Relief International worked with vulnerable communities in Ghana to develop, produce and market a fuel-efficient charcoal cookstove, called the Gyapa.
By most indicators, Ghana is considered a developing country. However, pockets of fragility exist throughout the country as the result of entrenched poverty coupled with worsening environmental degradation.
Relief International worked with these vulnerable communities to develop, produce and market a fuel-efficient charcoal cookstove, called the Gyapa. The Gyapa, which means “good fire”, offers an alternative to traditional cookstoves or open fires.
The majority of Ghana’s population relies on charcoal and wood for their household cooking needs, which exerts significant pressure on the country’s natural resources. These inefficient cooking practices also contribute to the onset of climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and aerosols, including black carbon.
The use of traditional cooking methods also have serious implications on public health. Toxic smoke inhalation from these traditional cooking methods can cause a range of chronic illnesses, including lung cancer, cataracts, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight. According to the Clean Cooking Alliance, exposure to cooking smoke causes nearly four million premature deaths each year, including 18,000 deaths in Ghana every year.
The Gyapa offers a safe alternative to traditional cooking methods and the toxic fumes they emit. To date, more than 1.4 million Gyapa stoves have been sold across Ghana, saving an estimated 4.2 million tons of CO2 emissions.
In accordance with the RI Way, our organization’s signature method of working, the Gyapa stove works to foster economic opportunities in Ghana by keeping production local. Relief International teams still offer our technical guidance, when needed, however, the Gyapa stove is now produced by a self-sustaining network of Ghanian small business run by our local NGO partner – SUDRA. More than 13,000 stoves are produced each month by 350 local manufacturers and sold at more than 600 community retailers across Ghana. The award-winning Gyapa is widely acknowledged as one of West Africa’s leading social enterprises.
- Economic Opportunity