Sensitisation of women on the benefit of improved cookstoves makes an impact in Bangladesh

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Bangladesh 2018/07/10

10 July 2018

How providing clean cooking solutions and gender-sensitive energy access is changing lives

Stove user Dipali Rani from Bangladesh. ©GIZ

User-1.jpg Stove user Dipali Rani from Bangladesh. ©GIZ

Promotion of clean cooking solutions is a top priority in the current SDG7 review at the High Level Political Forum (New York, 9-18 July 2018).

EnDev Bangladesh has been promoting the use of improved cookstoves under the brand name Bondhu Chula since 2006. Bondhu Chula is an efficient improved cookstove that saves fuel and prevents indoor air pollution by using a chimney. So far, EnDev has helped install 2.5 million Bondhu Chulas in Bangladesh. Since February 2015, Bangladesh Bondhu Foundation (BBF) has been managing the activities of the Bondhu Chula Programme.

Dipali Rani is a user of a Bondhu Chula stove, living in the railway settlement of Netrokona district in the northern part of Bangladesh. Netrokona is densely populated and the way inside is muddy and slippery. Residents of this neighbourhood are very poor.

Disadvantages of traditional inefficient stoves

Dipali is a housewife and mother of two daughters, Puja and Shima, who both attend local schools. Dipali’s husband is a day labourer and the daily family income is low. The family lives in a small room where all their daily activities, such as sleeping, cooking and the children’s homework, take place. Dipali became interested in the Bondhu Chula after being informed about the various disadvantages of traditional inefficient stoves from the staff of BBF. She received information about medical conditions like asthma, headache, cancer and eye diseases. Dipali’s left eye is sensitive to kitchen smoke. She has been suffering from eye problems since childhood. It was impossible for them to study inside the room when the old stove was used. They had to spend a lot of time to collect fuel for cooking, and they used to miss school often.

Pollution free improved cookstove

The family decided to buy the improved cookstove and today, a chimney of the Bondhu Chula can be seen on the roof of their house. When cooking, the indoor air remains pollution free because the smoke goes out through the chimney. Dipali says that over the last year she saved BDT 2000 (approx. EUR 20) in fuel costs. She does not have any eye problems anymore and her daughters can study inside the house all the time. For more information on the country project, see the page Bangladesh.

Since 2005, the EnDev programme has provided 14.4 million household members with improved cooking solutions and as a result reduced exposure to indoor air pollution for 7 million women, children and men.