Minister´s Forum Series. Understanding Food Security across Latin America in times of COVID-19
16 June, 2020
24 June, 2020

Zamorano leads a country-wide improvement program for Honduras’ kitchen wooden stoves

More than a million families across Honduras who use traditional wooden stoves to cook their food are poised to benefit from this program.

Zamorano’s  Environment and Development Department (IAD) has played a key role in the construction process for the National Strategy of Improved Wood Stoves (ENAEM) in Honduras. Clean cooking technologies in place of the traditional wooden stoves bring benefits including greater affordability, easier implementation and environmental friendliness.  And perhaps the greatest advantage of all is the improved kitchen environment that has heretofore been a health hazard to Hondurans using the traditional wooden stoves.

ENAEM held a virtual event that included six strategic crosscutting lines, 22 objectives, and 68 activities.  The presentation addressed institutional and financial coordination, access to timber resources in homes, comprehensive strengthening of the value chain, cultural sensitivity, monitoring and evaluation. These improvements to traditional wooden stoves align with the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) of the United Nations (UN).

Other benefits include better management of firewood consumption in homes, optimization of household resources and poverty reduction, decreased stressors on forest resources, improved air quality in homes, reduced risk of respiratory diseases, comprehensive improvement of the value chain in the improved wood stoves area, fortification of women’s empowerment in the different value chain links, systematization of monitoring processes and increased access to information to facilitate work by different participants.

Zamorano´s representative at the Inter-Institutional Platform for the development of the improved wood stoves, Dra. Victoria Cortés, shared, “It is important to remember that more than 60% of the population in Honduras lives under the poverty line and given that firewood is the most affordable fuel source, more than a million homes depend on firewood to cook their food, and  79% of the energy in homes is sourced from firewood.

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Allan Mejia, representative for the Natural Resources and Environment Secretary (MiAmbiente), added: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not limited to people´s health, but also has economic and productivity implications. Rural and semi-urban populations are rendered vulnerable and dependent on firewood as a source of energy to cook their food. It is timely that ENAEM  implements these proposed improvement measures”.

Mr. Jorge Chi Ham, a biomass specialist in the office of  the Energy Secretary, explained, “Adoption of improved wood stoves will help Honduras reduce greenhouse emissions and also help approaches to addressing climate change issues. Adopting these improvements supports Honduras’ proposed National Strategy”.

ENAEM was created to address construction methodology recommendations following a participant survey developed by the Voice Association for Change (V4CP), led by the Dutch Cooperation Development Service (SNV) and financed by the Dutch Foreign Relations Ministry (DGIS). ENAEM was also created in alliance with partner organizations including the Honduran Environment and Development Foundation, (Fundación Vida), the  Hermandad de Honduras Association (HdH), as well as government entities such as the Health Secretary (SESAL), the Natural Resources and Environment Secretary (MiAmbiente), the Energy Secretary (SEN), the Conservation Institute, the Forestry Development of Protected Areas and Wildlife (ICF) and the Social Inclusion and Development Secretary (SEDIS).

Zamorano’s Center for the Evaluation of Improved Stoves (CEEM) strives to combine technical knowledge in the government sector, international cooperation, ONG, private companies, faculty and other key players with proven improvements to the wooden stove sector.

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