Darfur Stoves Project Announces New Partnership with Plan Canada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aid organizations launch partnership to provide clean cookstoves to women in Darfur

El Fasher, Sudan and BERKELEY, CA — March 9, 2011 —

The Berkeley-based nonprofit, Darfur Stoves Project, and the international development organization, Plan Canada, announced Wednesday the launch of a new partnership to provide fuel-efficient cookstoves to women in Sudan’s war-torn region of Darfur. The partnership seeks to protect Darfuri women by providing them with specially developed stoves which are more energy efficient, decreasing women’s exposure to violence while collecting firewood and their need to trade food rations for fuel.

According to Andrée Sosler, Darfur Stoves Project’s Executive Director, “The partnership with Plan Canada will help extend our reach, enabling us to reach 1,500 additional families in the next three months. We are delighted to enlist Plan as our newest field partner, and hope this will mark the beginning of a long-term collaboration between our organizations.”

In Darfur, conflict has claimed the lives of at least 300,000 people and created almost three million internally displaced persons (IDPs), most of whom have taken refuge in camps. Families in IDP camps receive food aid and cooking oil from humanitarian aid organizations; however, families are still responsible for gathering firewood for cooking. Because of the desert-like terrain and the large populations in the IDP camps, wood is scarce. Traditionally, women and girls are responsible for obtaining cooking fuel, venturing for hours on foot to collect wood, risking assault during these treks. Because of increasing pressure on Darfur’s environment there is almost no wood available within walking distance of the camps, and today most women must sell a portion of their food aid for cash to purchase firewood.

These fuel-efficient stoves dramatically decrease the amount of fuel women need each day. For women still collecting wood, the stoves reduce the frequency of their treks outside the camps and their exposure to violence. For the majority who are now trading food aid for cash to purchase wood, the fuel-efficient stove enables them to save money and provide more food to their families.

The Berkeley-Darfur StoveTM was developed by a team of scientists and engineers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA under the supervision of Dr. Ashok Gadgil. To date, approximately 15,000 Berkeley-Darfur Stoves have been distributed in Darfur.

Following a visit to Darfur, Plan Canada’s Diana Gee-Silverman commented, “Not only are these fuel-efficient stoves reducing the domestic burden and violence against women, but they are addressing associated environmental issues, like deforestation. When you take into account the work we’ve done to mobilize communities to participate in the project, it’s been a win-win on so many levels.”

The new partnership follows the launch of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in September 2010. This pioneering $250 million public-private partnership aims to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s “100 by 20” goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance will work with public, private and nonprofit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment and use of clean cookstoves in the developing world.

For more information, please contact Andree Sosler at andree@darfurstoves.org or at (510) 848-8486.
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The Darfur Stoves Project (DSP) is a grassroots initiative founded in 2005 by Berkeley scientist, Ashok Gadgil that seeks to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and protect the environment in Darfur. Produce development was conducted by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, students at University of California, Berkeley, and members of the San Francisco Professional Chapter of Engineers without Borders. Today the Darfur Stoves Project is managed by the not for profit organization, Technology Innovation for Sustainable Societies. DSP receives support from individuals around the world, as well as UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies and Sustainable Products and Solutions Program.

Plan Canada is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries. Founded in 1937, we are one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, we have only one agenda: to improve the lives of children.