At Pesitho we are committed to developing smart technology for people’s cooking needs powered by solar energy. We have identified areas of concern and areas of improvement when it comes to traditional cooking styles, namely over open fires and have developed a solution based approach where the ECOCA directly addressed issues that arise.
With rapid rates of deforestation being seen around the world, one of the largest contributors to this issue is the over consumption of unsustainably harvested wood fuel. Not only does deforestation impact our air quality, but also has a major impact on biodiversity and wild life. Refugee settlements who rely on wood fuel for cooking, often get into situations of conflict with neighbouring villages for wood consumption putting them at risk of attack. Being solar powered, the ECOCA reduces wood fuel consumption for cooking by 100% allowing for a clean alternative to cooking but also for trees to be grown and restore their role in the ecosystem, supplying fresh water, soil stability and fertility, but also biodiversity conservation.
A major issue that the ECOCA is able to address is health concerns associated from cooking with coal, wood, charcoal and kerosene, where black carbon (soot particles) from the smoke enter the lungs causing illnesses like stroke, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. There are around 3 billion people using open fires and traditional cook stoves and with traditional gender roles, which normally involves the majority of cooking to be done by women, who also look after children, putting them both at greater risk of smoke related illness. Each year close to 4 million people die from household airpollution and nearly half of deaths among children under 5 years of age are caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled. The ECOCA reduced black carbon by 100% allowing for indoor cooking to be completely safe for the whole family.
Smart Energy Storage
With solar generated energy for powering the ECOCA battery from the end users personal solar panel that is provided during installation, meaning that they have their own personal energy source that does not require grid access or fossil fuels. With many of our end users living in rural area or areas with little to no access to the energy grid, the ECOCA provides clean and affordable energy that requires zero maintenance costs and with a sustainable source of energy allows for greater independence and energy security for the family. The off grid energy access in urbanised areas also means that a family does not have to be dependent on electricity grid that may to subject to load shedding or fluctuating prices due to energy imports, impacting their usage ability. The zero carbon emissions from the ECOCA also reduces waste and less local pollution which greatly impacts a families economic position but also allows for access to other activities included in the additional features from the rechargeable lamps and 2 USB charge points for mobile phones and shavers.
With a major dependency on wood fuel for cooking needs and many cases where families simply cannot afford to purchase, leaves the option to collect wood from nearby forests and woodlands. Wood collection is typically a role left to women, as they are usually in charge of cooing, and is a task that runs many risks like being attacked by animals, exposure to landmines, kidnapping, assault and even rape. Sadly women face further threat of domestic violence, when they are unable to prepare a meal due to lack of cooking fuel, can create tension among family members and sometimes erupt into physical violence in the home. Provision of the ECOCA means families have a sustainable energy source for cooking meaning women and children no longer require wood fuel for cooking, also allowing them time that would be spent on wood collection to be spent on business ventures, education and leisure time.
The use of fuels like wood, charcoal, kerosene and coal for cooking releases climate pollutants like black carbon and methane having a major impact on climate change. The black soot particles from carbon, estimated to be only 2nd to CO2 in its impact on the climate, falls to the ground absorbing sun rays causing a warming effect that is something not considered even when making safer cook stoves that reply on wood. Other greenhouse gases from cook stoves like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are emitted from incomplete combustion of kerosene and solid fuels when cooking over open fire.