Rocket stoves are not a new concept, but expensive electricity and load shedding mean everyone is thinking creatively about cooking.
We use Isitofu – a neat, pellet fed stove that is an effective and inexpensive cooking solution but also generates safe, clean heat. The pellets are made of waste from sawmills and other biomass that might otherwise go to waste.
There is no need to buy gas and paraffin for cooking anymore so for people without access to electricity, the benefits in terms of time and money are incredible too. Girls can go to school rather than collect wood, women can do other activities rather than making fire and watching food cook all day, there is less smoke inside homes and the financial benefits of buying less fuel are obvious. There is a huge positive impact on deforestation in less developed places.
Living in a community where there are often power cuts, it is great to be in possession of Isitofu which needs so little fuel and astonishes neighbours with its cooking! Long cooking things like samp and beans are soaked overnight, set on the stove to boil in the morning and then finished off in the Wonderbag or SunStove. Isitofu is used to cook sugar beans, tripe, vegetable curries, ijeqe (dumpling) with just a little wood that can be collected from gardens or roadsides, or even better, a cup full of pellets.
In cold weather the multi-purpose power of the Isitofu works well as a heater (imbawula) with the bonus of little smoke.
Isitofu (and Wonderbags) are available from the PlanetPellet Hut in the Community Garden.