B & E Green industries committed at the Clinton Global Initiative tto manufacture and distribute 100,000 EchoRechos, the company's energy-efficient cook stoves, in Haiti over the next three years. Developed for use and Haiti and assembled with local materials and labor, the EcoRecho stoves are capable of reducing charcoal consumption by 50% and CO2 emission by 60%. A medium size stove suitable for a family of 5 costs $8, and the company is soliciting donations to provide stoves to local families.
Haiti Reconstruction International has an exciting pilot program with biomass cookstoves. TLUD stoves do not use charcoal and have significantly cleaner emissions. The JDT Foundation is excited to provide this group with a seed grant to build and staff a Fomasyon Centre (training center) for biomass stoves and vetiver grass cultivaiton.
Why are improved cook stoves important?
Haitians often use cook stoves indoors. Incomplete combustion in traditional stoves release carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. Cook stoves also emit black carbon, implicated in respiratory disease and climate change. Haitian children have the highest mortality rates secondary to respiratory illness in the western hemisphere. Improved cook stoves are necessary to reduce the danger to children from burns, and reduce respiratory problems secondary to indoor air pollution. Women and children are the most harmed by respiratory illness due to their daily presence near cook fires.
However, if a project is to be successful, it must understand the motivations of why individuals use traditional cook stoves. Families often do not understand the health risks, and they do not see the immediate effects. The production of charcoal is an income-generating activity that supports many rural families. Ultimately, it is likely that only families with higher incomes will willingly adopt the new technology. The distribution of stoves to poor rural families will have to be entirely subsidized to see widespread acceptance and use of new cook stoves. This will result lifesaving benefits of reduced illness in Haitian women and children, reduced injury from burns, and improvements to the environment.