Low-smoke stoves in El Fashir
Reducing indoor smoke pollution in the kitchen and provision of alternative energy
High dependence on biomass fuels for household energy not only contributes to environmental degradation, but equally causes serious health problems, especially for women and young children.
Practical Action Sudan initiated the first work of its kind in Sudan by monitoring household indoor air pollution (IAP) levels, using participatory research methods with a sample of thirty poor households from a semi-urban residential area, Wau Nour, Kassala. Traditionally, cooking takes place on inefficient three stone stoves using firewood. The IAP monitoring revealed high levels of particulate matter and carbon monoxide.
Using a revolving fund, the project enabled a number households to switch to cooking with liquid petroleum gas (LPG), which reduced levels of IAP by more than 80 per cent. A scaling-up strategy was developed with the Women's Development Associations (WDAs) and other partners and stakeholders. This enabled women to buy ovens and gas cylinders by establishing a revolving fund, managed by the women who also contributed to it financially. The Gas Agent in Kassala agreed to supply cylinders on an installment basis. Based on energy savings and conservation calculations, households could repay the cost of LPG appliances in a maximum period of six months.
Now 2,000 households have switched from using wood to gas and have acquired all the necessary appliances. Refilling outlets were established in Wau Nour and Kadugli residential areas to give easy access to gas. A new plate for baking Kisra (a thin sorghum pancake which is the main food in central Sudan) is being manufactured locally. Training on safety measures is done through the involvement of the Civil Defence Forces, and so far no accidents have been reported.
The revolving fund that was established for provision of gas appliances as a clean energy managed to reach 220 more families in 2007-8.
The situation of availability of biomass fuel in Dafur is dramatic. The need for alternative energy is huge bearing in mind the already exhausted environment and the degradation of the vegetarian cover. Accordingly, a new gas promotion project has been launched aiming at serving 5,000 families in El Fashir town directly and 5,000 more as a result of the turnover of the revolving fund.