In the spring of 2020 one of the members of Knutsford Rotary Club International Committee was attracted by an article in the Rotary magazine by Meya Smeulders of the Abingdon Rotary Club.
This was regarding their work in Uganda with the discovery of a traditional style of cooking stove which is four times more fuel efficient with the health benefit of taking the smoke out of their dwellings through a prefabricated chimney.
The stove can be constructed using a mixture of banana leaves and mud with the only cost being the chimney locally constructed for around £20.
It was suggested that the stoves could be made much larger for use in schools and constructed by villagers under the supervision of trainers supplied by a long running scheme already working in the area which is run and funded by Abingdon Rotary Club for £250 each.
Knutsford Rotary decided to become involved by funding two stoves on the condition that we were fully informed of the progress with reports and photographs from the schools.
Within days of our involvement two schools were identified and the project was put into operation. Both headmasters set up an email link with videos and ongoing reports.
The trainers were sent to the schools showing the villagers how to build the stoves which they did with great enthusiasm.
Once construction was complete the school cooks were able to feed all of the children while working in a smoke free environment using a quarter of the wood previously required.
The results were far beyond the expectations of Knutsford Rotary.
1. The money saved on fuel can fund an extra teacher at each school.
2. The villagers have the knowledge to construct smaller versions in their homes.
3. The environment is being protected by less wood being gathered and burnt.
4. The stoves remove smoke from houses - a cause of millions of deaths each year.
5. As many as 3500 children are receiving a substantial lunch.
We have been so impressed by the amount of good being created by a total of each donation of £250 that we have funded four more stoves and intend to buy two more this year.
© Rotary News