Bondhu Chula stoves in Bangladesh
Less than 20% of the 35 million Bangladeshi households have access to clean cooking . The vast majority cook on “three-stone” fires in the home, which contributes to 49,000 premature deaths a year and causes millions in the country to suffer from respiratory diseases, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and eye and skin infections. Women and children are particularly affected, due to their role in food preparation.
The Bondhu Chula, which loosely translates as the ‘friendly stove’, is addressing this problem. The combustion chamber is designed to ensure a more efficient burn reducing fuel use and the chimney takes the harmful pollutants out of the house. The project employs local sanitary shops – micro-entrepreneurs engaged in making drainage systems and other products out of concrete – as their distribution and supply chain units. These sanitary shops receive training on stove production, obtain the moulds, and then produce and sell these stoves on a commercial basis. Carbon finance is used to subsidise stove installation, provide after sales services, as well as training for the local employees. This arrangement has proved highly successful: 5,000 entrepreneurs are involved in stove manufacture and distribution.