Gorilla Habitat has a mission to preserve the natural habitat for mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC. To address the concerns facing the habitat, the organization turns to the surrounding areas of the Virunga mountains, which has one of the highest human population densities in Africa, with as many as 1,000 people per square kilometer living in the southern sections of the Landscape . With the rising demand for firewood for cooking increasing the rate of deforestation in the area, this puts an alarming risk on the habitat’s ecological security and the threat of civil conflict over competition for resources.
We are proud to partner with Gorilla Habitat to address the concern of the rising demand for fuel for cooking. Pesitho will be test-piloting our ECOCA solar-powered electric stove amongst the community in the surrounding area to assess our cookstove solution to meet the everyday cooking needs. Our aim is to reduce dependency on firewood, having a direct impact on the health of the community by reducing exposure to harmful pollutants associated with burning solid biomass, as well as the negative impacts on the environment and harmful emissions. Pesitho and Gorilla Habitat recognize women disproportionately affected by the adverse impacts of traditional biomass cooking, spending the majority of time exposed to harmful pollutants and face various risks whilst collecting fuelwood. The ECOCA aims to reduce gender disparities by providing an efficient and sustainable energy source, ensuring improved livelihoods for women by alleviating the burdensome task of fuelwood collection and allowing for more to spend on other activities.
The ECOCAs will be locally assembled and monitored by men and women, providing income generation opportunities, and investing back into the community.
https://carpe.umd.edu/sites/default/files/documentsarchive/CAFEC_Virunga%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf. [Accessed 10 October 2020].