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Reducing Firewood Use with Fuel-Efficient Cookstoves
Ouarkhokh, Senegal

In the village of Ouarkhokh, as in most of rural Senegal, almost 100 percent of the population uses fuelwood for cooking, a use of natural resources that significantly contributes to deforestation and resulting desertification that is so devastating to the environment throughout rural Senegal and other areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Thanks to CREATE!’s Improved Cookstove program, however, community members in the village of Ouarkhokh (and all CREATE! project villages) have been able to reduce their household fuelwood consumption by an amazing 50 to 70 percent. And they are able to do this by building the cookstoves themselves, using locally available materials that are absolutely free!

CREATE! field staff teach community volunteers – primarily women – to  build fuel-efficient cookstoves using dried grass, sand, clay and water. These trained volunteers then teach other women in the village to build their own cookstoves.  To date, community members in Ouarkhokh have built 107 improved cookstoves in their family compounds.  Now they are not only cutting fewer trees and shrubs for fuelwood, they are also saving money, as they no longer have to purchase as much additional firewood from vendors to meet their cooking needs. Additionally, women and children no longer have to spend so many hours on a daily basis searching for scarce fuelwood for cooking.

CREATE!’s goal is for all households in each of our project villages to build and use a minimum of three improved cookstoves – one for each of the three most commonly sized cook pots – and to use them for all of their cooking needs.  With over 500 improved cookstoves built to date, we are making good progress towards this goal! 

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