Cool Earth’s partnership in Lubutu is working with communities to protect 640,000 acres of forest bordering the Maiko National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This summer, we’ve been working with a number of families to test the feasibility of a community-wide programme of installing energy efficient stoves throughout the villages. This will dramatically reduce the amount of fuelwood collected, which has a big impact on the forest. It will also make a big difference to the health of women and children, as the smoke from traditional stoves is dangerous.
So far, the training on constructing and using energy efficient stoves has exceeded expectations. 84 families have been trained to build the stoves and are using them on a regular basis. In total, 193 community members have attended awareness raising workshops including 165 women and 28 men. Early reports suggest a 50% drop in the use of fuel wood has occurred amongst the families involved. That’s great news for the forest and the families protecting it.
A further 225 families will receive stove training by the end of the year. The ultimate aim is that the women who have received training will make the stoves themselves and train other members of their communities in future. A bright idea that we hope will spread like wildfire.