‘Wonder Stove’ to save 80% of cooking fuel

‘Save80’ stove, as it is known is a stainless steel stove that can cook a meal with a handful of firewood or twigs and the cooking is completed in a wonderbox without necessarily having a saucepan placed on burning fire or a supervisor.
A man shows how a ‘Save80’ cooking stove is used. (Athan Tashobya)
A man shows how a ‘Save80’ cooking stove is used. (Athan Tashobya)

‘Save80’ stove, as it is known is a stainless steel stove that can cook a meal with a handful of firewood or twigs and the cooking is completed in a wonderbox without necessarily having a saucepan placed on burning fire or a supervisor.

Far from other commonly used stoves, the Save80 stove comes with a supplementary cooking device called the wonderbox (locally known as Runonko). 

Christine Muhongerwa, the executive secretary of SaferRwanda, a non-governmental organisation that distributes Save80 stoves, says the eco-friendly stove will help save Rwanda’s environment and minimise expenditure on fuel.

‘A sack of charcoal costs about Rwf7,000 and most of the families use about two to three sacks a month. On the contrary, the Save80 stove uses minimal quantities of wood that will cost about Rwf2,000 a month to meet the same household energy needs,” Muhongerwa said.

The German prefabricated stoves are made in Rwanda by a group of women who have been trained by SaferRwanda and atmosfair gGmbH, a German non-profit environmental protection organisation.

“The Save80 stoves are designed in a way that cooking rice will last for five minutes and there after the pot of rice is placed in a wonderbox where it is left for 30 minutes to simmer until the rice is ready. The insulated wonderbox is able to retain maximum heat for about  three hours thus maintaining the required food temperatures. The wonderbox can also keep water warm for hours,” Muhongerwa asserted.

Save80 stoves can be used for a range of activities, right from cooking and sterilising to deep frying.

Jacqueline Uwamariya, a resident of Kimironko who has used the Save80 stove since December,  says the stove saves time and has enabled her save over Rwf 20,000 per month.

“I bought the stove in December last year and I have only used  Rwf8, 000. Before then, I could buy two to three sacks of charcoal a month which would cost about Rwf28, 000 depending on the market prices,” a seemingly joyful Uwamariya affirmed.

Allan Mubiru, the atmosfair gGmbH representative to Rwanda, says the stove, compared to a traditional three-stone fire, saves 80 per cent of wood and saves additional fuel through the use of the wonderbox.  Mubiru reiterates that the Save80 system has improved fuel combustion design hence emits less smoke compared to traditional cooking methods.

“The project’s goal is to support Rwandan households have access to cleaner cooking, save money on fuel purchase, reduce indoor air pollution and conserve the environment,” Mubiru said. 

According to the two partner organisations, the stove project is a countrywide Programme of Activities (PoA) managed under the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM and Gold Standard Foundation (a global organisation that monitors Sustainable Development aspects of environmental protection projects), with close supervision of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (Rema).

Rose Mukankomeje, the Director General of Rema, says the project would help save trees, create employment and contribute to sustainable development.

The partners are currently training more distributors and constructors across the country. The stove with one wonderbox and two aluminium pots costs Rwf17,000 (C model) and Rwf28,000 (B model).

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