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CREATE!'s Clay-Sand Improved Cookstoves Help Reduce Poverty
Gagnick Mack and Darou Diadji, Senegal

The first intervention that CREATE! introduces in new communities is training in the construction and use of CREATE!’s clay-sand improved cookstove. In the words of CREATE! Founder and Executive Director, Barry Wheeler, “The introduction, training, construction, and use of CREATE’s clay-sand improved cookstoves by villagers themselves, in their own households, has shown to be a perfect portal through which subsequent local development activities can pass.”  If community members enthusiastically engage in the construction and use of the cookstoves, they have earned the opportunity to participate in CREATE!’s fully integrated programs.

Yacine Diop, 36, is a teacher and a member of the garden cooperative in the village of Gagnick Mack. Her new improved cookstove has “lifted the heavy burden of searching for firewood.”  Yacine no longer needs to walk many kilometers to look for firewood. Now, “just a small amount is sufficient to cook our daily meals,” she says.

With the 50 – 70 percent reduction in fuelwood consumption from using CREATE!’s clay-sand cookstove to prepare household meals, community members not only reduce deforestation by cutting fewer trees and shrubs for fuelwood, they also save money, as they no longer have to purchase as much additional firewood from vendors to meet their cooking needs.

In addition to volunteering at the community health post and preparing lunch at the village school, Kiné Diop, 47, is president of the CREATE! agricultural cooperative in Darou Diadji. Kiné appreciates the training she received in improved cookstove construction. “The improved cookstoves work – in rain or shine,” she said. “Improved cookstoves reduce expenses and gathering wood is no longer such a heavy burden,” Kiné added. “I am very proud to know how to build my own improved cookstove.”

CREATE! programs are important, Yacine adds, “because they transfer to us skills and knowledge.” Thanks to CREATE!, everyone in Gagnick Mack is working to reduce poverty in their community. “As a teacher,” Yacine says, “I want to be involved in the development of my community.”








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