Congratulations to DelAgua for celebrating 10 years in Rwanda with the millionth stove distribution last week.
I worked with DelAgua at the beginning of their carbon credit project called Tubeho Neza (“Live Well”), travelling in Rwanda to photograph the distribution days, community health worker visits and how the program is improving the lives of those involved.
The photography went on to form a major part of DelAgua’s marketing awareness campaign being published in the “Tubeho Neza” book and featuring in a number of magazines. I was also a winner with the photography, at the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards.
The DelAgua cook stove is designed to work for the reality of the lives of the families who use them. It uses wood, but just small pieces of twig and tinder, which rural families can gather without encroaching on forestry. Crucially the design of the stove increases thermal efficiency resulting in quicker cooking speeds and much lower fuel requirements. The stove requires at least 50% less wood than a traditional fire. The stove is durable and saves the equivalent of 14 tons of CO2 emissions over its seven- year life.
With a target of donating 2.3 million stoves by the end of 2023, Tubeho Neza project is one of the world’s largest cook stove projects.
Education and ongoing support is central to the work. Every family is visited by a Community Health Worker who explains the dangers of cooking on a traditional fire and household air pollution and the health advantages of cooking on the stove and they also make sure the family know how to use it. Behaviour change is immediate and lasting.