The Clean Cooking Project BW

Our team is on a mission to tackle the pervasive challenge of limited access to clean, reliable, and affordable heating energy in Botswana and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Botswana, a staggering 46% of households nationwide, and a staggering 80% in rural areas, still rely on harmful and polluting biomass fuel for cooking and heating.
In urban and suburban areas, especially in townships where many reside in rented spaces, a majority turn to cleaner alternatives such as LPG gas and electricity but grapple with the burden of exorbitant costs. Recognising these critical issues, we have pioneered a comprehensive solution to revolutionise the heating energy landscape in our country.

Our focus is on designing, manufacturing and distributing cost-effective, energy-efficient biomass stoves boasting an impressive 60% efficiency. By significantly reducing biomass fuel consumption during cooking, even when utilising firewood, our stoves contribute to lower carbon emissions and mitigate the risk of smoke inhalation, particularly affecting women and girls who play pivotal roles as primary caregivers.
Key to our initiative is the development of clean, solid biomass fuel that is highly compatible with the biomass stoves and is made using wood derived from invasive bush trees, rampant across Botswana’s rangelands and farmlands. Bush encroachment, a wide-scale environmental problem in Botswana, can be strategically addressed through the controlled depopulation of these trees. Our project not only creates a value-added biomass fuel product from these invasive bush trees, but also directly combats the resultant land degradation—a pervasive issue leading to biodiversity loss, prolonged droughts, and significant challenges for smallholder farmers.

Our integrated approach aligns clean energy solutions with environmental conservation and restoration, providing accessible and affordable alternatives for households, small businesses, and in the long term – public institutions.Proving that access to clean cooking is at the nexus of many other SDGs, us addressing the urgent need for clean and affordable heating energy in our communities simultaneously has a ripple effect on other multifaceted sustainable development problems of poverty and livelihoods, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and adverse impacts on local agricultural practices and food production.

Overview of the issue and your approach: Globally it has been reported that 2.3 billion people still lack access to clean cooking, and only 17% of Sub-Saharan Africa's 1.18 billion population has access to clean cooking. This is possibly the greatest clean energy issue of our time that needs to be platformed more on the energy transition conversation, and needs to be funded more. Comparative to lack of access to electricity, data shows that 690 million people worldwide still lack access to electricity, indicating that access to electricity doesn't necessarily correlate to access to clean cooking, though both of course are crucial issues. Our approach is to use design, innovation and entrepreneurship to impact sustainable development and to be the innovators solving for this crucial issue in our community and in Africa. This way we provide solutions for the locals with the locals, by creating employment and viable economic value chains within our communities. Our designed products range from low-tech biomass stoves designed using the primitive technology of fired clay linings and hand-tool metal beating as shown in attached images, to more medium and high-tech stoves that require the use of laser cutting machines/forming presses/rollers, etc as shown in attached document.
The stakeholders in your project: Botswana Innovation, Technology and Research Institution (BITRI) - For material testing

Student Energy - We were part of the 2023 fellowship and our team lead Granny Lesiamang was a speaker on a panel "fuelling access to clean cooking" at the 2023 Student Energy Summit.

CrowdSolve - Training and grant prize of $1500

WomHub X De Beers Group - Part of the Trailblazer Accelerator program for Women in Green Tech

National Poverty Alleviation Office - Piloting with their beneficiaries