Open fires in Nicaraguan kitchens cause lung disease and contribute to deforestation. SosteNica is developing a model for sustainable cooking technologies, using natural materials and incorporating eco-science to make cook stoves more fuel efficient, less toxic, and more environmentally friendly. Families with land even plant their own woodlot to further sustainability.
Nicaragua has a public health crisis. Open fire indoor cooking causes respiratory illness from smoke inhalation. These inefficient cooking methods lead to nationwide deforestation. Nicaragua's rapidly growing population will require between 15,000 and 25,000 new low-income homes each year to address the national housing shortage. Many of these new homes, as well as most older existing homes, cook indoors over open fires.
SosteNica is designing a modest affordable cookstove, demonstrating that low-income homes can be both ecological and livable. By using eco-technologies such as fuel efficient stoves people improve the quality of their lives. Our fuel efficient cook stoves improve air quality and are available to families even before they can afford a new home. In addition, each household receives 80 fuel wood tree saplings to begin growing their own woodlot, thus reducing pressure for deforestation.
In 2018, SosteNica is building its revolving loan fund for fuel efficient cookstoves. The stoves lower fuel wood consumption and improve indoor air quality for families currently cooking over unventilated wood fires. Our staff works with families to build each stove. Their innovative design resolves environmental problems as well as meeting the needs of residents, while adopting a "pay-it-forward" funding model. As woodlots grow, the demand for unsustainably grown fuelwood will diminish.