Burkina Faso is a poor landlocked country with limited natural resources. Deforestation is particularly severe in the country’s arid north, which receives little rainfall and is menaced by desertification. With 80% of domestic energy needs in the country fuelled by firewood, Burkina Faso’s deforestation rate is alarmingly high, clocking in at 17.5% between 1992-2002, according to the World Bank. This project aims to help the rural populations adapt to desertification and climate change by adopting eco-friendly 3-stone “banco” stoves that they will fabricate themselves. “Banco” is made from inexpensive locally-sourced ingredients: manure, straw, water, and clay (or termite ground termite mound). These stoves will reduce wood consumption by up to 60% compared to the traditional 3-stone Burkinabe stoves, which will help minimize deforestation and also bring benefits to the local women (i.e. less time spent collecting firewood, reduced health risks thanks to less smoke exposure, etc.).
Working with the local NGO Tiipaalga, Livelihoods will equip 30,000 households with improved stoves (a minimum of two stoves per family). The Livelihoods-Tiipaalga project will cover 9 communes and 222 villages in the provinces of Bam and Loroum in the country’s north. The €1.7 million project, which will be carried out over 10 years, will kick off this October 2014. It will generate 689,000 tons of carbon credits and save 40,000 tons of wood at its completion!
What sets this project apart from Livelihoods’ other clean cookstove project (in Kenya) is that there are no costs spent on the production or delivery of stoves, as they will be made by the local women themselves. The costs of this project thus go entirely towards teaching local women how to manufacture their own eco-friendly household cookstoves. The project will be supported by an extensive network of more than 2,000 women leaders in the villages who oversee the training sessions. These endogenous monitors, who work on a volunteer basis, are appointed by the villagers themselves. They are in charge of organizing training sessions for groups of 10-15 women in their respective villages. Following the training sessions, a permanent contact is maintained in each village after the initial mobilization period and full mobilization/training campaigns are renewed every 4 years in each village.
The social and environmental impact
The social impact of this project goes beyond measurable indicators. By putting women at the centre of the project with a true transfer of know-how, Livelihoods’ newest project will contribute to the improvement of local women’s position in the villages. It is expected that after a few years, the women will become sufficiently good at the «banco» technique that they will not need assistance to repair their stoves or build new ones.
Additionally, with the support of Tiipaalga, this project will also promote the local economies in the villages by launching a self-administered microcredit fund (50€ loan for 6 months eligible to the 2,000 women leaders that will help them launch additional revenue-generating activities like sheep fattening).
Lastly, this project will help increase food diversification through human-assisted natural regeneration practices. In a region where malnutrition impacts 20% of population according to UNICEF, trees are an important source of food (fruits, nuts, honey, etc.) and also offer a source of complementary revenues as well as fodder for cattle.
Validation level of the project
This project will be registered as a Gold Standard Carbon project to recognize carbon sequestration efficiency and its strong social and environmental impact.
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