In Agnam-Goly it is the women who do the cooking including breakfast, lunch and dinner. They mostly do their cooking on an open fire and occasionally they use butane gas during the raining season as the wood becomes wet and hard to find in the forest at that time of the year. Some women buy the wood from carters who supply it, which is expensive, while most of the women go daily through the forest to collect firewood, which is a chore along with the other housework they do including fetching water, washing dishes, laundering, going to the market, cooking, taking care of children, among others. In this situation, we have as an objective to lessen the heavy workload of the women of Agnam-Goly and make their daily housework easier by implementing there, some social innovation products.
Our first project in this case is to implement in Agnam-Goly a Philips stove which is actually a revolutionary woodstove design that can improve the cooking conditions in developing countries. According to Philips, by burning more efficiently, the stove reduces the demands on the existing energy supply chain. It also cuts the smoke and toxic emissions that cause 1.6 million deaths a year according to the World Health Organization. So it’s obvious that the health of these women is in danger as they are almost in permanent contact with open wood fires. They run the risk of fatal respiratory diseases due to smoke exposure and toxic emissions. According to Philips, “the woodstove reduces pollution from smoke to a tenth, and organic volatile emissions to one-hundredth of the level of traditional, threestone cooking fires.”
If we gain a partnership with Philips, we are planning to experiment with a prototype of the stove in the Agnam-Goly village. A market analysis will follow that first step and then a supply chain of the Philips stove to equip the 320 families of Agnam-Goly and neighbor villages with a healthy smokeless gel fuel machine. The idea is to assess if there are any entrepreneurs in Agnam-Goly who would like to run the business of making the stove itself locally after Philips training. The entrepreneurs will make an income from making and selling the stove in Agnam-Goly and surrounding villages. Not only does the Philips stove improve women health conditions in Agnam-Goly but it also generates an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs.