The BVCO-Sunfire Solutions project provides subsidised solar and fuel-efficient stoves to poor communities, allowing families to move away from open-fire cooking which requires enormous amounts of wood fuel and often leads to smoke-related illnesses. The project provides immediate environmental, economic, health and social benefits and is based on a business model that engages local communities and encourages grass-roots entrepreneurship.
The project locations are in Soweto, Polokwane and Acornhoek in South Africa. Each project focuses on communities that are currently struggling to meet their energy needs and have limited economic opportunities.
One target community is located in the Kruger National Park region. Firewood, or lack of it, is an increasing problem resulting in direct conflict with communities forced to enter the Park. Reliance on fossil fuels is a negative force to both those trying to escape poverty and halt the process deforestation.
Rural communities are eventually forced to buy paraffin or kerosene for cooking which creates health problems for community members. Indoor air pollution has been identified as the fourth biggest danger to women and children in developing countries and increases lung and eye disease.
South Africa is currently undergoing a major energy policy shift. A lack of power supply means millions of rural South Africans no longer have an opportunity to receive conventional electricity as promised by the Government in 1994. The Solar Entrepreneurs program presents one way to solve this issue while providing a unique solution to a range of other global issues. This program pioneers a unique intervention by making renewable energy accessible in the poorest segments of South African society at affordable prices.
To find out more about the BVCO-Sunfire Solutions Solar Stoves project, and how Nomadic Thoughts and our clients make a difference, please click here.