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We have had some updates from our team in Myanmar, where Marco from Pesitho, has been working hard training our partners from Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS) on resolving any issues with the ECOCA cookstove. Earlier this year Pesitho and Caritas installed 50 solar powered ECOCA cookstovesacross Kaupaunpin and Kapen villages in Myanmar. Having local field staff readily available to assist with any technical challenges that may arise is crucial for the longevity of the cookstove.
So far, the ECOCA families have been cooking with the ECOCA between 2-3 times a day making dishes like soups, vegetables, rice, curry and boiling water several times a day. The families have stated they do not miss cooking with traditional fires which create a lot of smoke, often giving them headaches, sore throats and making them dizzy.
Many ECOCA families mentioned they greatly benefit from the ECOCA additional features including the portable LED lamps, which have become the permanent light source in the families living rooms and kitchens. The lamps help to extend their daily activities into the evening, also help save money on candles.
Daw Iodesia, shown in these photos, can be seen making a standing lamp from the ECOCA LED lamp. Daw has explained that she now uses 1/3 of the firewood than used before since receiving the ECOCA.
Being solar powered, the ECOCA aims to reduce firewood consumption and the impact this has deforestation and illnesses associated with burning solid fuels. According to Clean Cooking Alliance, in Myanmar, ‘93% of the population relies on solid fuel for their household cooking needs, contributing to environmental deforestation and desertification. Clean cooking is instrumental to improving energy access in Myanmar’ (Clean Cooking Alliance).
Information from Caritas Denmark shows within Kaupaunpin and Kapen villages, pieces of plastic have become fuel for lighting fires and even for cooking, for many of the villagers due to the lack of firewood. The smoke from the fire has therefore become a lot more harmful than it was before.
This makes the need for access to clean and affordable energy particularly when it comes to cooking, even more important to ensure improved livelihoods for vulnerable people and to continue to shine a light on such a large issue that takes place in everyday life.
Clean Cooking Alliance,. Myanmar Fact Sheet, Washington DC: The Clean Cooking Alliance .