A new energy saving cooking device meant to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels has been launched in Ntarama Sector, Bugesera District.
The ‘Wonderbag’ a product of Natural Balance, a South African company, is an insulated container made up of two poly-cotton bags filled with polystyrene balls- which can hold a pre-heated dish safely for several hours while cooking its contents through heat retention.
At a function to get feedback from the pilot study, several residents testified that the mechanism has significantly reduced their use of charcoal, firewood, kerosene and electricity.
The device has been on a testing run for the last three months among residents of Ntarama.
“I was using three sacks of charcoal in a month both at the restaurant and home. But ever since I started using the Wonderbag, I am now using one and half yet I still prepare the same type and quantity of food,” one of the residents, Jane Uwamahoro, said.
She noted that there had been a reduction in her expenses for the last three months which has greatly led to an increase in her savings.
Another resident, Mary Asiimwe, said that the cooking device is not only cheap, but also reduces the time spent in the kitchen.
Speaking during the event, the officer in charge of carbon market promotion at Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Yves Tuyishime, called upon more residents to adopt the use of the device.
“There is no doubt that this will significantly reduce deforestation since the use of firewood will be minimised as well as reducing on the gases that contribute to global warming and climate change,” Tuyishime said.
The representative of Natural Balance in Rwanda, Immaculee Habiyambere, said more Wonderbags would be produced depending on demand.
“A home should have at least two Wonderbags, and by 2012, we shall have made 50,000 bags and strive to make them affordable for all,” she said.
The Wonderbag currently costs Rwf 12,000, however, with subsidies, it might cost less than Rwf 10,000.