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Clean Stove Initiative Brings Recognition For Helping Haiti

posted 18 Jun 2013, 09:52 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 18 Jun 2013, 09:53 ]
A US-educated Haitian entrepreneur is being recognised in London this week for the development of a clean, inexpensive cooking stove designed to improve the lives of ordinary Haitians while helping preserve the country's remaining forests.Duqeusne Fernand is a finalist in this week's Ashden Awards, recognising individuals and organisations that are "cutting carbon, reducing poverty and improving lives."


 PORT AU PRINCEHAITI  (GREEN TV) -  It's a far cry from the kind of stove common in the western world, but Mantina Lucia's new stove represents a technological leap by Haitian standards.

The vast majority of stoves in Haiti require large amounts of charcoal to heat, creating a demand that has decimated the country's once lush forests and poisoning the air in homes. According to a 2007 study by USAID, the average lifespan in Haiti is shortened by 6.6 years because of the impact of indoor pollution caused by burning charcoal.

But Mantina Lucia's stove is cleaner and more efficient than most in Haiti. It's called the Eco Recho stove and its developers at a local non-profit called D & E Green Enterprises, say it's capable of reducing charcoal consumption by 50% and CO2 emission by 60%.

The stoves are manufactured at D & E's dusty outdoor yard in Port au Prince. The non-profit, founded by Colombia University graduate, Duqeusne Fernand, employs 45 local staff to manufacture and distribute the stoves.

Fernand says the project was driven by a desire to help his country.

"So I look at that, the traditional stove that we are using and I said 'what can I do with that stove to make it more efficient?', and that's how the idea of doing this cook-stove project started."

The key component of the stove is a ceramic insert which allows the charcoal fuel to burn more slowly. Not only is it designed to reduce the overall cost of feeding a family, it

is also seen as beneficial in reducing the demand for charcoal which could help preserve the few forest areas that remain in Haiti.

For thousands of poor Haitans, charcoal is the only source of income, but Fernand believes that more projects like his could provide alternative jobs and wean the country away from its informal, charcoal based economy. The statistics are stark; ninety-five percent of households use charcoal to cook while deforestation has left less than two percent of the country's forests intact.

Mantina Lucia is a big fan of the Eco Recho stove.

"I heard about the stove on the radio so I bought one. Now I use much less charcoal which is great. It really costs much less."

Fleuri Kethline, who lives nearby, is also a convert.

"I brought one and find it very different than the old one. I don't need to much charcoal to cook anymore and the sand doesn't spill around the kitchen, the stove is very hot and cook very fast."

But for Fernand, the process has not been easy. His newly built factory was destroyed by the massive earthquake of 2010 and after production restarted in tents, a hurricane

blew through Haiti and destroyed them. Fernand says he was on the verge of giving up, but his staff persuaded him to keep going. Three years later, D & E has sold 33,000 stoves.

"I always wanted to come back to Haiti and do something, something that could have multiple impact at once because the issues in Haiti are so many you cannot tackle one issue. You have to look at it in a very holistic way and trying to tackle you know, several issues all at once," said Fernand.

With support from the Clinton Global Initiative, D & E has committed to a business that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tons, save 500,000 trees and create 130 additional jobs in Haiti.

Organisers of the Ashden Awards, to be presented this week in London, say the business is now doing well, reducing pollution, saving trees and helping ordinary Haitians improve their lives.

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serve multiple purposes

D&E's stove product line includes versions of the stove designed for use inourban and rural environments and a larger institutional model to be used in schools, hospitals, prisons, and IDP camps.

Since openign fgor business in 2009, D&E estimates it has sold more th 10,00 stoves.

After entering the Haitian market in November 2009, D&E has made major inroads with its environmentally friendly cookstoves, selling over 10,000 locally and directly employing 45 people. Company CEO, Duquesne Fednard, was quickly recognized for his innovative approach receiving Digicel's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the environmental category and AIDG's Green Haiti Competition in 2010.

Particularly after the devastation from the earthquake in 2010, D&E is providing much needed solutions to Haiti's struggles. Prior to the disaster, charcoal was the primary cooking fuel for more than 95% of households and partly responsible for the rapid deforestation of the country. Today, only 1.5% of Haiti's forest remains. D&E's EcoRecho reduces charcoal consumption by 50%. Additionally, the stoves are manufactured entirely in Haiti using local raw materials and labor, which provide jobs and other business opportunities in a country where over 66% of the population is unemployed and 80% live below the poverty line.

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D.&E utilizes its customized EcoRecho stove to tackle Haiti's chronic deforestation and the human health issues that result from the use of charcoal as a primary source of cooking fuel. Haiti has the highest child mortality rate due to respiratory illnesses in the Western Hemisphere and deforestation for charcoal production has reduced tree cover from 63% in 1923 to 1.5% today. Poor governance and lack of infrastructure make access to a more environmentally friendly energy source in the near future unlikely. The recent earthquake makes the outlook bleaker. As an immediate response to these challenges, D&E has introduced efficient cooking stoves to the Haitian market.

Our goal with this project is to provide high-quality, affordable alternative stoves to replace the inefficient traditional metal charcoal burners currently in use while searching for alternative cooking fuels that can be produced locally in order to eradicate charcoal use in Haiti. The stoves are highly efficient and are capable of reducing charcoal consumption by 50% and CO2 emission by 60%. Additionally, the stoves are manufactured locally using local raw materials, thus creating jobs and other business opportunities in Haiti, a country where over 66% of the population was unemployed and 80% lived below the poverty line before the earthquake. Each stove comes with a user manual written in the local language and with amanufacturer's warranty. D&E's stove product line includes versions of the stove designed for use in urban and rural environments and a larger institutional model to be used in schools, hospitals, prisons, and IDP camps.

&E Green Enterprises is making a three-year commitment to manufacture and distribute 100,000 EchoRechos, the company's energy-efficient cookstoves specifically tailored to the local resources and needs of the Haitian market. The initiative, announced today at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tons, save 500,000 trees and create 130 additional jobs in Haiti.

After entering the Haitian market in November 2009, D&E has made major inroads with its environmentally friendly cookstoves, selling over 10,000 locally and directly employing 45 people. Company CEO, Duquesne Fednard, was quickly recognized for his innovative approach receiving Digicel's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the environmental category and AIDG's Green Haiti Competition in 2010.

Particularly after the devastation from the earthquake in 2010, D&E is providing much needed solutions to Haiti's struggles. Prior to the disaster, charcoal was the primary cooking fuel for more than 95% of households and partly responsible for the rapid deforestation of the country. Today, only 1.5% of Haiti's forest remains. D&E's EcoRecho reduces charcoal consumption by 50%. Additionally, the stoves are manufactured entirely in Haiti using local raw materials and labor, which provide jobs and other business opportunities in a country where over 66% of the population is unemployed and 80% live below the poverty line.

D&E's introduction of low-cost electricity to rural communities will address the needs of the over 6 million Haitian citizens, or approximately 62% of the population, who reside in rural areas and rely mainly on subsistence farming. Haiti has the highest cost of electricity per kW in the Americas and the lowest grid penetration with less than 15% of the entire population having a dependable connection .

A metal stiove with a cerwmic liner. Pot sits above the charcoal and three trianguilar metal wdges.. A door or on the ront can be opened and closed to contro, air flow.

Protecting precious lives and forests against the odds in Haiti

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In January 2010, Duquesne Fednard's newly built cookstoves factory was destroyed by the Haiti earthquake. Just over three years on, he has succeeded in halving the use of charcoal on cookstoves on an island where human plunder has all but eliminated the country's forests.

Inspired by the achievements of Ashden winner Toyola Energy in Ghana, in September 2009 the Haitian entrepreneur founded a business to produce efficient charcoal-burning stoves. After the earthquake, production continued in tents. But when a hurricane destroyed the tents last year Fednard was on the brink of giving up. His staff persuaded him to keep going - and they were right to do so: the business is now doing well, selling 33,000 stoves over the past three years and reducing pressure on Haiti's severely depleted wood resources



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