| Boiling Point No. 25 - August 1991 |
It has become clear that stove programmes have not been adequately funded in relation to their importance for the people, particularly women of developing countries. Properly cooked food and smoke free kitchens are vital for health, work potential and a better life. With limited fuel supplies, good, effficient stoves are essential. Expenditure on electrification is perhaps a hundred times greater than on stove development although the rural population in many parts of Africa and Asia will not have electricity in their homes for very many years. One or two billion people will still be dependent on biomass fuels in the year 2000.
Even the most successful stove programmes such as those in India, Sri Lanka, Kenya etc. do not have the same appeal to the large funders as massive hydro-electric or irrigation schemes etc. The total investment in stove programmes in recent years works out at less than a dollar per stove. Good, improved stoves need to be provided to all the kitchens now using 3 stones or crude, inefficient stoves. Good fuel efficient, enclosed stoves which will help to relieve the woodfuel and pollution problem deserve funding on a scale related to the benefits they will provide.
Appropriate funding channels and implementing organizations will be needed. Stove programmes, both governmental and NGO have flourished in the last fifteen years and have taken a leading part in developing stove technology and promotion methods at very little cost. Nevertheless, even the most successful programmes have not yet reached more than 10% of the kitchens in their territories. Can the stove programmes and the major funders work together and gear themselves up to achieve 80-90% dissemination over the next 20 or more years.