Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation

by Zahana
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Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation
Improved cookstove fired with twigs not wood
Improved cookstove fired with twigs not wood

Why does the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York show the Zahana video Combining reforestation with locally made improved cook stoves in Madagascar?

We live in an interconnected world and the Seneca Park zoo is a supporter of our reforestation efforts. A zoo involved in reforestation in Madagascar you may wonder? Think lemurs. Which kid (or adult) in a zoo does not make a b-line to the Lemurs? Lemurs need trees in their habitat, if they are to survive in the wild. The zoo supports another incredible innovative reforestation project next to a national park, because zoos are major players in conservation efforts world-wide, as we learned through this relationship.

Seneca Park Zoo’s goal is to support the reforestation efforts of other Malagasy NGOs like Zahana as well. They generously included us as recipients in their annual Madagascar event for the first time in 2019. During a site visit to their reforestation project in Madagascar, they had to chance to meet our founder Dr. Ihanta in person in 2019.

But that was then, when one still took airplanes and traveled internationally.

This is now. ‘Now’ did not stop the Seneca Park Zoo to set up a virtual fundraiser: Party Mad(agascar) 2020 (now its 17th year). With many of us working from home, it is actually easier to join a fundraiser via zoom, thousands of miles away in upstate New York, than around the corner.

The zoo invited us to create a five-minute video to present Zahana to the audience. Short videos introduced the different NGOs, followed by live question and answer during ‘Party Mad 2020‘. We hope you enjoy this five-minute video Combining reforestation with locally made improved cook stoves in Madagascar. It is a good 2020 Zahana snapshot, which includes drone footage from the village in October 2019.

PS: We also added a short one-minute video Reforestation with Moringa in Madagascar by Zahana

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Improved Cookstove in Madagascar
Improved Cookstove in Madagascar

Aloha friends,

May be in these strange COVID-19 times a movie documenting our work with improved cookstoves and bio-charcoal in Madagascar, now finally available with English subtitles as well, might provide a welcome insight in rural village in October 2019.

If anything good is coming out of this COVID-19 roller-coaster is the fact that the inequalities for humans on our beautiful planet become more obvious every day and rethinking the so called 'normal', and if we ever would like to return to it in the first place, is in order. May be the needed change could be a few steps away from your front door and/or half around the globe, because they are indeed not mutually exclusive. In my book access to clean water should be a given, if you live in Flint Michigan, a slum in Brazil or in rural … (fill in your priority). For us at Zahana this location is rural Madagascar.

The documentary was made by Eberhard Rühle, who joined us for a site visit to Madagascar in 2019. It is available in French and German though ARTE. In a very twisted, bizarre way COVID-19 might been helpful for Zahana, since many more people watch TV documentaries lately and we may reach a wider audience. Doctors for Madagascar, another non-profit from Germany with personal ties in Berlin and Antananarivo to us, does amazing work, and we are honored to feature in the same movie with them. But that you can see it for yourself, if you click on the 'ARTE in English' documentary Madagascar: fighting poverty.

Aloha and stay safe!

Markus

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Using the improved cookstove to make moringa tea
Using the improved cookstove to make moringa tea

As a response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the government of Madagascar closed all schools* and declared a lock-down for major cities, including the capital of Antananarivo in April 2020.

Consequently, our two schools in the villages remain closed as well to comply with the national requirements. A closed school forces most of our students to go hungry. The mandatory school closure came rather unexpectedly, leaving especially the younger students in limbo, roaming around the village freely, while their parents are very busy during the rice harvest season, leaving for the fields before day break. Zahana decided to assemble our students every day at school to continue to offer the daily school meal.

Starting with this new school year (September 2019) Zahana provides, once again, a meal every day for our students. For most it is still the first meal of their day. The traditional mofo gassy, similar to a rice cake (see website) is a major treat, and a motivating draw for students to attend school. When possible, the mofo gasy is accompanied by powdered milk, or, like in these photos, by moringa tea.

As you can see in the photo, the improved cookstove has been used to make the childre's moringa tea. Last holiday season Santa brought a cup for every child so they could drink something at their school with their very own cup. After the onset of the rainy season, moringa trees started to produce leaves, and this made fresh moringa leaf tea in the school possible again.

Wearing a face mask in public has been made mandatory by the Malagasy government. Leading by example might be the best educational message. Cloth face masks have been provided by Zahana to our teachers and everybody else involved in making and distributing the school meal. We did this in close collaboration with our midwife at the villages’ CARMMA (health center), who does the public health educational outreach about coronavirus prevention measures. She has also been trained to watch for symptoms, such as a possible surge of unusual coughs or fevers. Clinical diagnosis is the only viable option available to her.

We assured out teachers that they will be paid by Zahana during the mandatory school closures. Teaching is their only income, and since they have no time for farming, they are forced to buy food to eat. We are all in this together and besides distributing school meals, the teachers keep an eye on the school garden and the tree nursery, replanting and watering, a task ‘normally’ done by our students.

Last but not least, both of Zahana’s schools have running water, and students are actually in the very fortunate position to be able to wash their hands before they eat. Something that is far from been taken for granted in many places on our planet. But this is, after all, one of the reasons why platforms like GlobalGiving send you reports like these, because we hope to change this once and for all.

Thank you for your continued support in these strange times without a road map.

* The government just announced that school will reopen next week, but only for the grades that are preparing for national exams.

A school meal (and moringa tea in his cup)
A school meal (and moringa tea in his cup)
Moringa tea with the mofo gasy
Moringa tea with the mofo gasy
Waiting in line...
Waiting in line...
Washing hands before eating (with his cup nearby)
Washing hands before eating (with his cup nearby)
More moringa tea
More moringa tea

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Improved cookstove workshop in the community
Improved cookstove workshop in the community

These pictures from the village of Tsaramandroso really show what is going on. We wish we could just post about 20 pictures as a project report, and let them speak for themselves.

Teaching people how to build their own improved cookstove has become our biggest mission for 2020. Our partnership with the team from the Lycée Technique Professionnel Tsiroanomandidy (Technical Professional College of Tsiroanomandidy) has been very successful in accomplishing this goal with their help and expertise. At the core of their extensive research is an improved cookstove that can be built 100% with locally available resources. While the color and the composition of the clay may change from village to village, everything else can be found in a half mile radius where people live.

We consider our two villages pilot sites to test innovations such as improved cookstove technology and bio charcoal production. By the same token we were very aware of the fact, that to have a real impact we need to expand our programs way beyond our two core villages.

In the last decade reforestation has become part of the fabric of community life in our villages. What makes our improved cookstove training quite unique is: new communities have to commit to active reforestation to qualify for an improved cook stove and bio charcoal workshop.

Communities have to apply with Zahana, to host a community workshop. Our coordinator visits the respective community, to assess if they are indeed willing to comply with our reforestation commitment. He also assesses other needs, such as bioremediation for crop improvement, and the availability of the resources needed to built the cookstoves. After an agreement is made, and formally signed, the team visits the village, spending a few days there, teaching in hands-on workshops.

The logical choice to expand our program was theinvolve the other villages currently served by our midwife from the CARMMA in Fiarenana. All pictures in this report are from Tsaramandroso a good hours walk from the CARMMA.

Cooking pot as mold for the stove
Cooking pot as mold for the stove
Mixing the clays for the improved cookstove
Mixing the clays for the improved cookstove
Building their cookstove is a family project
Building their cookstove is a family project
Building improved cookstoves with many hands
Building improved cookstoves with many hands
Finishing touches on the improved cookstove
Finishing touches on the improved cookstove

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Improved cookstoves come in many shapes
Improved cookstoves come in many shapes

We have gotten the preliminary results or feedback for our improved cookstove project. Our founder put it this way: “Every week people, usually the men in the village, go for a day to collect firewood for their cookstoves, sometimes having to walk for hours to find it. In the past, what they gather lasts for a week. Now, if they use improved cookstoves, it lasts for 4 weeks. Everybody who was on the fence, now wants to get on board and build their own improved cookstoves”.

We call these results ‘preliminary’, because this is verbal feedback to our local coordinator. We asked him as the next step to collect hard data on how many households are actually using improved cookstoves, either exclusively or in conjunction with a traditional three-legged open cookstove. This means conducting a house-to-house to check so we can quantify the impact.

As an added bonus: Improved cookstoves can utilize (or burn) other biomass, such as dried corn stalks, twigs or reeds for cooking. In other words: anything you can gather in a five to ten minute walk around your village. This is especially important for single women with children who don’t have time, or a man in the family, to collect firewood.

Using improved cookstoves is a dramatic paradigm shift. Imagine if the city of San Francisco, or Honolulu, or Berlin for that matter, would cut their power consumption by 75%!

If trees could talk, they would shout: thank you!

PS:

We are proud to announce that our project made it on Deutsch Welle.  Take five minutes and watch the video.

Using eco pellets to stop Madagascar's deforestation
In order to slow down deforestation in Madagascar, an NGO is teaching local villagers how to make charcoal out of plant remains instead of cutting down more trees for fuel. - Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/3T335

The traditional cookstove gets a break
The traditional cookstove gets a break
Improved cookstove in the kitchen in Madagascar
Improved cookstove in the kitchen in Madagascar

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Organization Information

Zahana

Location: Antananarivo, Capital - Madagascar
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zahana
Project Leader:
Markus Faigle
Volunteer
Antananarivo, Capital Madagascar
$10,685 raised of $35,000 goal
 
89 donations
$24,315 to go
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