We were delighted to receive this kind note from Erik Wurster, Managing Director of Up Energy Group, Inc., relating his recent experience installing a Prakti Design Leo Chimney Stove in a remote Pygmy village in Rwanda.
Enjoy Erik’s story and photos!
I thought you’d enjoy my recent adventure to give a test stove made by Prakti Design in India to a family in a pigmy village (a highly marginalized ethnic group in Rwanda) near where we live. This is certainly not an example of how stoves should be installed efficiently and in large numbers, but it was fun and very well received. It’s important for us to test different technologies before purchasing large numbers of them, so this type of thing is instructive for our future business strategies. Prakti was kind enough to donate this test model to us. This stove is designed to accommodate a chimney but didn’t come with one, so not pictured below is how we convinced the machine shop at the hospital to custom weld and metal chimney to fit the stove.
First, we got the Partners in Health driver to drive us up to the village, which is about 30 minutes from where we live. We came upon a small landslide on our journey:
And then another landslide, which required convincing local farmers to clear the road before we could pass:
We finally arrived at the village, where all houses have been built by Partners in Health as part of their community outreach program. Only about a year ago, this community lived in small mud huts that fell apart every time it rained:
The house to receive the stove was at the top of the mountain, so we started hiking (for the record, I carried the stove most of the way up the mountain!). That’s Leonce carrying it. He leads community outreach for PIH:
We finally arrived at the house:
Here is the stove we are replacing – three stones in an unventilated building:
We put a hole in the wall for the chimney. The wall was surprisingly soft, so we could use a machete to make the hole:
We installed the custom chimney and screwed it into the stove body:
After we light the stove, we see that the chimney is venting properly:
I then explained proper use and maintenance to the woman of the house:
Happy user with no smoke inside:
I’ll visit her periodically over the next year to see how the stove is holding up and how she likes it.
“Traditional wood- and coal-burning stoves are a leading cause of death for women and children in India, killing nearly 500,000 people a year.”
Prakti Design was one of four key cookstove designers and manufacturers to demonstrate their cleaner, healthier cookstoves to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who took time out of her busy schedule to underscore her commitment to bring fuel-efficient cookstoves to developing countries. Clinton also used the visit to announce that two major Indian trade Federations, FICCI and CII, had pledged their support for the cookstove initiative.
Prakti set up two displays for the event: a Portable Emissions Monitoring System demonstration, as well as a full complement of stoves, including four household and two institutional stoves. Two cooks were on hand to do a ‘live’ demonstration of Prakti stoves by cooking a meal. The event was also the ‘world premier’ of Prakti’s latest design: a water heater and space heater module.
Prakti would like to thank Secretary Clinton and the representatives of the U.S. government for the opportunity to participate in this event. Additional information on Secretary Clinton’s visit can be found on the US Consulate’s website.
Prakti founder raising further awareness about improved cookstoves at the New African Connection conference, OsloPosted: June 25, 2011
Prakti founder and CEO Dr Mouhsine Serrar was invited by CARE to take part in the New African Connection Conference held in Oslo on June 21st and 22nd.
The conference was opened by his Royal Highness Crown Prins Haakon of Norway. Then a panel discussion took place featuring Kofi Annan, Ted Turner and Gro Harlem Brundtland, all members of the UN Foundations Board. The second day of the conference featured a range of speakers from both private and public sectors within areas of healthcare, finance and new technologies.As the co-chair of the Technology and Fuels working group of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Mouhsine explained the challenges met in disseminating improved cookstoves, and in particulat how to compete with the free open fires.
Mouhsine’s talk can be watched here.
400 75-litre Prakti Orka institutional stoves were shipped to Haiti on April 19, 2011 from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. These stoves will be used by the United Nations World Food Programme in their school feeding program in rural and peri-urban areas in Haiti. 100 of these stoves are currently in use, each stove feeding 150 children per meal. The fuel used for these stoves are low-density, hand-made briquettes made from waste materials, eliminating the need to use scarce and expensive resources such as wood or charcoal.
Dr. Mouhsine Serrar, founder and CEO of Prakti Design, will be leaving on 14 April for a two-week consultancy for the United Nations World Food Programme in Sudan. Mouhsine will work with the International Lifeline Fund to evaluate existing cook stoves in North and South Darfur. They will look at stove performance and usability, as well as strategies for implementation and adoption of different stoves. The consultancy will also develop proposals for alternate fuels and stoves.
Prakti Design won 2nd. prize in the Social Impact category at the Global Social Venture Competition(GSVC) held at the Haas Business School of the University of California at Berkeley on 7 April 2011. Prakti was one of 15 finalists out of a total of 850 applicants worldwide.
The Global Venture Social Competition is the most prestigious social business plans competition, organized by the Haas Business School at U.C. Berkeley.
Prakti Design had successfully presented its business plan at the French-speaking European semi-finals hel by the Essec Business School in Paris on February, 1st. Yesterday Suzanne presented it at the Europe, Middle-East, and Africa semi-finals held at the London Business School. Judges were impressed by both the business plan, the presentation, and the analysis of Prakti Design’s social impact. They selected Prakti for both the Blended Value Finals and the Social Impact Assessment one, to take place at U.C. Berkeley in early April.
Prakti Design is mentored by Magali Cubier (V.P Strategy at Orange), Gaetan Baudry (Project Manager at the Rotschild Foundations) and Nicolas Gaudron (Designer, CEO of id-sl) for the GSVC Competition. It is supported by Ecole des Mines de Paris where Suzanne is enrolled in a Master’s degree and the Essec Business School.