Stop Cookstoves from Polluting and Killing

Since the signing of the peace agreement in 2005, Onura has seen an influx of returning women refugees who need to support three or more children—their own off-spring, the children of relatives, war orphans, or children separated from their families. Virtually all of Onura’s population uses wood to cook over traditional cookstoves. This means villagers, largely women and girls, have to spend hours foraging for fuel woods as well as inhaling the toxic smoke from the fires (often with infant babies strapped to their backs). The toxins in smoke cause serious respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, and bronchitis. At the same time, cutting down trees for fuel woods is contributing to Sudan’s catastrophic loss of forest cover as well as climate change worldwide.

Hope Ofiriha’s Onura Clean Cookstoves Project will provide income to women while saving trees and drastically reducing smoke inhalation, one of the leading causes of death in South Sudan. The project will pay for local women to be trained in making clean and efficient cookstoves. These cookstoves, made out of clay, require just a handful of kindling and generate much less smoke than traditional cookstoves. Once the women are trained, Hope Ofiriha will provide them with additional training in marketing, help them set up 10 small womens groups, and provide the womens groups with kilns and other tools and materials. The womens groups will train and support even more women in earning income by making and marketing clean and efficient cookstoves.

Enabling women to band together to boost one another’s income will give them the skills and confidence to transform their lives and their community. When villagers can cook with just a handful of kindling and little smoke, hundreds of lives will be saved. Hundreds of thousands of trees will also be saved, helping prevent deforestation and climate change worldwide.


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