Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

11 January 2013

Namibia: Demand Grows for Popular Ezystove

The energy saving stove, Ezystove is fast becoming a household name with many homesteads in the informal settlements in Windhoek wanting to own this super-effecient and user-friendly stove.

A new assembly workshop was established in Havana in 2012 where 110 pilot stoves were sold for N$55 to households in the Moses Garoeb constituency.The project was funded by the Environmental Investment Fund to the value of N$104,978 and the Pupkewitz Foundation which provided the essential materials for the project.

According to one of the recipients of the stove, Diob Kauapirura, a resident of Havana 2, the fire used by the Ezystove heats faster and produces less smoke. He said because the stove is mobile, it can be used both outside and inside the house as it emits less smoke and can be used in any weather. "Even cleaning the pots is easier when cooking with the Ezystove," said Diob.

Apart from the 110 pilot stoves sold during October 2012, another consignment of 32 stoves were constructed and sold to conservancies during November last year. However, according to Ruvara Muhere, one of the assemblers based at the Havana workshop, they have run out of manufacturing material needed to construct the stoves hence the workshop currently does not store any stoves. "The stoves are in high demand and people from as far as Madagascar keep asking to get hold of the stoves but because of lack of materials, there is nothing we can do but wait for a sponsor to provide us with materials," said Muhere.

He said although the stoves were sold at a pilot price, the price will have to be increased eventually because it costs more to produce the stove and the materials do not come cheap either as they are imported from overseas.

Ezystove, an initiative of Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions based in Ondangwa and Swedish company, Ergonomidesign, is a fuel-efficient wood-burning stove. It is produced locally and provides a solution that replaces cooking over an open fire. The stove reduces harmful smoke, removes the need for deforestation, creates local jobs and drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions.The stove is an answer to the conventional three legged firewood cooking pots used by many Namibians. The stove was built out of the idea to counter the escalating rate of illegal logging of wood used for cooking purposes and the frequent and severe flooding in the North, which are all contributing factors of climate change. EzyStove is designed according to the wishes of women community members, is user-friendly and easily assembled.

The initiative is a response to communities' concerns over alarmingly high rates of deforestation and increasing respiratory illnesses due to the widespread practice of cooking over open fires. It reduces wood consumption for fuel by two thirds and reduces emissions of smoke between 60 to 80%. Cow dung and crop residues are also suitable to use with EzyStove.

The award winning stove was honoured to participate at the 2012 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities during the Conference of Parties 18th session held in Doha in November 2012.

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