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Stories From The Field: Clean Cookstoves and Bamboo - A Perfect Combination



Mary Bebete, 53 of the Mbaya village.

In 2018, Mary Bebete went to a meeting where she learned about the possibility of obtaining a new more efficient cook stove. She was excited by the poy and in 2019, became one of the first women in her community to install the C-Quest Capital fuel efficient stove. Using the feeder tray as a mold, Mary made the bricks necessary to build the stove’s ‘housing’ and completed the stove with the kit and assistance provided from the C-Quest team. She explained with pride that though she needed some assistance to build the initial stove she maintains it herself. Mary, along with her daughter-in-law, cooks for their family of five and the way the stove conserves heat, making it easier and faster to cook ,is one of the things she loves about the CQC stove. She’s noticed that the family is suffering from fewer coughs and attributes it to the fact that there is much less smoke being emitted from the more efficient stove. Mary goes out to gather fuel about half as often as with her old stove – about once a week versus every three days – and she says she can easily gather the ‘small fuel, even only the smallest twigs’ needed for the new stove. Mary and her family extended their kitchen area to have a new space to install the stove, creating more ventilation in the wall above the stove.

The roofs of several outbuildings, as well as the kitchen extension are made of bamboo, grown by Mary and her family from the seedlings provided to her with the introduction of the new stove. The three-year old bamboo growing closest to her house now boasts eight or nine large bamboo and is the oldest of Mary’s three bamboo plantings. The bamboo has already been harvested and used several times by Mary and her family for roofing, building a latrine, cooking and for fencing off small food seedlings. As bamboo is a sustainable source of fuel for cooking, it means she does not have to go out and harvest trees for fuel. As a result of using the bamboo she said the family has saved the cost of buying building materials as well as protecting from the loss of food crop seedlings to free grazing animals.

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