Thank you to all those who have already contributed to our first Annual Appeal.
|Maasai women installing a chimney|
We appreciate all your interest and support and send best wishes for a happy new year.
Robert V. Lange, President
Maasai Stoves & Solar project of the ICSEE
A goal of 100% continuous usage
Perhaps you are already aware of the dangers of indoor smoke in the homes of pastoral people in the developing world, caused by the use of traditional wood-burning stoves. This is a profound international health issue affecting millions.
The Project works directly with the people served, replacing the traditional stoves with a healthier design, while acting as catalyst for local empowerment.
Some households purchase only a stove; others add solar systems to power an electric light, previously impossible without an electricity delivery infrastructure.
There is a concern in the academic and development communities that the international stove movement may be exaggerating the benefit claims of clean cookstoves.
Of course, if the stoves aren't used regularly, then claims for health and conservation improvements will be overblown.
We had observed casually in the field that every one of our stoves that we sold and installed is still in use. Still, we decided to do a formal study to check the results and make sure that usage is really that strong.
This month we visited 20 Maasai homes selected randomly from the first 100 homes where the Maasai Stoves & Solar stoves were installed two years ago.
All 20 stoves are still in use! The families continue to enjoy the health benefits while helping environmental conservation.
This is an important indicator, as some other stove projects have serious problems with low use or stove abandonment.
We know that for a new stove design to be adopted, it has to be what the women want. Since Maasai women helped design the stove and shared feedback during the early stages by trying out prototypes in their homes, we predicted a very low rate of abandonment.
Performance is the key, of course, as is the fact that the home is a much more pleasant a place to be with the smoke and soot gone.
|Much less wood is needed with the new efficient stoves|
Meet Mama Mbarakwo Moikan
Customer, Maasai Stoves & Solar
|Mama Mbarakwo Moikan|
While we visited Mama's village of Enguiki in the Monduli Juu district of Tanzania gathering information about stove usage, Mama shared her story. Here is an excerpt translated from the Maasai language:
Firstly, The smoke is gone. All problems which my family was facing because of the smoke are gone. For example, before I had this ICSEE Stove, my eyes were itching. Each week we had to take one of my kids to hospital because of the coughing problem, but now we don't have those problems anymore. So I believe that the source of those problems was the presence of smoke inside our house.
Secondly, I don't go to the bush too much to gather wood because of this ICSEE stove. I used to go for five hours each time. Now I only go two times in a week instead of four, which I was going before I had this stove.
Thirdly, is this extra time which I am getting to be in my farm because I don't spend four days on only gathering wood.
Look, now it is raining. It is a time for us to be in farms to plant crops. I am spending this extra time in my farm.
Fourthly, my house is clean now because of this stove.This was the thing which made me tell my son to sell one of my goats so I can have this stove.
I had visited my neighbor and found her house very clean, especially the ceiling, and I asked her why her house was so clean. She told me that it was because of the new stove. She had no black soot which normally made the roof look black and smell bad.
Fifthly, my house stays warm for longer than when I had the three stone fire.
I like this stove so much. I have had it since March 2011.
Thank you to Mama Moikan, and all our customer collaborators for your openness to change, and for sharing your words with others in the village, district, and beyond.
Greetings from Deb
Happy New Year! I thought you might want an insider's view of some of the work I've been doing. The ICSEE is one of my favorite clients, running on-the-ground projects with energy, women's empowerment, climate change mitigation, and more.
The "short rains" have come to the Monduli district Maasai villages.
These short rains can come as early as October, and are typically in November and December.
They were late this year, causing concern about the planting and cattle grazing season. The "long rains" typically come March through April.
The Maasai are worried that the rains are less predictable than they used to be.
While we should be cautious about assuming global warming is responsible for any particular event or noticeable trend, there are concerns that climate change could have a strong impact on equatorial regions, including the Maasai lands of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya.
But now the people are all thanking Engai that it is raining.
Soccer in Monduli
Our headquarters are in Monduli
town, which is quiet and pleasant, but where there is not much to do outside the home.
The men of the town enjoy watching Barclay's Premier League soccer games on television, and all have favorite teams, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea in the lead.
Winsi's bar and restaurant is the best place to go and join about 200 fans who really care.
The Maasai Stoves & Solar staff visit Winsi's, fans or not, for a nice diversion from long hours of work at the project headquarters and factory.
There is a soccer field near our house where town teams practice and hold a game about once a week.
In the villages, the Maasai boys play soccer. They make soccer balls out of balls of rags, as is done all over Africa, and a a few have a real soccer ball.
I have never seen girls playing.
|A video about our work |
View a video from our early days and see Maasai Stoves & Solar and our community in action, filmed by Brian Petchers.
|About us |
Welcome to the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project of the ICSEE (International Collaborative for Science, Education, and the Environment).
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in America and Tanzania.
Like us, are you dedicated to improved quality of life, health, and well-being for the developing world, and to a healthier environment for all?
For more information contact:
Maasai Stoves & Solar
81 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138