In Vietnam a high percentage of the population live in rural areas meaning that over ten million people are living and cooking mostly using wood as cooking fuel.

Only ten percent of the population uses Improved Cooking Stoves, which are stoves specifically made to make better use of the fuel.

Improved Cooking Stoves are designed to be efficient, safe, affordable, durable, convenient to use, and with reduced emissions.

In this project 180 households had their traditional, inefficient stove replaced with Improved Cooking Stoves. The stoves cost US$7 and this cost was covered by NCA. Once the stoves were installed each household saved approximately US$4.50 per month by no longer having to purchase wood as fuel for cooking.

As well as Improved Cooking Stoves the project implemented Biogas installation for homes that had pigs. The pig manure was converted to Biogas for cooking. The project also installed Solar Panels in the local school and a vertical garden, as well as teaching villagers about composting techniques.

Traditionally, it is the women and children who spend many hours collecting wood for fuel for their daily cooking. Homes (and small local restaurants) use their cooking stoves to cook food for their daily lives, to cook pig feed and to dry farm products such as tobacco, tea, corn, cassava and coffee. The traditional stove, using wood, does not burn efficiently, and produces smoke with its associated health hazards e.g eye and lung disease.

Improved Cooking Stoves allow many other forms of fuel to be used, such as rice straw which is often just burnt in the fields. Other fuels such as peanut shells, corncobs, sawdust, and shavings can also be used. Cooking time can be improved by about 40 per cent, reducing dust and smoke and the stoves use fuel much more efficiently. On top of this the resulting waste from the stove, Biochar, can be used in composting to improve the quality of the farmer’s soil.

Changing to the Improvement Stoves will help rural people improve their use of energy, save money by not having to purchase wood, save the environment from deforestation, prevent soil degradation and improve the health of families.

Donor: Nordic Church Aid (NCA)
Project Date: 2013
Location: Huong Loc Commune, Nam Doug District, Phong Hien, Phong Son Communes, Phong Dien District and Quang Tho Commune, Q Dien District.