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International Project: Rwanda



Stove: Zoom Dura 32cm

Project Type: Development
Quantity of Stoves to Date: 600,000
Project Stage: Growth
Implementing Partner:DelAgua Health & Development

Project Description:

DelAgua Health & Development with support from the Ministry of Health is implementing a huge health program involving the dissemination of an improved cookstove and water filter to the poorest 600,000 households in Rwanda. This is the largest program of it's kind in Africa and we can’t wait to help them implement it!

Phase 1: 120,000 delivered July-October 2014

Phase 2: 580,000 delivered throughout 2015

What is Tubeho Neza and why is it on the stove?

Tubeho Neza is Kinyarwanda for Let us Live Well and it’s the theme of the DelAgua campaign. Having a theme is a great way of promoting the benefits of project and sets the stage for what we’re trying to accomplish. Having it on the stove reminds people that the stove is part of how they can live well. Tubeho Neza! 

Project Purpose:

 Diarrhoea and respiratory infections are the biggest killers of children under 5 in developing countries. Drinking un-treated or un-boiled water and constantly breathing in smoke from three stone fires or unimproved stoves are the prime causes of those diseases. Among deaths of children under 5 in Rwanda, pneumonia accounts for 20% and diarrhoea for 12%. This program is designed to reduce the incidence of both by introducing a water filter and an improved cookstove into the household. 


Project Type:

We categorize this project as a “Development” project because the initial stoves are being given away to the poorest people in the country, while a commercial market is being developed for those who can pay. Giveaways can play a vital role in creating demand for clean cookstoves as they show the benefits of stoves, prove that they work and build brand trust.

Will this project destroy the market?

Everyone is asking if we think this giveaway program will hurt the development of a commercial market in Rwanda. The short answer is no. Rwanda is a unique country where the poorest 30% (designated as Ubudehe categories 1 & 2), commonly receive assistance that others are not eligible for. We think people in other income levels – that can afford the stove outright – will purchase it. People in the pilot villages are already asking Community Health Workers when these stoves will be for sale and pilot recipients are asking about the possibility of purchasing a second stove in installments. Additionally, we plan to introduce our charcoal stove into urban and peri-urban markets where people are accustomed to paying for fuel and will realize significant financial benefits from an improved cookstove.

Unique Project Aspects:

This project has so many unique aspects to it. Just some are highlighted below. Watch the video below to learn more.

Two Technologies: This project is distributing two greatly needed technologies, a cookstove and water filter, through an existing community network. The two technologies will work together to decrease the primary diseases that affect children in Rwanda. The existing community network is a cost-effective way to reach people and, since the technologies will be distributed by people recipients already know and trust, adoption rates will be higher.

Extensive Monitoring & Evaluation: Three of the Umudugudus (villages) that received the technologies are enrolled as part of a randomized control trial conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to evaluate uptake and exposure reduction to air pollution and contaminated drinking water. These households also periodically receive Portland State University developed instrumented filters and cookstoves that relay usage data to the internet over the cell phone network.

Pilot Project:

A pilot and Phase 1 program deployment covering more than 2,500 households and approximately 10,000 residents in 15 Umudugudus (villages) spread across 11 districts was conducted in September of 2012 to assess the user acceptance and effect of the products. Over 140 Ministry of Health Community Health Workers were trained in distribution and technology education activities. Vestergaard Frandsen LifeStraw Family 2.0 water filters and EcoZoom Dura improved cookstoves were distributed at Umuganda meetings- a community meeting and work-day – in each village.

Distributions were logged with bar-codes tied to household identification numbers, and complete records were uploaded real-time over smartphones to a database. Distributions were followed by household level education and follow up visits by the Community Health Workers to track the performance of the program. In addition, they mapped each installation with GPS coordinates that were collected on the smartphone-based survey.

Cookstove Pilot Results:

Anyone in the cookstove industry (and many others) knows how difficult behaviour change is. We’re excited to say that the EcoZoom stove got some great pilot results and some great feedback about how we can improve end-user education and messaging to achieve better results in the future. If you’re interested in in-depth results for the stoves and water filter results, check out the report on PLOS One. (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0091011)

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