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DelAgua began its innovative stoves programme a decade ago in Rwanda.
The operation has been developed and fine-tuned so that it is now the biggest clean cookstove project in the world with 1.5 million stoves distributed to date and a total of 2.3 million scheduled for completion in Rwanda by 2024. As a result of this success, Government interest in bringing DelAgua’s model to new markets has been extremely high. DelAgua has since formed three new partnerships, signing MoUs with the Governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Each of these Governments is committed to transforming the lives of their poorest rural communities as well as cutting carbon emissions.
They have chosen to work with DelAgua because of our unique capability to deliver a comprehensive free stove and education programme at scale, training and employing thousands of local staff and fully funded through carbon financing. Distributions in The Gambia and Sierra Leone began in these countries in 2023.
Our Tubeho Neza (“Live Well”) project has been running since 2012, in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, with the goal of providing innovative, high quality, high performance stoves to 2.3 million rural households. The project is one of the largest cookstove programmes of its kind in the world and is addressing critical climate and health challenges at scale and for the long term.
2.8 billion people still cook over polluting fires, a major contributor to carbon emissions, deforestation and climate change. Cooking over open fires or inefficient stoves emits one-quarter of global black carbon emissions—the second largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide.
Household air pollution is the leading environmental cause of premature death and disability, ahead of unsafe water and lack of sanitation, causing more deaths than Malaria, HIV and TB combined. Clean cookstoves are vital to tackle both global challenges and also provide a plethora of other benefits that impact the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The UN calculates the cost of inaction at $ 2.4 trillion and describes the provision of clean cooking solutions as nothing less than a human rights issue.
The majority of the population still cook on traditional wood fires, damaging health, the environment and causing significant deforestation. Rwanda is one of the world’s poorest countries but its economy is growing. The government is committed to fairness, raising the prosperity of all levels of society. Enlightened policies around gender equality mean that over half their parliament are women and they are leading the way with a tough climate action plan which places environment and climate change at the heart of the government’s decision making. This is reflected in their long- term commitment to Tubeho Neza and our partnership with the Government of Rwanda is central to the success and scale of the project.
In July 2022 the UN published their Common Country Analysis for Rwanda. The Common Country Analysis is the UN’s independent, collective, integrated, forward-looking, and evidence-based country analysis. Key finding from the report include the following:
For the last decade, Rwanda has shown impressive progress in the area of governance in general and in justice and rule of law in particular.
Rwanda has taken a leadership position with regard to gender equality and empowering women: the UN ranks Rwanda 9th globally and top in Africa. It is among the top 4 countries in the world for political empowerment, thanks to a high share of women (above 50%) among both parliamentarians and ministers
Rwanda is among the top performing countries in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of access to education. The country has nearly reached universal primary education with a net enrolment rate of 98.5 %.
Stove quality is paramount. A poor quality, mud constructed stove will be cheaper to provide but will not provide the step change in performance and reliability that delivers the benefits that families need to ensure behaviour change and transform health and wellbeing. The Live Well stove is manufactured by BURN in Kenya.
The stove uses wood, but just small pieces of twig and tinder, which rural families can gather without encroaching on forestry. Crucially the design of the stove increases thermal efficiency resulting in quicker cooking speeds and much lower fuel requirements. The stove requires 71% less wood than a traditional fire. Small pieces of wood are fed into the stove via a metal rack. As these enter the combustion chamber they burn, with all heat produced funnelled up the chamber and under the cooking pot. A pot skirt is wrapped around the pot that is being used for cooking to further enhance the cooking speeds, increase efficiency and minimise wood usage.
DelAgua is constantly reviewing technologies to improve performance, any development however is always done in partnership with our end-users. Whatever technologies are available, our stoves must always be practical, easy to use, safe, durable and affordable. A stove that appears to have some environmental advantages but is not reliable in day to day use will soon be discarded and when that happens the consumer and the environment lose.
Two years after receipt, 99% of DelAgua stoves are still in daily use, 87% of households have never had an issue with their stove and we are proud that 95% of our families say that their communities like our Tubeho Neza products. We learn from our hundreds of thousands of users through our extensive household visit programme and use these insights and feedback to develop and improve so that the stove is always better for them and better for the environment.
To mark historic COP15 agreement on biodiversity and ecosystems, our new film launches showing the power of clean cooking to save nature.
Explore our film library and discover more about our work.
The Tubeho Neza project is funded by the sale of carbon credits. Purchasing carbon credits allows individuals and companies to offset their carbon footprint.
Not all carbon credits are equal: because the Tubeho Neza project has so many important impacts transforming the health and wellbeing of Rwandan communities as well as reducing carbon emissions, its credits are worth more. Put simply, they do more good.
Our projects are registered under VERRA’s voluntary Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) programme issuing Verified Carbon Units (VCUs). VCUs are only issued from trustworthy climate-friendly projects that take place in developing countries and contribute to their sustainable development and our Tubeho Neza project has undergone a strict and thorough vetting process to qualify.
By buying carbon credits directly from DelAgua you are ensuring that all of your money goes directly to supporting the project and will enable us to meet our target of distributing 2.3 million stoves.
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