This is a Rukonzo statement meaning “I have saved my energy”. Janet Biira, 25 year old mother of three stays in Busamba 111 village – Bundibugyo District in western Uganda. She uses the statement to refer to the energy saving stove, which she got to know about from the Uganda Red Cross Society under the synergy-climate change adaptation project. Under this project, the URCS is training people to make energy saving stoves. People in rural areas use firewood as a source of fuel to cook their food, and yet cutting down trees is dangerous to the environment. ”
This stove is environmentally friendly as it uses less firewood. These stoves have been piloted in 30 homes so far, and more families are expected to be reached with the same. In a bid to establish self-sustaining families, URCS has trained more people to make such stoves. Over 48 trainers of trainees have been trained to equip others with the same skills and it is believed that more communities will adopt this method and save the environment.
Janet stays with other 9 people in her home. She is a primary four drop out and separated with her husband in May, 2015. She uses an energy saving stove to cook food for the ten people who stay in this home. Previously, Janet was using the three traditional stones to cook food but when the Uganda Red Cross synergy project started in Busamba parish, she was able to construct an energy saving stove which she uses now to cook food for her people.
“Before I got the energy saving stove, I would use a lot of fire wood which I collect from the mountain. Every month, I would use 8 bundles, but these days I use not more than three bundles per month. I collect fire wood from Mbatya valley which is about 4 kilometers away from my home. I use less energy, less force and I have time to do a lot more than before” she adds.