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The environmental impact of the DelAgua stove programme in Rwanda is very significant.
Traditional cooking practises are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions so there is currently a global effort to gain adoption of “clean” cookstoves.
The DelAgua stove uses 71% less wood than traditional methods and burns cleanly with little smoke.
This is particularly apparent when visiting a village which has had a distribution and those that have not. A village that has not had a distribution tends to be clouded with a thick layer of smog from all the wood that has been burnt, which is in stark contrast to a village where recipients have benefitted from our stoves, where there is less smog and cleaner air.
Over six million tons of firewood for cooking is used per year in Rwanda.
More than 90% of Rwanda’s rural population rely on wood for fuel. There is a severe and increasing gap between wood supply and demand, which is more than twice the sustainable supply and this shortage of firewood drives serious forest depletion.
Rwanda is small, hilly, and densely populated so deforestation and heavy rainfall is a destructive combination.
Landslides are a major hazard and occur where heavy or sustained rain falls on the steep, clay slopes, in particular those that have been destabilised through deforestation. Cutting down trees to supply firewood to a growing population is a cause of this.
The DelAgua stove reduces wood consumption by 71% which means deforestation is reduced significantly.
This minimises the number of landslides, particularly during the rainy season, maintains road networks, saves homes from being damaged and prevents a crop harvest from being inundated with mud thereby reducing crop yield for that season.
Reducing deforestation is key in maintaining soil quality.
Trees are the first line of defence in reducing harmful soil erosion: taking away trees increases soil run off which in turn reduces the nutrient value of the soil for cultivation. And more trees allows greater levels of CO2 to be captured from the atmosphere.
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