Conserving forests through energy saving stoves

Majority of rural communities depend on firewood for heating and cooking, and worse still they use conventional stoves such as three stone stoves which consume 0.5 m3 per day per family. CARL project is supporting environmentally sustainable energy use in the climate smart village. Juliet is a widow of 4 children and in her sixties is one of the farmer in Ward 30 Climate resilient village who entirely depend on firewood for cooking   and heating. Before introduction of the energy saving technologies Juliet used one bundle of fire wood for three days and much time was spent looking for firewood in the forest. Juliet received training in on how to make and use and maintenance of the tsotso stove. She managed to make 5 tsotso stoves and she started using one for her daily cooking and heating. She prepares most of the family meal that includes sadza , vegetables, porridge rice, etc using the tsotso stove. With the Tsotso stove she is saving firewood as she is now using the same bundle that used to take 3 days for one week. In addition to fuelwood saving the Tsotso stove has less smoke and retains heat for a long time “Tsotso stoves makes my life easy as I do not have to travel long distance to fetch fire wood. The time I spent collecting firewood I am using it for pruning my trees in my woodlot and other productive activities

 Apart from using the usual firewood, Juliet is also using some twigs she is collecting from her HH woodland where she is practising farmer managed natural regeneration. Promotion of energy saving stoves is well complemented with management of woodland at both HH and community level. Juliet also received training on woodland management. She has managed to prune a 3.7 Ha woodland which is part of her field and this is where she is getting majority of the firewood for the Tsotso stoves

Juliet did not keep the knowledge to herself but went on to sensitize neighbouring villages on the benefits of using the tsotso stoves as well as offering free training to people who are interested in using the technology. To date she has managed to train a total of 89 (14M/75F) the training covers preparation of the soil and actual construction of the stoves Despite  Juliet being unable to read and write but she  has touched many families through her training on Tsotso stoves making.  One women has volunteered to partner with her so that she will assist in documenting training proceedings

Juliet vision is to make Tsotso stoves making and training a business service so as to diversify her livelihoods. She is planning to reach out all the villages in the climate resilient village. Currently she is participating in conservation agriculture, Fodder production, livestock enterprise and VSLA. She has also played a leading role in forming group that hires out cooking and saving utensils in the ward. Major challenges that Juliet and his partner is unavailability of transport for them to reach out to communities far away from her village. Support in form of bicycle may help in lessening the burden. For sustainability purposes, the project will facilitate development of models that will ensure both the trainer and trainees benefits.