By: Foday Manneh
DelAgua Gambia has distributed modern-day, healthy, and environmentally friendly cookstoves to 300 households in the Lower River Region of The Gambia as part of its ‘live Well program’ partnership with the Government of the Gambia.
The event, held on Monday, March 20, 2023, also witnessed the launch of the Live Well Programme in Jarra Soma — the administrative town of LRR.
The initiative provides an integrated, improved cookstove, education, and support program free of charge to the rural population of The Gambia. It will deliver many benefits, including health, well-being, gender equality, climate, the environment, nature, education, and economics.
The Live Well stove is reportedly the most fuel-efficient and advanced rocket stove globally, benefiting the African economy. It is said to reduce fuel use to 71% and burns with very high thermal efficiency.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Operating Officer of DelAgua, Euan McDougall, said the consequences that arrive with the use of wood fuelled fires encourage them to introduce the best practicing equipment in The Gambia.
“Over 95% of the rural population cook on wood-fuelled traditional fires, usually indoors. This has devastating consequences for the environment and nature. For the health of women and children in particular, who cook and tend the fire and suffer the most from household air pollution,” CEO Euan said.
He added, “I am delighted that through the Live Well program, we can provide clean cooking and the long-term education and support that will transform families’ lives. “
The Minister of Petroleum of The Gambia, Abdou Jobe, welcomed their partnership with DelAgua and said the initiative would help to complement their effort to mitigate the impact of firewood fetching on the environment.
“The impact of wood fuel harvesting on the environment is significant, so the Live Well program will help protect the region’s unique ecosystems, including the mangroves, which play a critical role in mitigating climate change,” Minister Jobe said.
The British High Commissioner in The Gambia, His Excellency David Belgrove, was also convinced that introducing the Live Well clean cookstoves would help in the fight against climate change and other related effects.
“DelAgua’s innovative carbon funding means this program is assured for the long term. Live Well is a powerful example of how private enterprise, in partnership with Government, can address climate, nature, and health challenges at scale,” Belgrove said.
DelAgua intends to distribute 25,000 stoves to the women of the households in LRR after their successful pilot distribution of 2000 stoves in February 2023.
By 2024, the organization also hopes to provide 125,000 stoves — one for every rural household without access to modern energy-efficient cooking.