The secret to Jollof rice is good tinned tomatoes and plenty of spices, or so we’ve been told by Vivian, a food vendor we met in Ghana, who works at Sweet Mother’s restaurant to support her family.
Preparing traditional meals ahead of the evening rush in Accra, Ghana’s capital, Vivian cooks her famous rice using a Gyapa stove, which is up to 60% more efficient than the traditional stove it has replaced.
The stoves’ intelligent design contains a ceramic liner, helping to retain heat and cook food more quickly. Crucially, the stoves also emit less smoke; benefiting Vivian, her family and the environment.
In West Africa, families can spend a large proportion of their household income on cooking fuel but by using a Gyapa stove Vivian is able to get the same delicious results using half the amount of charcoal, subsequently reducing her fuel costs by around $100 per year.
The benefits of the Gyapa stove project, which Co-op Insurance is supporting, range far beyond the end user and start from the stoves’ conception.
The Project, which has been accredited to a Gold standard provides the skills and training required to facilitate an entire supply chain, and our team at the Co-op had the chance to visit multiple stages in the production process, from scrap metal collection to cementing and selling.
The liners are made by a small group of accredited local ceramicists who have received specialist training. The metal claddings are made by a further group of accredited manufacturers, and the project supports the marketing and distribution of stoves through a wide network of retailers.
On our travels, we also met Ebrahim Dawuda, a wholesaler who sells ceramic liners. Ebrahim told us that thanks to the project, he is able to pay his children’s school fees and use some of his income for rent, and other utility bills.
There are thousands of people like Vivian and Ebrahim, each with their own story, who are benefiting from the stoves. But perhaps most crucially, helping to create jobs which provide families with vital income.
In fact, through the project part funded by our carbon offset programme, Co-op Insurance has helped to support access to clean cooking for a year, for more than 140,000 people in Ghana.
It’s incredible to think that something as simple as a $10 stove is improving the quality of life for thousands of Ghanaians whilst helping to reduce the world’s carbon emissions, and we’re proud to play a small part in addressing a growing global issue.
Businesses have a critical role in building a sustainable future for our planet but we all have a part to play in tackling the pressing issue of climate change. Offsetting a proportion of our customers’ carbon footprint for a year is one of the ways we’re making it easier for people to make this happen.