|Boiling Point No. 04 - March 1983 (ITDG Boiling Point, 1983)|
Recently Yvonne Shanahan visited Dakar for a few days and took the opportunity to visit the CERER* Stove Project and the Dakar Industrial Trade Fair.
The CERER Project, funded by USAID, began in March 1980 in response to a request from the Senegalese government. The project objective was to introduce half a million wood saving stoves into the rural and urban areas of Senegal over a period of 3-5 years. According to the Project Director, Mr Lamine Diop, approximately 5000 have been built during the pilot phase of the project (1980-82). CERER are now awaiting refunding to continue with the larger scale dissemination. The majority of the stoves are a one pot chimneyless design known as the 'Louga' or 'Koumba Gaye' stove. They are concentrated in the Louga region of NW Senegal where there is said to De a perceived shortage of wood and single pot cookins/meals predominate. The basic design was formulated during an APROVECHO mission to the Project in 1980/1.
Village women were actively involved in the design process. Subsequently the stove has been disseminated by training women to build their own stove. After a two year period of introduction, the average lifetime of this stove is claimed to be 14 months. According to follow, up, many of the original stoves are being rebuilt by their owners when they begin to crack and break down.
In the other areas, CERER has trained several teams of masons in the construction techniques for 2 pot chimney mud stoves. A series of 14 day workshops have been organised by CERER and collaborating institutions in urban and rural areas. During these workshops, people are trained as stove constructors by the skilled masons. The majority of the trainees are unemployed and unskilled young men, and after the workshop they are expected to sell their stove making skills in their villages. The fee charged varies as the costs of labour and materials are not fixed. None of the stoves built after a workshop training are subsidized by CERER, but several of the stoves built during a workshop are installed free of charge in a number of compounds.
In a few areas (eg Flores in the north) associations have been formed by women to save towards the cost of a stove, each woman contributing weekly. The money is used to buy materials and pay for the stove-builder's labour.
CERER has encountered problems with the introduction of mud stoves into the urban areas, where the majority of women want a portable stove. This is still seen to be a considerable advantage of the traditional three stones and the metal charcoal stove. Consequently CERER has begun research in the improvement of the traditional metal stove, initially by lining the firebox with a mud mix which fits around the sides of the cooking pot.
The objective is to reduce heat loss around the sides of the pot and through the metal wall. During the visit to CERER the initial test results were not available, but the French volunteer in charge of the technical work claimed that the modified metal stove made a 35% saving over the existing metal charcoal stoves. A similar claim (30%-35%) was made for all the mud stove prototypes on display at CERER. The laboratory results are said to be substantiated by field results.
Amongst the many stands at the Dakar Industrial Trade Fair Yvonne found the USAID Senegal stand showing all the CERER stove prototypes, mud and metal, presented in a very neat display. Peace Corps regional co-ordinators were responsible for the stands, and they said that there had been a good deal of interest shown in the stoves. Most of the questions had come from men and were about cost and how to obtain one. The northern co-ordinator for stoves had spent the past two years working with the CERER Stove programme, the southern co-ordinator had just started. They were both very enthusiastic about the future for new stoves in Senegal, although the southern co-ordinator spoke of the complexity of problems involved in trying to introduce chimney mud stoves into a region with reasonable wood supplies. To quote one recent observer to the stove programme, 'After the training, the chimney stoves are sufficiently complicated, the masonry skills sufficiently daunting, the lack of tools sufficiently discouraging, and the failure to attract customers for 2-3000 CFA combines to convince the new trainee to drop the whole topic'.
Another interesting stand, in the exhibition area for the Niayes region, was a display for a Turf Exploitation and Environmental Rehabilitation scheme. It is estimated that there are 55 million cubic metres of turf deposits in the Niayes region. Part of the display included chimney mud stoves and modified metal stoves from CERER, and the display literature proposed that the turf briquettes could be used with the CERER stoves to save trees.