The EcoRecho Stove is Helping Fight Energy Poverty in Haiti
In 2009, entrepreneur Duquesne Fednard set up D&E Green Enterprises to produce efficient charcoal-burning stoves that would reduce the amount of charcoal needed to cook food, and ease the strain on Haiti’s overexploited demand for wood, which has all but eliminated Haiti’s forests.
But in January 2010, the earthquake in Haiti destroyed Duquesne’s newly built cook stove factory. Unbowed, he continued production in donated tents. But when hurricanes Isaac and Sandy shredded the tents in 2012, Duquesne was on the brink of giving up. Only his dedicated staff persuaded him to keep going.
Despite these challenges the business has sold 33,000 of its EcoRecho stoves over the past three years and at the same time is addressing four pressing issues faced by the nation:
A ravaging deforestation problem:
Less than 2% of Haiti’s original forest remains. The EcoRecho stove uses 50% less charcoal than other stoves. If the efficient EcoRecho stoves replace traditional stoves, it will lower the demand for charcoal and decrease the deforestation rate.
Extreme poverty and unemployment:
The majority of Haitian families spend around 23% of their income on charcoal for cooking. A family that switches from using a traditional stove to using the EcoRecho stove saves on average US $150 per year. Re-building the factory will also impact the job force. It will create at least 400 jobs through direct employment, distribution chain development and construction work. 80% of Haitians live under the poverty line and unemployment is at 66%.
Health threats posed by indoor smoke:
The use of charcoal can lead to high rates of indoor air pollution which can cause severe chronic and even fatal respiratory diseases, shorten life spans by 6.6 years and is the number one killer of children under five. The EcoRecho stove reduces indoor smoke and CO2 emission, creating a safer environment for users.
Charcoal making is detrimental to Haiti’s landscape, farming, and overall economic status. It is also a contributor to global warming. By the reducing charcoal consumption, the EcoRecho is in fact helping to restore the environment, lower CO2 emissions and provide a chance at better and healthier future for Haitians.
D&E is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative and the Clean Stove Alliance. Over the past three years, the company has received international recognition for having brought clean stoves to the Haitian market.
“A simple device such as a cook stove has the power to truly transform Haiti through empowering households, end users and small businesses. The fact that D&E can achieve this cheaply and safely for the environment is really a win-win situation. D&E’s vision is to break the cycle of energy poverty by specializing in the manufacturing and distribution of low-cost, high-efficiency energy technologies for people living in the developing world,” said Fednard
The company is launching a campaign through Indiegogo to rebuild its factory destroyed during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The project will help improve the lives of people in Haiti by bringing a fuel-efficient charcoal-cooking stove to the market. With a pledge of $25.00 or more on Indiegogo, your name will be inscribed on the factory donor wall and you will have helped a country better the living conditions for both present and future generations.
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