Changing Smoky Ugandan kitchens with Clean Cookstove

  • Safe Plan
  • Uganda
  • #Employment

Changing Smoky Ugandan kitchens with Clean Cookstove

3% $162 Achieved Achieved


Funding Target ㅣ$5,000

D-30 2024-08-23is the last day


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Impact Employment 30% Environment 20% Energy 50%
Safe Plan Uganda
Impact Employment Environment Energy

Growing up in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, Daniel was immersed in science from a young age. Assembling and disassembling broken radios and bicycles, Daniel dreamed of becoming an engineer, but his family's financial situation made it difficult for him to attend university. He worked as a salesman at a telecommunications company to make ends meet. However, it didn't mean he gave up on his dream of becoming an engineer.

"Working as a salesperson wasn't bad. I could live a more comfortable life than when I was younger, but something was missing. My future looked shuttered, so I saved money to build my welding shop."

One day, something unexpected happened to Daniel. His company suddenly places him in Masindi, a rural area in midwestern Uganda. Daniel was devastated because job placement made it more difficult for him to succeed in his plan to build his welding shop.

"The moment I heard that I was being sent to Masindi, I thought I would never be an engineer. I believed that there was anything I could do as an engineer in rural areas. I felt like my future was being shattered."

Daniel started to walk around the village and meet the customers in Masindi. Upon entering a small thatched house, he was shocked to see the poor living conditions in the rural area.

"It was a small thatched house with mud walls and straw covering. When I walked through the door, my breath caught in my throat, and my eyes stung. The narrow house, with no separation between the kitchen and bedroom, was filled with smoke. A woman was making a bonfire, and her children were huddled around. I was shocked to see people living in smoke, as I had only ever lived in cities."

The fumes from cooking like this are called "cooking fumes". It pollutes the air in your home, making it hard to breathe, and it even gets into your body, causing diseases like stroke, lung cancer, and dementia. After that day, Daniel thought about how to make a cleaner kitchen without cooking fumes and decided to build a low-cost cookstove. The people of Masindi were using open fires because cookstoves were too expensive.

"There are cookstoves in Masindi that are less smoky, but the problem is that they are too expensive - they cost $60,000, which is more than 60% of the monthly salary of the people in Masindi. Of course, the people of Masindi know that open fire smoke is bad for their health, but they have no choice."

Determined to build a cookstove, Daniel visited some young people working on a sugarcane plantation. They were students who had dropped out of school to earn money. They wanted to be an engineer like Daniel but had to give up their dream. So Daniel decided to build a cookstove with them. That's how he started SafePlan, a self-reliance project that teaches young people how to build cookstoves, including cutting metal plates and assembling clay molds.

"The reason I visited the young people working on the sugarcane plantation was because I wanted to give them a chance to become engineers. Even though I did not have the opportunity, I did not want that to happen to young people."

In the future, Daniel hopes to work with the youth to deliver cookstoves to low-income families across Uganda, beyond Masindi. Will you join Daniel in empowering rural Ugandans to cook safely?

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