Vida Mejor Honduras Improved Cookstoves Project
In rural Honduras, the reliance on firewood for cooking food has harmful effects on human health, the economy, and the environment. The Honduran President warned that the country is one of the top five most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of deforestation risk. Not only are traditional wood-burning stoves inefficient, requiring excessive amounts of wood to fuel, but they also have highly detrimental effects on health including eye and respiratory damage. Furthermore, operating traditional stoves requires either the time-consuming task of gathering and chopping wood or purchasing it at a significant cost. Since 2011, social enterprise Envirofit International has been working with the Honduran government to provide clean cookstoves to the nation’s poorest families.
Envirofit’s improved cookstoves are more efficient than conventional firewood stoves, as they reduce heat loss, improve heat transfer, and increase combustion efficiency. The program provides affordable, high-performing stoves to communities that have historically had very limited access to energy. Local communities are seeing economic growth through job creation in the sale, marketing, and distribution of the cookstoves.
This project promotes biodiversity and decreases the rate of deforestation by eliminating the need for biomass in domestic cooking. Decreasing the use of inefficient stoves reduces greenhouse gas emissions generated from fuel combustion, thus improving air quality.
To date, about 200 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs have been created as a result of the project. The project empowers women by giving them access to clean household cooking solutions that reduce money and time expenditure. With less time spent gathering biomass, beneficiaries have more of an opportunity to generate income, and enjoy other activities.