TWP’s Deputy International Director, Sebastian Africano, just returned from a 2 week trip to Uganda where he visited our newest clean cookstove project. This new project, funded by Rodelle, the largest vanilla importer in the United States, is bringing clean cookstoves to Ugandan vanilla farmers.
About 75% of families in Uganda cook over open wood fires and cannot afford electric or gas stoves or access to alternative fuel sources. These open wood fires create serious problems including deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and disease from indoor air pollution. With this project, Rodelle hopes to improve the livelihoods of the farmers that they source their vanilla from.
On this last trip, Sebastian made visits to households that received clean cookstoves in March 2011 to determine how they liked the stoves and what improvements they would like made to the stoves. In addition, he built an institutional clean cookstove for workers at UVAN, a top Ugandan exporter of vanilla. The UVAN staff were impressed by the efficiency of their new stove and how much it reduced the smoke in the building where they cook. They were so happy they built a second stove after Sebastian left!