Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Namibia: Ezystove Scoops International Award

By Allafrica news, July 11, 2012

The EzyStove - a Namibia/Swedish energy efficient cooking stove - has scooped the international Red Dot Best of the Best 2012 design award.

EzyStove is a revolutionary wood-burning stove, developed with local users and produced locally for developing countries in need of a solution that replaces cooking over an open fire. It reduces harmful smoke, decreases deforestation, creates local jobs and drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

Red Dot is the largest design competition in the world and has established itself internationally as one of the most appreciated quality seals for outstanding designs. The mark Best of the Best is the highest award of the Red Dot design competition.

The EzyStove is a direct outcome from a collaborative initiative between Namibian NGO Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions (CES), Swedish company Ergonomidesign and rural/urban Namibian women participating in the UNDP GEF-SGP Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change programme.

The initiative is essentially a response to communities' concerns over alarmingly high rates of deforestation and increasing respiratory illnesses due to the widespread practice of cooking over open fires.

Tuhafeni Nghilunanye (EzyStove project coordinator, CES) and Elisabeth Ramel-Wåhrberg (designer, Ergonomidesign) received the award at the handing over ceremony in Essen, Germany, July 2, 2012.

The EzyStove will be on exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen over a period of four weeks in a special setting before being integrated into the permanent exhibition.

Air Namibia sponsored CES' participation at the award ceremony in Essen with a discounted ticket.

The EzyStove is designed according to the wishes of Namibian women and is user-friendly and easily assembled. Since it is fuel-efficient it will lessen women's burdens by reducing fuel wood consumption by two thirds, while it will also cut back toxic emissions by between 60 and 80 percent.

Users also report on a cleaner cooking environment when using the EzyStove since it vastly reduces smoke and soot emissions, thus creating less indoor air pollution.

The EzyStove is welded together from metal sheets and costs around N$150 to produce.

For now, CES has donated 125 EzyStoves to communities around Namibia with the aim of making the product known and getting communities to commit to producing the stove independently.

Until then, the EzyStove is available in informal settlements for only N$30 from CES until such time as the communities take over the production themselves.

For women, the EzyStove greatly contributes to and enhances women's roles in the community since they will now have more time to attend to other daily and more urgent matters.

It is the aim of Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions to develop the EzyStove into a carbon dioxide offsetting project in order to make 400 000 subsidized and affordable stoves available to 200 000 Namibian households.

The project aims to create up to 300 local long-term stove assembly jobs and to reduce deforestation and annual carbon dioxide emissions.