Worldwide, it is estimated that three billion people cook in an open fireplace with wood or charcoal as a fuel. This produces soot and toxic carbon monoxide and it is estimated that four million people a year die prematurely of air pollution.
“Today, toxic coal smoke from cooking causes more deaths than malaria and it takes six tons of wood to produce one ton of charcoal”, says Per Löfberg, co-founder of the Swedish-Zambian company Emerging Cooking Solutions.
“We have developed a system of pellet-fired stoves that help to save forests, reduce the time of cooking, and enhance health and household economies. We want to see an end to deforestation in Africa and are looking to developing countries such as Zambia”, Löfberg continues.
“This is not about traditional stoves that you see in modern Western homes but stoves fired with wood pellets. Primarily, we focus on low-and middle-class people living in cities and who can buy the stove by deduction from the salary from their employer."
"We also supply larger stoves to restaurants that use charcoal or LPG gas. For poor families, the stoves are in some cases funded with the help of donations and sponsorship, and we are working hard to get access to real cheap stoves with high quality. The price of wood pellets is very competitive compared to charcoal”, says Per Löfberg.