New stoves burn less wood, help preserve forests

Rural mountain communities within the Ifrane Model Forest in Morocco rely on wood to supply many of their energy needs. Heating and baking bread account for over 85 % of the total domestic consumption of fuelwood. In particular, traditional bread ovens consume an average of 40 kg of wood per day in the mountains and 24 kg in low altitude areas. As well, the traditional bread ovens are outside the homes and mainly used by women who are regularly exposed to cold temperatures in the winter months.
 
With the support of the national forestry administration of Morocco, the Model Forest implemented a pilot project focused on the development and distribution of improved, energy-efficient stoves. The project aims to reduce the pressure on forests by improving stove energy efficiency and reducing fuelwood consumption. The new stoves are multi-purpose and require little fuelwood to operate. They can be used simultaneously to bake bread, heat a room, cook meals and heat water.
 
As part of the pilot project, twenty improved stoves were distributed to households throughout the Model Forest, from low to high altitude regions. Based on monitoring by the Model Forest team, the new technology has resulted in a reduction of fuelwood consumption of 85% for baking bread and 69% for heating and cooking meals.
 
The new stoves have also improved the standard of living of rural woman as several activities can now be undertaken with the one stove and less effort and time is required for collecting fuelwood. The women have:
 
          Less exposure to bad weather from not having to leave the house as frequently
          Less physically demanding work due to a reduction in fuelwood collection needs
          More time available to spend with young children, especially on their education
          More free time for other cultural and income generating activities
 
Following the success of the Model Forest’s pilot project, the forestry administration has included the manufacture and distribution of the improved stoves in its annual activities. Forty stoves were distributed in 2012 and an additional 360 in 2013. For 2014, 420 improved stoves are expected to be distributed.
 
The Model Forest has initiated a process to obtain a national patent for its improved stoves. They look forward to further collaborate with the forestry administration in order to support the distribution and extension of this technology in the Ifrane region and elsewhere in Morocco.
 

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