In Ghana, families can spend up to fifty percent of household income on cooking fuel. This not only puts undue strain on low-income households, but use of inefficient traditional cookstoves creates health hazards as a result of Indoor Air Pollution (IAP). Furthermore, Ghana has one of the highest rates of deforestation in West Africa, largely resulting from the high demand for charcoal as cooking fuel.

Beginning in 2002, the Gyapa Fuel-Efficient cookstove program, which initially targeted the reduction of IAP and environmental degradation, has grown into one of the largest cookstove carbon financing programs in Africa. Maintaining this market based focus, the value chain has developed into a local production industry with an integrated distribution and sales network that is currently delivering the most popular fuel efficient cookstove to eager consumers across Ghana.

Three production centers in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi consist of five certified ceramists and 450 metal artisan manufacturers who produce annually approximately 100,000 Gyapa fuel efficient cookstoves. These stoves are sold throughout the southern regions of Ghana by over 500 retail outlets, and are estimated at having 10 percent of the market share throughout major urban centres.

The Gyapa stove technology reduces charcoal usage by 50 to 60 percent, providing tremendous socioeconomic, environmental, and health benefits to stove users and their communities. Since 2007, RI/EW has sold over 336,000 fuel efficient stoves and reduced over 600,000 tons of carbon emissions. This has helped over 2 million Ghanaians significantly reduce household expenditure on cooking fuel, saving Gyapa Stove users more than $34 million.

The ceramists, manufacturers and retail agents are all operating in the informal sector. RI/EW actively supports the business expansion of these entrepreneurs through trainings, technical assistance, business support services and strategic investments. The company also works to expand market opportunities and penetrate into new markets. Increasing market demand through strategic social marketing campaigns not only raises product awareness but also informs communities on the benefits of this technology, enabling the consumer to purchase a product that saves money, improves the health of their families, and reduces the strain on Ghana’s natural forests.

By the end of 2011, RI/EW received its first issuance of carbon credits for the Gyapa cookstove covering the period from 2008 to June 2010. This was the largest single issuance of Verified Emission Reductions for cookstoves to date under the Gold Standard Regulating Authority of the Voluntary Market.

Providing an effective and sustainable means of poverty alleviation, this market based approach has allowed RI/EW to interact with beneficiaries as customers, base monitoring and evaluation reports off the sales figures and enable individuals to make conscious decisions about household savings and family health through a product that is valued, desirable and accessible. In addition to these consumer health and environmental benefits, the manufacture and sale of Gyapa cookstoves provides employment opportunities throughout the stove’s value chain in the local economies.

This success is not only limited to Ghana. RI/EW promotes clean and fuel-efficient cookstove initiatives in Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Lebanon, Nepal, Somalia and throughout East and West Africa.

To learn more about Gyapa Cookstove Production visit this link: http://youtu.be/llUNqcqjKG0

For more information please contact mackenzie.dove@ri.org


About EnterpriseWorks and Relief International

EnterpriseWorks, a division of Relief International, utilizes sustainable, enterprise-oriented solutions to combat poverty’s systemic impacts. For 35 years, EW has built local private-sector driven efficiencies in energy, water, agriculture, and natural products/natural resource management value chains. Relief International is a Los Angeles-based global humanitarian organization that transforms adversity into renewal for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Relief International’s team of 2,000 relief and development professionals work to bridge the gap between immediate emergency relief and long-term community development through innovative and holistic programming that is grassroots-based. Since its establishment in 1990, Relief International has provided assistance in more than 50 countries. In 2009, EW merged with Relief International bringing together two leaders in their respective fields. For more information, please visit and www.enterpriseworks.org. www.ri.org