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Emerging Cooking Solutions Zambia
Approved to post Kiva loans from: Zambia
Emerging Cooking Solutions (ECS) is a private company that sells clean cooking stoves and sustainable fuel pellets. ECS aims to help Zambia’s population, who mainly use smoky charcoal stoves, switch over to cleaner cooking methods. ECS produces the sustainable fuel by pelletizing forest waste (dry plant material) into renewable biofuel. The switch from charcoal to renewable biofuel will reduce deforestation and improve living conditions by limiting the negative health effects of smoke produced from charcoal stoves.
In addition to having negative health and environmental effects, the market for charcoal is unregulated. The sale of sustainable cooking fuels, on the other hand, is regulated and generates tax revenue. The additional tax revenue benefits the government and economic development of Zambia.
ECS’s vision is to replace at least half of the charcoal in Zambia with fuel pellets and eventually expand to other countries in the region.
A unique lending approach: ECS targets low-income people in urban areas who rely heavily on charcoal for cooking. Urban populations have the incentive to switch from charcoal to sustainable fuel pellets because fuel pellets are much cheaper.
ECS loans help small entrepreneurs and institutions purchase clean cooking stoves and fuel pellets. ECS entrepreneurial loans are given to borrowers that buy 10-50 stoves and then resell them with no mark-up to his/her clients. The entrepreneur/borrower becomes a cook stove and fuel provider in the local community, while earning a long-term income.
ECS institutional loans are given to schools and orphanages that cook for a large number of children. The loans help schools and orphanages get rid of charcoal usage and lower their fuel costs up to 70%. This will lead to significant savings in energy consumption as well as other health-benefits associated with reduced carbon emissions.