In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that 4.3 million deaths were linked to indoor air pollution, especially in households that cook over coal, wood, or biomass stoves. This is a substantial issue for villagers in South Africa, many of whom struggle with lung problems from inhaled particulate matter from wood burning. To help alleviate the disease burden of indoor air pollution and protect precious tree resources, the LAND Project is investing in rocket stoves.
Rocket Stoves! The name is nearly as exciting as the concept itself. On a recent trip to the Eastern Cape, the LAND Project introduced Kumanzimdaka villagers to the simple, yet highly efficient brick “rocket stove.” These low-cost stoves burn fuel with unrivaled efficiency–an outcome that has the potential to reduce indoor air pollution significantly (most women in the area cook over over open fires inside, especially during the winter), limit tree cutting, and minimize the amount of time required to fetch wood fuel for cooking.
The rocket stove (depicted below) was met by local men and women alike with roaring applause (and accompanying flames!). The LAND Project estimates that a rocket stove can be constructed for less than $10.00 in-country and could save both money and time, while also protecting lungs in the long-run.