At least one million households in Rwandan rural areas use environmentally friendly cook stoves donated by DelAgua, a British social enterprise involved in carbon emissions reduction. The stoves are distributed through DelAgua's carbon credit project called Tubeho Neza (“Live Well”), launched in 2012 in partnership with the government of Rwanda. As a carbon market project developer, DelAgua started with a modest goal of donating 2,000 stoves. Now, its staff can donate 2,000 stoves in two hours. With a target of donating 2.3 million stoves by the end of 2023, Tubeho Neza project is one of the world’s largest cook stove projects. The stove has a 10-year life span and reduces the amount of wood used for cooking by 71 per cent, addressing critical climate and health challenges at large scale. On project completion, DelAgua says the stoves will be reducing carbon emissions by over 8.6 million tonnes annually and saving some 64 square kilometres of forestry every year. As they celebrated the project’s 10th anniversary on Wednesday, October 26 in Rwamagana District, DelAgua staff donated the 1 millionth stove, marking a milestone in their emission reduction model. “I have used the stove for eight years now, and one of the most significant changes is the small amount of wood I use for cooking,” said Chantal Muhongerwa, a resident of Rwamagana District who has used the stove for eight years. “Cooking beans would take three to four hours, but with the stove it takes one hour. I used to suffer from sinusitis, but with the stove the respiratory disease has disappeared,” she added. An independent study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that DelAgua’s stove could reduce child mortality by about 47 per cent through its smoke reduction, making it much safer and also more efficient than a three stone fire. The DelAgua stove requires small pieces of twig, which rural families can gather without encroaching on forestry. It is designed to be used outdoors, cutting household air pollution. The stove, incorporating the vital long term education and support programme provided throughout the 10-year life of the stove, costs $80 (about Rwf80,000). This is a key differentiator compared to other types of clean cook stove projects and accounts for the extraordinary success rates of Tubeho Neza. Independent audits show that 99% of the other stoves are in use 2 years after distribution. The DelAgua stoves are made in Kenya and imported duty-free, thanks to a government tax exemption. Each recipient is registered and receives an instructional poster with the DelAgua stove. The stove is scanned and registered to a household so it can be tracked throughout its lifespan which ensures ongoing household support, optimises stove usage and maximises the carbon issuance that funds this programme. To distribute the stoves to households, DelAgua staff work with 5,000 community health workers, who also do monitoring visits every six months to ensure proper operation of the stoves and provide. The carbon project developer aims to employ 5,000 more community health workers over the next year to reach its distribution target. “One of the biggest benefits for families who use the stove is that it reduces the amount of fuel. Rather than using ten bundles of wood, you use three bundles. So that saves a lot of money for households if they buy the wood or reduces the time spent collecting it,” said Neil McDougall, Chairman of DelAgua Group. “Tubeho Neza is the biggest stove project in Africa. And by the time we finish this project with 2.3 million stoves – one in every rural household in Rwanda – we will be the first project in the world where the country has an improved cooking stove in every rural household.” McDougall appreciated the support of the Rwandan government in ensuring the project succeeds. “We want to be the partner of choice for the government in rural communities and are actively working on new projects such as community clean water projects,” he said. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawariya, the Minister of Environment said the DelAgua’s project contributed to Rwanda's endeavour in reduction of carbon emissions. “Reducing 2/3 of our wood consumption is equivalent to a 2/3 reduction in emission,” said Mujawamariya. “We encourage the beneficiaries of the stoves to use them appropriately and keep them well because these will in turn improve their lives for 10 years.” She added that the government is working with DelAgua on the development of solar cook stoves for the future benefit of Rwandans and the environment.