- An assembly facility for fuel-efficient stoves has been launched in El Fasher, the capital of the Darfur region, in Sudan. The Berkeley, California-based Darfur Stoves Project (DSP), in partnership with Oxfam America and the Sudanese organisation, Sustainable Action Group (SAG), are an alliance behind the project.
The assembly facility is the last stop on a global technology solution supply chain that starts with testing and design in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California and stops in a manufacturing facility outside of Mumbai, India before arriving, ultimately, for assembly in Darfur, Sudan.
After weeks of training in stove assembly for residents of Al Salam, one of Darfur's many crowded displacement camps, the small facility now produces dozens of stoves for displaced families every day, while providing a source of income for the assembly workers in the process.
Scott Sadlon, a Mechanical Engineer and recent Stanford graduate, just returned from a two-month trip to North Darfur where he oversaw the formation of the Berkeley-Darfur Stove® assembly facility. Working alongside DSP partners Oxfam America and SAG to establish the facility and train the assembly workers from the camps, he oversaw the creation of a safe, efficient workshop.
Returning from Darfur, Mr Sadlon commented, "This new partnership with Oxfam America will significantly increase production beyond the 5,000 stoves already assembled and distributed...this is a big step." With the new assembly facility, the total number of stoves assembled and distributed will increase to roughly 15,000 stoves, a 200 percent improvement, the alliance has said.
400,000 displaced and refugee families are in need of cooking solutions to meet their basic survival needs in Darfur and neighbouring Chad.
According to Andree Sosler, DSP's Executive Director, "opening this workshop in Darfur brings us closer to our goal of equipping each displaced and refugee family with a fuel-efficient stove. This is just the start."
Each stove reduces wood consumption three to four times compared with the traditional three-stone stoves used in the region. As a result, Darfur's women leave the relative safety of the camps less frequently, thereby decreasing the risk of sexual violence.
The Berkeley-Darfur Stove® 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 with the support of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley.
The Darfur Stoves Project (DSP) is a nonprofit organisation founded in 2005 with the goal of improving the safety and wellbeing of displaced and refugee families in Darfur by providing cookstoves that use three to four times less fuel than a traditional three-stone fire. DSP is working to make a meaningful contribution by reducing both the frequency with which women leave the relative safety of the camps and the money and food rations commonly traded for firewood.
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