Since installing ECOCA cookstoves to 50 families at the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, we have had some updates from Simon from Pesitho and some of our great partners at Caritas Uganda. Simon has been working hard conducting technical training with the team from Caritas, ensuring there are on the ground partners, who are from both the local community and residents of the settlement, can address any technical issues with the ECOCA.
Many of the families who have received an ECOCA have stated that they prefer the taste of their food. Since most of the dishes cooked tend to require boiling, such as rice, beans or porridge, cooking over fire can often result in small pieces of ash falling into the pot, making the food taste very bitter. Other times there is an overwhelming taste of smoke which takes away the intended flavours of the dish.
Simon was able to take part in one of the dish creation activities, where our Caritas partners test out different dishes cooked on the ECOCA. This time it was an omelette.
The pilot ECOCA has two heat options: low and high. Using high is for cooking meals like beans and rice. Low is for reheating meals since most families tend to cook a large meal at lunch time and reheat the food for their meal in the evening.
To make an omelette, simply select high. Add some oil followed by eggs and let the omelette cook. Place the lid on the pot to allow the food to cook faster.
Although it is still early stages, many of the ECOCA households have already commented on reducing their firewood consumption. This has not only reduced costs for many families, but also the time spent for on collecting firewood when purchasing is not an option – an arduous task than can take between 2-6 hours.
Having the LED lamps not only make indoor cooking late at night possible with the lamp being shared between 2 rooms, but also household chores, homework sessions, reading time ( 7/15 families mentioned their home has become a study home for neighbouring children), going to latrines late at night and also having more time for children to stay up and play. Families have said their home is now ‘full of light’ and that many ‘feel more secure’ now with their lamps!