We’ve supported Practical Action’s ACCESS project for three years; a project that gives rural communities access to clean cook stoves that encourage economic sustainability, better health and social wellbeing.
Damaging people and the planet
In India around 640,000 rural villages rely on firewood for cooking, contributing to deforestation, filling their kitchens with smoke and producing over 13 times more air pollutants than the permissible health and environment level in India.
And families are putting their lives in danger too; every hour spent in a smoke-filled kitchen equivalates to smoking 400 cigarettes. Household air pollution kills more than 4.3 million people every year, while inefficient cook stoves and wood burning are a major contributor to climate change.
This method of cooking is unsustainable and seriously damaging to both people and the planet.
A solution that makes a difference
JM has supported Practical Action and their ACCESS project for three years and we’re proud of what it has achieved. In collaboration with the Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Practical Action designed a clean cook stove that is portable, affordable and efficient. The new stoves produce 70% less smoke, use 50% less fuel and take half the time of a conventional stove. This means less CO2 in the atmosphere, fewer trees cut down for fuel and improved health for the cooks.
Lasting economic benefits
The project has also resulted in economic benefits. Over 200 women and youth entrepreneurs have been taught how to manufacture the clean cook stove, and they now sell them to generate income for their families. Through ACCESS, 12 self-help groups for women formed a federation that is now registered under the government of Odisha. This will ensure the long term sustainability of the project.
Almost 5,000 clean cook stoves have been sold in the target areas since the project began. There is still a long way to go to ensure the whole district of Odisha has access to clean and sustainable cooking methods, but Practical Action is continuing its work in the area to expand the ACCESS project and reach more households.