Improved Cookstoves in South Africa
Over 700 million people in Africa rely on wood or charcoal fuel for cooking. Burning wood fuel for cooking on traditional open fires is incredibly inefficient and dangerous. The smoke – or household air pollution – from open fires causes 600,000 deaths a year in Africa and is the second-highest health risk on the continent. Switching to efficient stoves could prevent over 250 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year; however, most families can’t afford to buy them.
In 2 years, TASC has distributed over 450,000 improved cookstoves (ICS) in South Africa, rising to 700,000 by the end of 2023. We are earning carbon credits certified by Verra for monitoring their use. We are distributing the cookstoves in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve and the Waterberg Biosphere. Our target users use traditional three-stone, open fires for cooking. We replace them with ICS that are designed to burn wood fuel more efficiently. The Rocketworks Zama Zama stoves reduce wood fuel use by approximately 70% per household and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 6 tonnes per household per year. The stoves’ higher combustion efficiency reduces smoke by an estimated 50%, which dramatically reduces incidents of respiratory illness amongst the women and children that are historically most exposed to household air pollution.
Distribution starts with sensitization, which is the dissemination of information about the proposed project to local communities. Sensitisation starts with community authorities and, later, continues in sensitisation meetings with the eventual customers and users of the stoves.
After sensitisation, TASC staff distribute stoves, using a proprietary data management system to obtain data required for the project registration and monitoring. Customers also sign an End User Agreement, confirming that TASC can return to monitor stove usage and sell carbon credits that it earns by doing so.
The project is forecast to operate until 2029 and to avoid over 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.