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Fuel efficient mud stoves in Darfur

Fuel efficient mud stoves in Darfur
Dec 2015

Context

The protracted conflict since 2003 in Darfur (Sudan) has resulted in massive loss of human lives and assets, disrupted livelihoods and led to severe food insecurity in some areas.

An estimated 60 percent out of a total population of 7-8 million is currently displaced (March 2015). Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and their host communities have limited livelihood options and often rely on unsustainable coping strategies, such as the unmanaged cutting of trees and shrubs for fuelwood and charcoal production. This places an additional burden on Darfur’s fragile ecosystem.

Challenge

Access and availability of fuelwood has become a highly contentious issue, with implications for human and environmental security due to:

  • Unsustainable exploitation of forest resources;
  • Increased conflict over scarce forest and tree resources;
  • Exposure of women and girls to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) while collecting fuelwood;
  • The high cost of fuelwood and charcoal on the markets, if purchased, especially when used inefficiently;
  • Health and safety risks associated with cooking on traditional 3-stone fires.

Since the early 1990s, FAO has been providing training of trainers on Fuel-efficient stoves (FES) through implementing partners (national and international NGOs and local communities). Throughout this period it was observed that, as a result of the training, almost all households in IDP camps in North Darfur, and considerable numbers in West Darfur, were now using mud stoves. Recognizing the need to gauge the impact of FES, FAO conducted the Assessment of the Impact of Fuel-Efficient Stoves (FES) in Darfur, 2014. This study confirmed that improved mud stoves have a beneficial impact in terms of developing livelihoods, forest conservation and environmental protection and reducing sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur. It also revealed that improved mud stoves are now widely used in IDP camps, showing that this technology is a sustainable practice for local communities and that training continues to be delivered by certain partners and local trainers.

What is a fuel-efficient stove (FES)?

Fuel-Efficient Stoves (FES) are specifically designed to reduce fuel consumption and provide a substitute for the traditional three-stone fire. They can be made of mud, clay or metal, and they can use different types of fuels, such as fuelwood, charcoal, briquettes, biofuels, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or kerosene.

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