DIB's eco-village project in South Asia aims to reduce poverty while limiting greenhouse gas emissions. In Sri Lanka, DIB's partner IDEA works with the eco-village concept by promoting the Anagi cooker, among other things.
The Anagi cooker is a ceramic cooker which is cheaper to produce than a traditional cooker. It is fuel efficient and meticulously designed to ensure a sustainable and hygienic way of cooking. 90% of all households in Sri Lanka's rural areas use biomass in the form of firewood as a fuel source for cooking. Instead of replacing the largest fuel source, biomass consumption is minimized to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this way, the stove is an environmentally friendly solution that is adapted to local and rural conditions, needs and prerequisites.
The combustion chamber on the stove is designed to hold coconut shells, palm leaves and wood. In traditional stoves more smoke is often generated than is the case with the Anagi stove, which instead of smoke forms a flame. This results in rising temperatures, making cooking faster and reducing smoke formation. The hot gases produced in the stove are passed down through the bottom of the two pots, and the construction ensures an even distribution of heat in the stove.
The Anagi cooker is a less expensive alternative to the traditional cooker. It costs approx. 18 DKK and lasts between 1.5-3 years depending on how much it is used. Local stove users often describe it as convenient and more efficient. The special design makes cooking pots easier and faster, and the two pot holes allow you to cook more dishes in less time. Furthermore, reduced tree consumption means that less time is spent looking for firewood in the forest or less money to buy it. They therefore save time and money by using the Anagi cooker.
There are also health-enhancing effects of Anagia. Since most kitchens in rural areas lack a chimney or other ventilation, the house is often contaminated with unhealthy gases from cooking. It is estimated that approx. 4 million people die each year due to high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and other particles in the kitchen. Due to the traditional gender division of household work in most of Sri Lanka, women are the driving force in the household, making them responsible for cooking and childcare. This means that it is women and children who are constantly exposed to indoor air pollution. The emission of the toxic carbon monoxide gases means that the children's breathing is affected before they have developed their lungs at all. This can lead to impairment of lung function or perhaps a chronic lung disease. The Anagi cooker minimizes indoor pollution as it reduces the formation of smoke and therefore in the long run helps prevent lung diseases and cancer. A smoke-free environment generally improves family well-being. The remarkable reduction of cooking time means that less time now has to be spent in an unhealthy smoked environment, and there is extra time for other important things such as to take care of the children.
- The environmental benefits: A study by IDEA shows that the Anagi cooker reduces emissions by approx. 111-266 kg CO2 per person per year. This means that if 100,000 stoves are replaced with Anagi, then greenhouse gas emissions from these households will be reduced by 42%. A well-constructed and properly operated Anangi stove will use up to 30% less firewood than traditional open fireplaces, which in the long run can help reduce deforestation. The opportunity to reduce deforestation is especially important for a country like Sri Lanka, where only 20% of the total land area is covered by forested areas.
- The social-economical benefits: With high demand for Anagi cookers also follows a high delivery rate. This creates a natural place for the local potters, who have the opportunity to produce the requested Anagi cookers in order to create a stable income and a healthy financial situation.
- Time and fuel saving: IDEA conducted a demonstration by Anagi in September 2016 to promote the stove in a local community. There were obvious differences between the traditional three-stone stove and the Anagi stove. It took 56 min. and 1000g firewood to make a meal on the traditional stove. On the Anagi stove it took 41 min. and a consumption of 650g firewood. Thus, there was a time saving of 15 min. and a fuel saving of 350g. These results have been used by IDEA staff to calculate how much a family can save by installing an Anagi cooker. If a family saves on average 15 min. per. meal per day, they save 6.4 hours a week and a full 25.6 hours in a month. This is a significant reduction in cooking time that the woman in the family can now spend on other things. The Anagi cooker is a good and sustainable solution. It is both time-saving, has less fuel consumption and creates healthier cooking conditions.
Read more about DIB's eco-village project here.