Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ivan Olwol, a resident in Kampala suburbs of Kitintale is a proud owner of a Biolite stove.
He is able to use the stove, which uses firewood to cook food, charge a phone, radio, laptop, tablet and light a torch when it’s dark.
According to Olwol, his stove is the envy of his visitors.
Olwol says she has used the biolite stove for five months and wouldn’t wish to replace it with anything else.
He instead wants to buy three more stoves for his relatives deep in the village who spend much to charge their phones despite the abundance of firewood at home that they can use to cook, charge and have light at all times.
Paul Byanyuri, a resident in Entebbe also says the stove is energy efficient, durable and helps him to save money since he only needs ten sticks of firewood that he bush at Shillings 1000 and can take him a week.
“I have used it for a year and I have taken long without having problems in cooking because it takes me one hour to have my beans ready,” he told URN.
Moses Kaija, one of the coordinators and supervisor at Super Sigiri Activations, which promotes the stove, says it comprises a thermal electric power generator at the back that has capacity to convert the heat into thermal energy.
He also says the stove enables one to save, prevent smoke and heat. “It is durable for up to 5 years plus and 68% made of cast iron which has concentrated stainless steel,” he told URN in an interview.
Kaija however, says it’s not advisable for one to use this stove inside the house at all times because the flames are risky to one’s life.
Andrew Abacha a worker with Biolite Energy Uganda told Uganda Radio Network that they have never had any complaints from their clients.
Abacha says the Biolite Stove has been in Uganda since 2013 and they have been working with several stakeholders like FINCA bank, helps in extending their services to people in rural areas.
He says the stove manufactured by Biolite Energy was made with American technology that originates from Brooklyn, New York, a company founded in 2009 by Jonathan Cedar.
In Uganda, one Biolite stove is costs Shillings 180,000. Currently, over 20,000 Ugandans are using the stove since it arrived in Uganda.
Cedar Jonathan, the founder of Biolite Energy, says they hatched the idea to provide a solution to the destruction of forests for wood fuel in developing countries.
He says the stoves have been availed in Uganda, Ghana and India and due to the deep mobile phone penetration, which helps people in various countries to stay connected with the rest of the world.
Approximately 70 percent of Ugandan households cook their meals on smoky, open wood fires which contribute greatly to the growing levels of carbon in the atmosphere.
In Uganda alone, roughly 13,000 people die annually due to indoor air pollution.