Women Provide Testimonies on ACON Stove Use and Benefits
lnitially it was difficult to introduce the stoves in rural settings because they cost money and the commonly used traditional three-stone fires are normally free. However, people came to recognise the significant benefits of the Rocket stoves in terms of greater fuel efficiency, time saved in fetching firewood, and less smoke, which makes kitchen environment healthier.
At first women mainly focused on producing Kenya Ceramic stove liners and stayed away from making the metal cladding. Today a women-only artisan group operates at the local market and produces metal cladding and carries out stove assembly. Over time, the women producer groups have come up with Moto stoves design which is portable after African Christians Organization Network training them on how to make it .
“My name is Zakina Makokha. I am 45 and married to Mohemmed Makokha. Together with our son (7 years) and daughter (5 years), we live in Bwule village in Musamba Sub-location,Matungu Districk, Kakamega county. My husband is a carpenter in Bulonga shopping centre and I make and sell chapata and tea at Bulonga shopping center local market. Our main hope is to increase our family income so as to improve our shelter and furniture and to secure a good education for our children.
”I gained great benefit from attending a three-day Moto stove training course. We discussed issues such as the disadvantages of using firewood and its negative impact on the environment and forests and how it leads to food insecurity. We learnt how to construct an Moto stove from metal scrabe . I made my own Moto stove and took it home.
“I also made another one for my work in the market because I experienced its efficiency and the safe use of energy. I used to buy about five bands of firewood in order to cook five kilos of flour. Since using the Moto stove, two bands are sufficient to cook the same quantity of flour. As a result, I’m saving about 100 Kshs per day. I save time by using Moto stove, and now have more free time for other domestic work which I neglected before, such as cleaning, or even taking much-needed rest!”
The stove production skills I was given have enabled me to start a successful stoves business. I now earn my own income which has enabled me to meet my financial needs. My children can now go to school, I have built a stone house and I am just waiting to install floor tiles. I now have money to employ people to work on my farm which has
increased production. I even make money from training others outside Kenya. These days I have my own money and I do not have to borrow from my Husband.
The women in the stove producing groups have earned additional money, which they have been able to use to buy more food for their households and pay school fees. The annual estimated profit per member is US$125 (compared to the minimum monthly wage in rural Kenya of US$47). The part-time women stove installers earn between US$15-31 per month. The female artisans in the local market who work full-time earn between US$125 and US$187 per month.
lmproved household living conditions
As a result of using more efficient stoves women do not have
to spend as much time collecting firewood. There is less smoke in their living areas, which makes it a healthier environment for the whole family. The women who work on producing the stoves part-time can combine this work with childcare and other domestic tasks.
The project has unleashed women’s creative selling capacities, and
over time the women’s groups have come up with their own
innovative ideas "Rotating Credit and Savings (ROSCA) Financing Working Well for ACON Sales of Stoves" ROSCA and the results is more than 10,000 Moto Stoves are in use. We have reached this far by your support through donations that we receive from you.Thank you very much for donating towards this project.
The ACON sales team utilizes a traditional African form of savings and credit -- the Rotating Savings and Credit Association (ROSCA) – which is managed by local groups of women working together in loosely formed “Trust Groups” to purchase stoves. For example: a ROSCA could be 15 women who agree to meet weekly for 15 weeks to purchase one stove for one member of the group each week. Each woman would bring about 150 Kshs to each of the weekly meetings so that once a week, one woman receives a stove. The KEY ELEMENT that makes this form of savings and credit work is the TRUST the women have in each other as a form of SOCIAL CAPITAL available from the group.
ACON’s sales and distribution team has successfully implemented the ROSCA finance model, selling over 8,000 Moto stoves in less than two years. So far ACON has successfully trained thirteen artisans and tinsmiths in the construction of the Moto stoves. They currently have the capacity to manufacture 900 of these pyrolytic biochar-generating stoves per month.The Moto stove can save a family of peasant farmers around $300 per year in fuel expenses.
See Report Photos in Attachment.
Mary Onyango “The Moto stove is cleaner, faster and more reliable.Before, smoke used to irritate my eyes, and nose and lungs, and I had less energy. Now I don’t have any of these problems. Before I used to spend three hours preparing a meal with the new stove I spend half that time. Now I can use that extra time to do other things at home “The technology is indigenous, simple, and reliable. A major household benefit the reduction in time and energy spent by women and children to collect fuel wood for cooking. Now, village woman have more time to engage in other income generating activities and social activities. As a result of reduced fuel wood consumption, the nearby forests is conserved too. The Moto Stoves in rural areas of Western Kenya has created a substantial number of jobs and skills as focus on the middle and upper income markets. This helped to alleviate the country’s chronic 5 million unemployment problem and population shift to urban centers.The Moto Stove utilize unused or under-used local resources to help alleviate rural poverty, unemployment and boost economic growth.
Local women in Shianda village in Kakamega county were very impressed by demonstrations of the stoves, especially as they can boil 3 liters of water in just seven minutes, using only half the wood that would be required if it was boiled on a fire. ACON will help Mr. Juma promote sales, and have negotiated a price of Ksh 2000 per stove. With a bundle of firewood costing Ksh 20 the stove pays for itself in just three months. In order to meet expected demand, Mr. Juma is training other artisans to fabricate these Moto stoves in new areas such like Shianda in Kakamega County.
The Moto stoves are portable and metallic. They are fed with dry woody twigs, wood shavings or wood chips which are laid in the fuel chamber and lit from above. One full charge of fuel keeps the stove in operation for roughly one hour, at the end of which you have clean cooked food and a deposit of charcoal in the fuel holder.
The artisans receive training in flat metal making and are then deployed to build for households and instutions in the area. A household pays about 500 Kshs to have a stove built for them. The original Moto stoves cost about 2,000 KShs to build.Maurice Onyango, an artisan, says that the new technology is much more practical because the materials are easily available. He adds that the projects are always supervised to ensure the work meet the necessary standards.
See Stove Production Photos...
After stove sales distributors receive their training they now use “Rotating Credit and Savings Associations" (ROSCAs) in a traditional African financing model to sell stoves in the villages.
See Sales Meeting Photos...
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BUNGOMA, WESTERN KENYA,