by Sebastian Africano, International Director
Trees, Water & People’s Haiti Program Manager, Jean Gabriel, continues to deliver in Port-au-Prince, expanding the Zanmi Pye Bwa (ZPB) sales force to include vendors in four other Haitian cities. In the past few months, hundreds of these clean cookstoves have been sold, and prototyping work has started on a new double burner cookstove. From our years of work in the sector, we know that replacing one burner in a biomass fuel-dependent household only solves half the problem.
The double burner model we are developing is two fuel-efficient charcoal stoves in one body – a solution not currently offered in the Haitian marketplace, apart from those we sell through our vendors. Our current goal is to bring the cost of this unit down while keeping quality and durability high. Purchasing power in Haiti’s urban areas is still low, so we work to educate people on how an investment like this pays for itself in a matter of weeks in fuel savings alone. Results with lay-away and micro-credit have been growing – we know that once the stove is in a users hands, they will not want to return to their previous stoves.
Our donors are what drives the successes of this cookstove program. Our long-term goals are to make the ZPB a locally owned product, manufactured, marketed and sold by a network of local entrepreneurs. We are far enough down the road to know that the product is solid and sought after, and now we are focusing on how to make the venture sustainable. This includes developing a robust market for replacement parts, compiling a network of artisans who can repair and refurbish the stove, and organizing all these entrepreneurs under a common banner, knowing that this gives our program the best chance of expanding long after we are gone.
The challenge is big, and we can only tackle it with your help. Thank you for your support!
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