Monitoring the use of eco-friendly cook stoves in the Sahel region with Tiipaalga
Tiipaalga, meaning ‘new tree’ in the local Moore language, is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Burkina Faso. Tiipaalga works with families in the arid Sahel region to improve their living conditions sustainably and independently, while promoting reforestation. Covering 222 villages in the northern provinces of Bam and Loroum, Tiipaalga trains women to build and use energy efficient cookstoves, mitigating deforestation and its effects while improving the lives of women who have to walk long distances to collect wood and are exposed to noxious fumes while cooking.
Above: Women building energy efficient cookstoves in the village of Goungla, Burkina Faso, 2017.
The Sahel region of Africa is a belt that spans over 5,000 km from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Northern Burkina Faso sits in this arid belt, and is menaced by desertification and limited natural resources. With firewood constituting over 80% of the countries energy needs, Burkina Faso’s deforestation rate is alarmingly high.
Tiipaalga staff members train village leaders to build energy efficient cookstoves, which save women 60% of firewood. The project is funded through the carbon credit market. By saving trees, Tiipaalga receives carbon credits which can then be sold according to the Gold Standard certification. In order to monitor the use of cookstoves and maintain the Gold Standard, Tiipaalga needed a tool that would be able to assist them in capturing and monitoring high quality data.
An energy efficient cookstove being built in the village of Goungla, Burkina Faso, 2017.
Tiipaalga and Akvo began working together in 2013, with Tiipaalga able to receive local training, support and consultancy from the Akvo team based in Ouagadougou. Akvo Flow allows them to capture high quality data in areas with little or no signal coverage and monitor that data regularly to ensure they can deliver on the Gold Standard need by demonstrating cook stove use.
The Tiipaalga team visit villages in the northern provinces to introduce villagers to the new cookstoves, and hold sessions for the whole community to learn about the negative effects of open fire cooking on the health of the women and the environment. The village then appoints leading women to be trained by Tiipalga in building the cook stoves, which are made of a durable mix of banco, hay and straw. The leading women are then able to train other women in building, maintaining and regularly monitoring the cookstoves.
Since partnering with Akvo, Tiipaalga has a clear overview of the progress that has been made. The team have the data to follow up with the right community members at the right time, and have an easy way of monitoring and evaluating their progress. What’s more, they have fostered an extensive network of 2,000 women leaders in these villages who are able to pass their knowledge on to other community members, improving the livelihoods of the community sustainably and independently.
Throughout the 10 year lifespan of this project, Tiipaalga will generate 700,000 tons of carbon credits. Carbon credits create a demand for reducing carbon emissions by giving pollution a monetary value. Using Flow, Tiipaalga is able to document the number of emissions saved and share this data in order to receive their carbon credits.