Improved Cook stove project: What difference could three holes make?
For the past six months the ICS project has concentrated on the everyday cooking practices that form an essential part of the people of Molati’s daily existence. We soon realised that these practices are more complicated than we thought initially. The ICS team has spent months with the community to gain an in depth understanding of the extent to which the Nova-stove has been integrated into the mundane rituals of Molati’s residents. The research focused on the 40 households where the stove was implemented in 2012. The initial findings of the research showed that only a small minority of the group was actually using the stove on a daily basis. The main reason for the low level of use was that most of the households use round shaped cast iron pots with three legs to stand on, and these pots did not fit on the stove. This problem was simply rectified by drilling holes into the stoves to fit the pot. Since this addition was made to the stove, over the past month we have observed a remarkable increase in the use of the stove. Probably the most interesting occurrence regarding the stove was when Timothy, our area leader’s eldest son told me that he loves to ‘braai’ (the Afrikaans for barbeque), and added that he finds the Nova-stove to be perfect for that. He then very enthusiastically proceeded in demonstrating to me exactly how he went about this whole ritual, placing the grill on the stove and showing gestures of how perfectly the stove is able to maintain a constant heat for an extended time. Currently the ICS team is busy with the production of a refractory cement combustion chamber, which we hope would add enough value to the stove in order that it could be put to use by local entrepreneurs as a feasible commodity.
Posted on 05 Aug 2013

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