February 24, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The vast majority of Sierra Leoneans, especially women, cook their daily meals outdoors on a three stone fire which poses serious public health and environmental hazards.
The introduction of the second generation of Wonder Stove by Westwind Energy Company would help to ensure healthier and clean kitchen environment in Sierra Leone.
The launch of the stoves, designed for institutions that cook on open fire and use large quantities of wood on a daily basis at Hotel Barmoion Wednesday (February 22), was witnessed by prominent individuals, including the former Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Dr.KandehYumkella.
Dr.Yumkella welcomed the launch of the stoves and expressed his delight with regards the use of local materials in introducing such an initiative, which according to him, would help in solving the problems in cooking on open fires.
He said while he was working at the United Nations some years back, they had documented the impact that indoor air pollution poses on children’s and women’s health.
He revealed that some 700million people in some countries, including Ghana still use charcoal and fire wood to cook.
“Getting cook clean stove is part of a bigger health problem, worse than HIV/AIDS, malaria and Tuberculosis combined,” he said and stressed on the issues of standard, finance and sustainability, as well as the need to change the current cultural practices of cooking.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Westwind Energy, TapsirNjai stated that the stoves would help to eliminate up to 90% of smoke and change the cooking method currently being used in the country.
He explained that the stove cooks faster and retains heat for longer period and that it uses 70% less firewood compared to a traditional three stone fireplace.
“Each stove is constructed to meet the customer’s individual requirements. It prevents accidents from open fires and it is durable, efficient and has less smoke. Fire savings usually pay for the cost of one stove after only one year,” he said.
Mr. Njai assured of his company’s keen interest to partner with other organisations to introduce and promote “this cooking technology to Sierra Leonean Communities”.