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Improved cookstoves improve life in a variety of ways. More spacious stoves can accommodate multiple pots at one time, significantly reducing the time it takes to make dinner. With improved ventilation methods, families don't have to inhale dangerous smoke. A decreased reliance on firewood means healthier soil. The list goes on and on.

These photos were taken in Lower Gweru, Mdubiwa Ward, Matshina Village, Zimbabwe, where the community was recently outfitted with improved cookstoves.

Open-fire stoves are typically surrounded by smoke and the smell of burning wood. They require large amounts of firewood to cook for the entire family. Each dish must wait its turn because these stoves only hold two pots at a time. Soot builds up on the bottom of the pots and it takes a lot of time to start a fresh fire for more cooking.

In the photo above, a woman proudly displays her new improved cookstove. She is able to cook three pots at once and use residual heat on the corner of the stove to warm an additional pot of water to use later for bathing. The new stove is conveniently located indoors, where it is safe from the weather, and features a vent that funnels the exhaust outside.



Erin Snow

Erin Snow joined Heifer International in 2007 after earning a degree in Mass Communication from UALR. She lives in Little Rock with her husband and daughter. Passionate about cultivating positive and healthy relationships with her family, friends and the planet, Erin enjoys yoga, meditation, music, creative writing and travel.