Improved cookstoves are the centerpiece of CREATE!’s sustainable development programs in Senegal and cookstove trainings are always our initial intervention in rural communities. Our field technicians gauge potential partners’ commitment to our participatory approach by holding an improved cookstove training and then returning after one month to determine how many women in the community have built their own and they can then determine the spread of improved cookstoves. We prioritize villages with high rates of cookstove adoption for future partnerships.
Between March and May, CREATE! field technicians held several improved cookstove trainings in communities around the Fatick Region of rural Senegal, including the villages of Kothiaw, Barkel, Yarigouy, Mboudaye Serere, and Mouille. In April, our technicians trained over 50 women in the community of Keur Kabo! For several of these trainings, we have partnered with local Peace Corps Volunteers, who have sought out and participated in improved cookstove trainings along with women from their host communities.
During the trainings, our field technicians teach women to construct, use, maintain, and repair fuel-efficient clay-sand cookstoves made from free, local materials. They also emphasize the economic and environmental benefits of switching to improved cookstoves from open cook fires.
CREATE!’s fuel-efficient improved stoves use up to 70 percent less firewood than traditional open fires. Thanks to improved cookstoves, women and girls no longer need to walk long distances to collect firewood for cooking, thereby freeing time, reducing labor, and increasing the likelihood that girls will be able to remain in school. For families that buy firewood, the use of improved cookstoves reduces household expenses because firewood lasts three times as long. Cookstoves also have numerous health benefits – they burn cleaner than open fires and cook meals thoroughly, thus lowering the risk of disease.