Household air pollution through traditional cooking practices (cooking over an open-fire stove or inefficient fuel burning stove) is the fourth biggest health risk in the world. Four million people die worldwide each year from exposure to cookstove smoke that causes cancer, pneumonia, heart and lung disease, blindness and burns. Close to half of the pneumonia deaths among children under five can be linked back to the inhalation of particulate matter from indoor smoke. Every eight seconds, smoke from traditional indoor cooking fires claims a life.
Planeterra is partnering with the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project to install 100 clean cookstoves in over sixty Maasai villages across the Serengeti. For every $50 provided, a new stove is installed in a family's boma removing 90% of indoor smoke. Each boma is home to an average of 7 people in the Monduli district.
In Tanzania, 95% of the population relies on solid fuels (wood and coal) for cooking. Over 77% of the population uses wood for cooking, which needs to be collected -- a cumbersome practice that often falls to the women and girls in the household. Similar to collecting water, wood collection is a daily routine that consumes hours of a woman's day, time that could be spent working or in school.
Our project partner designs and installs clean-burning and efficient wood-burning stoves in people's homes in the Monduli district, Serengeti. The primary focus is on creating local solutions by local people. The community is involved from the start with all materials manufactured in the area. This stimulates the local economy and empowers people -- especially women.
Our project partner works closely with Maasai women to incorporate their ideas in the design of the stoves. Through a 10-day training course, women are trained as fundis (experts) to install the stoves in their villages and neighboring villages, and to be stove distributors in the villages. The women installers work in groups of 5 to 10, selected by village women during a community meeting. The women groups elect their own leaders and work with our project managers to arrange for materials to be delivered to installation sites. So far, the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project has trained 75 women as fundis and has installed 750 stoves in this region.