Saving wood in Haiti’s school kitchens

On 21 March we’re celebrating the International Day of Forests to emphasise the importance they have in our lives. They provide us with wood, from which we obtain large amounts of energy, much more energy than we get from the sun, water or the wind. Thanks to our forests, 2 400 million people can enjoy cooked food, boiled water and a warm home.

This year, the theme is ‘Forests and Energy’, which is why we want to single out a project which, by using improved cookstoves in the Joie d’Espoir school in Haiti, has reduced the cutting and consumption of firewood and improved the health conditions of cookstoves by reducing the smoke they produce.

With the traditional model of cookstove in Haiti, much of the heat is lost before it reaches the pot, and a lot of firewood has to be burned to get a cooked meal. The improved model of cookstove has an inner coating of clay that makes for more efficient operation and faster and cleaner cooking.

At Joie d’Espoir the kitchen building consists of two spaces, one where food can be prepared and another with a worktop, the new model of cookstove and a washbasin. The upper half has been built from wood allowing better air circulation and avoiding unwanted smoke and heat. What’s more, a system of gutters has been installed to harvest rainwater, which is used for cooking and washing.

Thanks to these projects, forests will be more sustainable and we will be able to go on enjoying their benefits!

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