The use of biomass, specifically firewood, is immense in Guatemala, constituting a minimum of 86% of the total energy consumed. There is a substantial need for wood fuel, particularly in rural regions, where 98% of households depend on wood for their primary cooking source. Traditionally, families in rural Guatemala utilize a three-stone open fire for cooking, a method characterized by inefficiency. This approach not only results in unsustainable depletion of non-renewable biomass but also exposes households to harmful indoor air pollution, adds strain to the local environment, and places a burden on those involved in wood fuel collection.
The project seeks to distribute approximately 15,000 improved cookstoves throughout Guatemala. Beyond diminishing the reliance on firewood and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, these improved stoves also bring about a reduction in cooking time and household air pollution. Household air pollution in Guatemala significantly contributes to the country’s disease burden, particularly in terms of respiratory infections. By mitigating the occurrence of respiratory diseases in rural households, the project makes a meaningful impact.
Moreover, the improved cookstoves, being more fuel-efficient than traditional stoves, alleviate the burden on individuals typically tasked with gathering firewood and handling cooking responsibilities. This not only enhances efficiency but also lessens the environmental impact associated with these activities.