Last time we were in touch our friends and partners at the Unitarian Church in Summit New Jersey had successfully raised $7,600 for our Clean Fuels and Clean Cookstoves project in Rubaare, Uganda. (Thank you again, Unitarians! You are awesome!)
So what did we do with the money? Believe it or not, it’s not as easy as one might think to swap out old, smoky, inefficient stoves in Africa with cleaner burning ones. That’s because we want to make sure that: 1. We invest in the right technology, 2. The stoves can burn the fuels available and achieve the goal of reducing fuel consumption (costs) and emissions (health/climate change), and 3. We can make every dollar work harder by saving on costs like shipping and import duties. That’s why we’ve spent the past couple of months researching and identifying the best stove option for the school. And we finally did it!
Since the REF schools rely on agricultural waste briquettes and wood for cooking we’ve decided it’s best to build custom stoves that are capable of burning both types of fuel. This will give REF the flexibility they need in their fuel choices and also allow us to test both types of stoves for combustion efficiency and ease of use. Based on these results, the other REF schools (there are six in all serving meals to almost 2,000 students) will be outfitted with either new wood stoves, briquette stoves or the wood/briquette combination stove.
Pictured below is the type of stove we will be building in REF’s new cookhouse. The stove will have a chimney and produce fuel savings of 50-60%, which will result in huge fuel cost savings for REF. We’ll be running various kitchen and water boiling tests (these are international standard testing techniques established to measure efficiency in the clean cookstove world) to determine exactly what efficiency we can expect from these stoves. We’ll report back to you when we have figures.
You have been so generous in the past and Global Giving is offering another opportunity to maximize your donation by matching donations made on June 12th by 30%. Please continue to give the REF schools your support and help make the clean cookstove installation a reality.
One last thing to mention is that our project with the REF schools is connected to an exciting new initiative we have launched in partnership with MIT’s prestigious D-Lab unit. We call it the Harvest Fuel Initiative. Please check out our new website to learn more!
Kim, Sylvia, & Henry Twinemasiko, Director of REF Schools in Rubaare
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