The many health benefits of clean biogas cookstoves

Clean cooking stoves mean more than just carbon offsets. They mean healthier lives too.

The many health benefits of clean biogas cookstoves

Just the gist

If you're in a hurry, here's what you need to know this month:

  • 👨🏽‍🏭 The project hopes to deliver clean cookstoves to over 200 refugee families by next Summer, and has plans to deliver thousands more.
  • 🔥 Biogas cookstoves have more health benefits than we previously thought! They make cooking more efficient, which means refugee families end up cooking more diverse foods. And not having to gather firewood saves many hours of labour.

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An A-list line up of project partners

One of our project's farmers, whose plant waste from farming is turned into clean burning briquettes.

Our Clean Cooking Fuel for Refugees project has big plans for future expansion. 30 refugee families are already using our project's briquettes, and there are plans in place to deliver many more.

Our project partner, Mandulis Energy, has been working with the UN as a solution to one of their Humanitarian Grand Challenges. Funding has already been secured to deliver over 200 new clean biogas cooking stoves to refugee families over the next year.

And the project isn't stopping there. They're in talks with Norway's national development bank, Innovation Norway. If they win their grants, they'll use the money to deliver 7,500 clean cookstoves and over 750 tons of biomass briquettes to refugee communities in the Kiryandongo and Lamwo villages.

The surprising benefits of biogas

Stacks of biomass briquettes, ready for delivery to refugee families.

In other news, a surprising new study on clean biogas cookstoves has come out of South India. It suggests that biogas stoves have even more benefits than we originally realised.

We knew our Clean Cooking Fuel for Refugees provided one major health benefit: the fuel from biogas stoves burns far cleaner than the dirty firewood and dung that refugees would otherwise be using. Every year, over 4 million people die due to poor indoor air quality. Clean cookstoves dramatically improve air quality, leading to healthier lungs as well as less deforestation.

But it turns out biogas cookstoves don't just improve air quality, they save a serious amount of labour too. In a firewood-burning refugee household, women spend several hours per day gathering firewood, and more time tending to the fire as they cook. With a biogas stove, the need to forage for firewood disappears. Households with biogas stoves spent 70 minutes less time gathering firewood, and 40 minutes less time cooking. Biogas stoves save almost 10 hours of labour per week!

This extra time can go into farming food crops, or participating in the local economy. Many of the households in the study used this time to gather different kinds of food. They had more variety in their diets, a strong sign that biogas cookstoves improve long-term health outcomes too.

That's it for this update! If you have questions or feedback, please reply directly to this email. I'll reply as soon as I can.

– Thomas