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close this bookGATE - 2/84 - Cookstoves (GTZ GATE, 1984, 56 p.)
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Dear Readers,

It is on purpose that this issue deals in detail with the technology and dissemination of fuel-saving wood stoves. About three years ago we started to develop a combined programme for disseminating biogas technology and wood stoves. At first the emphasis was on biogas technology. We had some bitter disappointments; we had to overcome a great deal to emotional resistance and we found that problems associated with the popularization of a particular technology in Third World countries often cannot be resolved with traditional philosophies. The main emphasis in our approach, working in Interdisciplinary teams, is to ensure that as much attention is paid to socio-cultural and socio-economic factors as to the technology itself The biogas which is produced is not the only important item disseminated; it is rather the multiple functions of the biogas unit - the disposal of animal and human waste products, the production of sludge; i.e., the aim is to create an integrated cycle.

Today we can claim with justification that in the countries where our teams are active, the biogas program has been a considerable help in disseminating the technology. Now we can turn our attention to the "stove pant. "

The description "fuel-saving stoves and their introduction" is often associated with the desire to make a significant contribution to reducing deforestation. However, it would be wrong to nurture any great hopes in this respect: the introduction of such stoves will not greatly reduce the number of trees cut down.

In the world-wide discussions on dissemination strategies an interesting trend was noted. Previously, the aim had been to enable any woman to build her own mud stove for her household and to maintain it; today, there is an increasing tendency towards commercial distribution via heal craftsmen. These craftsmen can utilize existing socio-economic infrastructures "massproduce" and sell the stoves on the market.

As mentioned above, the basic concept of the stove dissemination programme is comparable to that of the biogas project, and a similar methodology can be applied. However, there is the difference that the biogas project was, by its very nature, directed more towards the middle-income groups, while the stove dissemination programme is more appropriate for the lower-income groups in rural and urban areas. It is likely that if the programme is as successful as the biogas project the amount of supervisory work involved will be too much for a single project manager. In order to counteract this, it is planned on the one hand to transfer entire sections of the biogas project (e.g., Burundi) to interested departments of GTZ, for them to continue the supervision, and on the other hand to separate the stove dissemination programme from the overall project and to give it a greater independence.

Hans-Stefan Peterlowitz