Women in the communities where we work play a crucial role in the adoption and use of clean cooking solutions because of their responsibilities as cooks and managers of their households. EcoLogic’s main objective is to reduce the impact of fuel wood consumption on the forest. The stoves also make it possible for women and their children to spend fewer hours every day harvesting wood, and significantly reduce their exposure to the smoke produced by a typical open pit fire. In our project sites, we work in a holistic and collaborative way, where our goal is that the women who participate become leaders and agents of change for the protection of their environment and the safety of their homes.
The communities’ household needs and cultural preferences are an essential component in the acceptance of a stove, which leads to a better rate of uptake and continued use. One approach EcoLogic has taken is providing women access to several different stove models for testing. They spend the day in a focus group setting learning about what makes a stove more efficient and cooking typical meals (rice, beans, tortillas, plantains) on different stove models with their own cookware and utensils. The goal is for them to choose the model they prefer and then pilot it in their communities.
Hands-on training on use, maintenance, and repair of the stoves is also key. This is something that EcoLogic provides through our local technical staff. Follow-up and gauging satisfaction must be a part of the process as well. After our stoves have been installed for a period of time, we find it vital to conduct focus groups and household surveys to discuss and gain feedback about how the stoves are being used. In some stove designs, efficiency translates into a smaller cooking surface. For larger families, this can become burdensome—requiring them to cook meals in several batches or sometimes falling back on the open pit fire as a solution. To ensure the convenience and sustainability of the households EcoLogic works we seek to take all of these factors into account.
Our goal is to construct 350 appropriately-sized stoves by the middle of next summer. With your generous support, EcoLogic and its partners improve the living conditions, health, and sustainable livelihoods of women and all local residents. In total, EcoLogic has built over 3,000 fuel-efficient stoves in Guatemala and Honduras with the help of our donors and local partners. Women who are empowered and given the right tools can improve the health, environment, education, and economy in rural, subsistence communities. We hope that you will continue to support the strides we are making towards safer, fuel-efficient households in Guatemala.
In Guatemala, EcoLogic is working with The Northern Border Municipalities Alliance (MFN) which is an alliance of seven municipalities in the departments of Quiché and Huehuetenango that works to encourage the protection and sustainable management of natural resources in the region.
In our August 15, 2013 report, we told you about the Incentives for Small-Scale Agricultural Producers, or PINPEP, Program. Since then, we have helped connect 73 farmers in San Mateo Ixtatán and Santa Cruz Barillas with the federal program, helping them earn a combined $46,466 for their conservation & reforestation efforts.
Together, EcoLogic and MFN are able to provide hands-on support and training through our project’s local technician, Yovany Díaz to clear barriers—ranging from paperwork, to monitoring, to technical agricultural inputs—for farmers interested in enrolling in the program. With your continuing support and this fruitful alliance, we aim to achieve these activities in the remainder of the year:
EcoLogic’s Provide Safe Drinking Water in Rural Honduras project in northern Honduras has been selected as the Energy Globe winner for Honduras in the National award category! With than 160 nations participating and 1,000 project entries annually, the Energy Globe Award is among the world’s most prestigious environmental prizes. It distinguishes projects with a focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, conservation of our natural resources, or counteracting climate change.
EcoLogic and our local partner, the Water Committees of Pico Bonito National Park’s Southern Sector (AJAASSPIB), have been collaborating on reforestation and water conservation efforts in the Pico Bonito region of Honduras for more than 10 years. EcoLogic and AJAASSPIB work to improve and protect water and other natural resources in an area that has long suffered from inadequate water supply and environmental degradation from unsustainable agricultural practices.
“I felt like we were working alone, but now we have global organizations behind us,” Carlos Duarte Euraque, EcoLogic’s Program Officer for Honduras, said about the award. “This support will help us stop the degradation of our natural resources and ensure that our community has water in the future.”
With the help of supporters like you, AJAASSPIB has also reforested more than 120 hectares of land with native tree species. It has grown from four (numbers under 10 spelled out) to 27 water committees and serves as a learning model for more than 80 communities across the northern coast of the country. To improve household water quality, AJAASSPIB has initiated a project to purify water by chlorination. As a result, households in five of AJAASSPIB’s communities can now drink water directly from their faucets, something that was unthinkable a few years ago.
Thank you for your support in helping to provide safe drinking water to rural Honduras. We hope you will consider continuing to support these efforts!