps, they are vulnerable to acts of violence.

Clean cookstoves save lives, create economic opportunity and combat climate change.

Designed to optimize fuel-efficiency and reduce toxic emissions when cooking meals, a clean cookstove is one intervention that addresses almost all of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals: ending poverty and hunger; gender equity; child health; maternal health; and environmental sustainability. For half the world's population, a clean cookstove means one less day of struggling to find enough wood to survive. It means increased safety, better health, less harm to the environment, a higher income, more time and increased employment.

Your caring and compassion saves lives.

Each stove costs $20, which covers the cost of materials as well as transport of the stove kits from India for assembly in Sudan by displaced Darfuris. Potential Energy is now working with a local partner to sell the stoves and build a sustainable project, which will allow them to help more women. Because each stove saves a woman almost $1 per day in firewood expenses, it pays for itself in less than a month. For women who cannot afford paying the full cost of the stove up front, they are offered the option to pay for the stove in installments and through savings groups. For women who cannot afford a stove at all, we continue to cover the full $20 cost of the stove through money raised from caring supporters like you. Thank you for all that you do!


Stove distribution to women refugees in Darfur

Report from the Field

May 2012: Our field partner, Sustainable Action Group, is currently finishing the assembly of 2,200 stoves and have started free distribution in the Zam Zam IDP camp. We are also collecting feedback from users in Ethiopia on a modified version of the stove and will have an Ethiopia Stoves Project up and running soon.

We envision a world where technology improves the lives of everyone equitably.

Potential Energy's mission is to adapt and scale technologies that improve lives in developing countries.


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