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The Live Well programme is a partnership between DelAgua and the Government of The Gambia to provide an integrated improved cookstove, education and support programme, free of charge, to the rural population of The Gambia. This will deliver a plethora of benefits including health, wellbeing, gender equality, climate, the environment, nature, education and economic.
Our partnership began in 2022 and initially we will distribute 25,000 stoves to the women of the households in the Lower River Region starting in March this year. By 2024 we will provide 125,000 stoves, that is one for every rural household currently without access to modern energy efficient cooking.
The Gambia is a Least Developed Country and one of the world’s poorest countries. Over 60% of the population is dependent on agriculture and over 70% of rural inhabitants live below the poverty line (UNFCCC/CRFS). Over 95% of the rural population still cook on wood fuelled traditional 3 stone fires, usually indoors. This has devastating consequences for the environment, nature and for the health of women and children in particular, who cook and tend the fire and so suffer the most from household air pollution (HAP). Whilst there is primary education provision, in rural areas there is poor attendance, especially among girls, because of their wood gathering and cooking duties. Over half the adult population cannot read or write.
The impact of wood fuel harvesting on the environment is significant: deforestation and the destruction of mangroves is extensive, leading to increased CO2 emissions, flooding, high winds and loss of crucial wildlife habitats.
The Government of the Gambia is focussed on meeting its Paris Agreement commitments with an ambitious plan to reach Net Zero by 2050, and on improving the health and well-being of its population. The Government has also taken a proactive approach to addressing gender Inequality and improving access to primary education for all. The Live Well programme supports these Government goals by enabling access to modern energy efficient cooking for the rural poor previously excluded because of lack of affordability. The average GDP/capita in The Gambia is just under $2/day (UNDESA 2021) and in rural areas significantly less: $1 to $1.50. Once living essentials are paid, a stove is completely unaffordable, even with a subsidy.
The stove we provide is the world’s most fuel-efficient, advanced rocket stove.
It cuts wood fuel use by 71% and burns with a very high thermal efficiency. It is designed to be used outdoors, cutting HAP. The stove is manufactured for us by Burn in Kenya, benefiting the regional African economy. DelAgua believes it is essential to provide a high-quality stove that has the best performance, is durable, and easy to use so that families and the environment gain the maximum benefit.
At present it is not possible to produce a stove of this type locally as it requires significant manufacturing technology and expertise. Burn are global leaders in the design and production of rocket stoves.
To discover more about the stove and the many benefits it delivers across 11 Sustainable Benefit Goals (SDGs) including examples from our highly successful 10 -year programme in Rwanda, click below.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is the main project partner and with whom DelAgua has a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare provides advocacy for the programme together with insights to ensure the gender benefits delivered by the stoves are maximised for the women of The Gambia
The Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Religious Affairs provides access to the Village Development Committee (VDC).
The VDC is a trusted local network within the rural communities who DelAgua trains and pays to distribute the stoves and carry out education, household visits and ongoing support. This is essential for achieving long term behaviour change.
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