Environmental friendly stoves help 800 rural families cut their monthly expenses on gas and kerosene and have access to clean cooking nutrition
As fuel prices increase, Mereani Camailakeba – a mother of three living at the Housing Assistance and Relief Trust is relieved she at least has “sitovu buka” or wooden stove that doesn’t require her to buy kerosene.
In the past, she used $50 of her social welfare assistance to buy kerosene or gas. The cost of a litre of kerosene at the end of last year was $1.82 per litre and had risen by more than 60 percent to $2.89 a litre this month.
Camailakeba’s family are one of the 800 families living in HART settlements in Fiji that received wood-fired stoves that are more environmental friendly from Kasabias Pte Fiji Limited.
“Using kerosene and gas stoves have been costly to us in the community due to the increase in the prices of goods and services,” said Camailakeba.
“Before, most families asked neighbors if they can cook food together and share fuel costs.
“Now, we just use a few firewood or sticks and some paper to fire up the stove and do our cooking.
“Because ‘sitovu buka’ has replaced gas and kerosene stoves in our community, we do not have to share stoves and we can also use savings from this on other family needs.
“And we are also able to teach our children on how to sustainably use resources as well as traditional methods of cooking using firewood.”
Since 2019, Kasabias Pte Fiji Limited has distributed clean energy stoves to more than 60,000 farming communities, informal settlements and traditional villages residing in one thousand rural communities throughout the 14 provinces of Fiji that use outdoor fireplaces.
Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Climate Solutions, Dwain Qalovaki said the Kasabias Pte Fiji Limited team ensured all the communities in the 14 provinces were delivered the stoves.
“As part of this effort, we ensured that we were able to map up where all our communities reside. Starting from those that were in the most remote areas of our provinces and then working our way slowly to the civic centre and municipal centre in each of the fourteen.
“We had to transfer from our four-wheel drive vehicles to horseback to be able to access communities during disaster and to those who didn’t have road access, ensuring that we were able to deliver the stoves to them and to be able to run our workshop on how to safely use the stoves and to ensure that they understand how to maintain the stoves as best as possible.”
Kasabias Pte Ltd Chief Financial Officer, Bhavna Nandni said they will continue to conduct workshops in these communities on the maintenance and safe use of clean energy stoves.
“Now we intend to commit our people and resources in revisiting over one thousand farming communities in informal settlements and traditional villages throughout the 14 provinces to conduct our Sitovu Buka workshops that focus on maintenance and safe use of clean energy stoves,” said Nandni.
“Equally important will be promoting clean cooking nutrition which will involve life demonstration of healthy recipes which includes local ingredients in our gardens and markets.”
Qalovaki said that Kasabias Pte Fiji Limited is planning to approach government and non-governmental organisations to seek sponsorship and partnership to further distribute these clean energy stoves to communities.
“As a countrywide initiative, ‘Sitovu Buka’ continues to grow. We envision our partnership in communities, districts, provinces, and country level growing to focus and receive broader conversations on clean energy stoves and clean cooking nutrition.”
This initiative is part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Clean Development Mechanism initiative that aims to accelerate sustainable energy access for women in rural communities and is funded by Korea Carbon Management Limited.