Since 2006 EnDev Bangladesh has been promoting the use of better cooking stoves under the brand name Bondhu Chula. The improved efficiency of the Bondhu Chula cooking stove saves fuel and prevents indoor air pollution through its use of a chimney. So far, EnDev has helped install 2.5 million Bondhu Chulas in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Bondhu Foundation (BBF) has been managing the activities of the Bondhu Chula Programme since February 2015.
Dipali Rani uses the Bondhu Chula stove. She lives in a densely populated and extremely poor neighbourhood located in a railway settlement of the Netrokona district in northern Bangladesh. The road leading to the district is muddy and slippery.
Disadvantages of traditional inefficient stoves
Dipali is a housewife and mother of two daughters, Puja and Shima, who both attend local schools. Dipali’s husband is a day labourer and the daily family income is low. The family lives in a small room where all their daily activities, such as sleeping, cooking and the children’s homework, take place. Dipali became interested in the Bondhu Chula after being informed about the various disadvantages of traditional inefficient stoves by the staff at BBF. She received information about medical conditions like asthma, headache, cancer and eye diseases. Dipali has suffered from eye problems since childhood and her left eye is sensitive to kitchen smoke. It was impossible for the children to study inside the home when the old stove was being used. They also had to spend a lot of time collecting fuel for cooking, which often meant they had to miss school.
Pollution free cooking
The family decided to buy the improved Bondhu Chula cooking stove and now the roof of their house has a chimney. When the family cooks, the air inside remains free of pollution because the smoke escapes through the chimney. Dipali says that over the last year she saved BDT 2000 (approx. 20 euros) in fuel costs. What’s more, she no longer has eye problems and now her daughters can study inside the house at any time of day.
Since 2005 the Endev program has provided 14.4 million household members with improved cooking solutions and as a result reduced exposure to indoor air pollution for 7 million women, children and men.