Energy saving stoves contributing to environmental conservation

NYAMASHEKE - Carrying a baby on her back while washing utensils and cooking at the same time, does not seem such a big task for Nyamasheke District resident, Vestine Nyanguramye.
NYAMASHEKE - Carrying a baby on her back while washing utensils and cooking at the same time, does not seem such a big task for Nyamasheke District resident, Vestine Nyanguramye. Since she purchased the “Cana rumwe,” a new model of energy saving cooking stove, her household chores have turned out to be easier.“I only fetch firewood twice a month, as opposed to the countless times I used to illegally visit the nearest forest for firewood,” says Nyanguramye.About 80 percent of people in Nyamasheke District have embraced the use of energy saving stoves. The district hopes to draw on the stoves to conserve natural forests. Its target is to ensure that every family uses the environmental friendly stove by the end of 2012.“Geographically, Nyamasheke is a hilly district. Planting trees or terraces was not enough to conserve the environment. There had to be a way to conserve the trees,” says Charles Bahizi, Vice Mayor in charge of Economy.The district not only sensitised people to purchase “cana rumwe” and “teka vuba” energy saving stoves, but also called upon co-operatives to make the stoves to help out and negotiate a friendly price for all residents.“We agreed on Rwf 2,000 as the standard price which we thought was affordable to any resident. At the moment, we are out of stock but have just placed a new order,” says Marceline Nyiransabiyeze, a representative for Practical Action Consulting, the organisation in charge of distributing energy saving stoves in remote areas.BenefitsThe stoves can prepare a meal with only one dry piece of firewood. This has saved a great deal of trees from being felled for firewood.“Cana rumwe is comfortable to use; one can cook while seated or taking care of other chores,” testifies Nyanguramye. The stoves also sharply reduce on firewood expenses.While cana rumwe is permanently built in the kitchen, ‘teka vuba’ is mobile. Both stoves are hailed for ensuring kitchen hygiene as well as reducing on smoke in the kitchen.A medical practitioner, Dr. Benard Usengimana, says the stoves are a solution to various diseases caused by smoke.

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