New partnership for healthier cooking in Samlout district


SNV has partnered with stove manufacturer Envirofit and the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation (MJP) to test stove acceptability in rural north-western Cambodia. As part of its on-going series of assessments to test the social acceptability of novel cooking technologies and alternative fuels, SNV’s Advanced Clean Cooking Solutions team has partnered with stove manufacturer Envirofit and the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation (MJP) to test stove acceptability in rural north-western Cambodia. 

Through its support to commune health posts in Battambang’s Samlout District, MJP’s health team has recently observed an increase in reported respiratory illness, believed to be caused by cooking smoke from biomass fires. "Smoke produced from traditional biomass stoves damages the lungs, predisposes Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIs), and, over time, contributes to chronic heart conditions and lung cancer. These health risks are a daily reality for villagers living in Samlout" says Dr. Arjun Chandna, Project Leader for MJP’s INSPIRE project. "The traditional stoves also contribute to the rapid destruction of Cambodia’s forests and protected areas, including Samlout Protected Area", says Stephan Bognar, CEO of MJP. "We’re hoping the INSPIRE project will reduce pressure on valuable native forests whilst improving the health and livelihoods of the villagers".

Through the INSPIRE project (Indoor Smoke Pollution Reduction Enterprise), MJP engages local authorities, health practitioners, villagers and local businesses to explore opportunities for the introduction of healthier biomass stoves and renewable biomass fuels through the local rural economy. To provide community members with access to cleaner cookstoves and alternative fuels, MJP reached out to SNV’s Advanced Clean Cooking Solutions (ACCS) project. To kick-off the collaboration, the ACCS team made 8 Envirofit PCS-1 stoves available to households in 8 villages in the Samlout district, and provided initial group training at the partnership launch event.

Employing a tried-and-proven Consumer Acceptability and Willingness-to-Pay study methodology, the selected cooks are now given ample time to try out this novel stove in their homes and to report back to the project partners about their experiences. According to laboratory testing, the PCS-1 can reduce smoke by up to 80% and fuelwood consumption by up to 60%. The villagers, and also the village chiefs and district governor of Samlout are excited to be among the first to try out such an advanced stove that is not yet available for sale in Cambodia. "We are keen to see if this might be a good stove for the people of Samlout" says In Saoverith, Samlout District Governor.

"SNV Netherlands Development Organisation is grateful for the warm welcome we have received from the people of Samlout, and we are honoured to partner with MJP to explore together how a greater number of community members here can gain access to cleaner and healthier cooking solutions", says Dennis Barbian, Project Adviser for SNV. With a burgeoning market for cleaner biomass cookstoves and alternative fuels in the making, change may just be on the horizon.

Photo: Stove introduction and practical user training for the Envirofit PCS-1 advanced wood stove.