Improved cookstoves for Rohingya refugees


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Rohingya are an ethnic minority group in Myanmar, formerly Burma, who occupy the western littoral state of Rakhine. The onset of violence in August 2017 has prompted the greater part of a million Rohingyas to cross the border to Bangladesh; Currently, there are 900,000 refugees in Cox’s Bazaar. Rationed food supplies of pulses, oil and rice are provided. However, cooking fuel is procured by trekking to the peripheries of the forest near the camps and chopping down trees or on the black market through a barter system. To counteract with the household air pollution vnv advisory along with our on-ground partners, plans to provide fifty thousand of these families with improved smokeless cookstoves.

Background of Project

There are 900,000 refugees in Cox’s Bazaar. They have been settled in refugee camps in the upazilas: Ukhia and Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar district and Naikkhongsori of Bandarban district. Several relief groups, including the Bangladeshi government, have been catering to the influx of refugees. The use of traditional chula for cooking leads to household air pollution, precarious to the health of residents, exacerbated by the confined spaces of the camps. In addition to this, the mounting pressure on the camps’ ecological balance due to the flood of people as well as their activities necessitates a sustainable solution to be implemented at the earliest.

The Project

The local administration will help in the deployment of the stoves and its subsequent monitoring, the actual costs of the stoves will be overseen by VNV Advisory and the implementing agency. The subsidised cost per stove is $30 which translates to approximately $1.5 Million in actual project cost. The rest of the O&M costs will be augmented by Carbon finance. Certification of the project will lead to the generation of carbon credits. The estimated emission reductions from such a project will amount to over 250,000 tCO2.

The Benefits

Being smokeless, the chulas reduce indoor air pollution. This facilitate to the ability to boil water for clean drinking water access. The project also reduces the Impact on Bangladesh’s vulnerable biodiversity. It also builds technological self-reliance through training and optimises energy efficiency.