The Eco-Stove project has two main goals: to provide a stove that will reduce smoke production and in turn significantly reduce smoke intake by women and their families, as well as reduce the quantity of wood used while cooking to lessen the environmental impact of a wood-burning stove. In addition, the project enforces community participation in an organic gardening initiative to reduce the use of harmful agrochemicals, directly correlating with both the human health and environmental sustainability goals of this project. To receive the benefit of an eco-stove, community members must participate in a minimum of 8 of the organic gardening activities. As such, the eco-stove component of this project will serve as an incentive for the organic gardening component. Funding is being requested for 15 eco-stoves and will directly benefit at least 50 community members and 15 households. The community contribution to this grant will be 57.20%. Specific impacts of this project include fewer smoke emissions and smoke intake by community members, reduced wood consumption which will decrease local deforestation rates, and an increased capacity within the community to harvest their own food supply without the use of agrochemicals.
Roughly 50 community members and various representatives of a local environmental group attended a meeting held by the current Peace Corps volunteer on July 29th, 2019 to identify community environmental priorities. Both organic gardening and eco-stoves were selected by community members as the two top priorities. Prior to this meeting, two previous Peace Corps volunteers conducted eco-stove projects in which 31 eco-stoves were built in households throughout the community; 11 of these 31 stoves were donated by the local environmental group and 20 were funded by a grant through WorldConnect. Each of these stoves were built by the local environmental group and participating community members. An eco-stove was additionally built in the local school as an initiative led by the local environmental group, and the previous Peace Corps volunteer. As such, the community is extremely motivated in this project, and are actively ensuring that the project can be completed with the aid of the current and final Peace Corps volunteer and the environmental group's representatives that actively aid this community. Participating community members have committed to take part in 8 environmental activities, mostly pertaining to organic gardening but may also include community-wide trash pick-ups, and 3 trainings on how to construct the stoves.
Participating community members will be trained to properly maintain their eco-stove to maximize its usage which will aid in reducing firewood consumption, deforestation, and smoke inhalation. In addition, the community will have increased knowledge and experience to continue organic gardening practices after the initial project funding has been exhausted and the Peace Corps Volunteer has departed. Community members will be more cognizant of the use of chemicals and how this can impact both the environment as well as their individual health, and will have an enhanced appreciation and understanding of the environment in general. This increased knowledge and capacity can be sustained with both the community environmental group, as well as with the children who are adamant about participating and learning how to be more environmentally conscious.