A loan helped a member to pay for an ACE cook stove, which will improve her life in terms of health, cost of fuel, and the time she spends collecting firewood.


Sokolang Makesi Group's story

Mafatsa is a married 49-year-old mother of six children. She lives with her 55-year-old husband and four of her children. They live in a two-roomed separate traditional hut that is not well-ventilated, nor warm in the winter. She and her daughter work long hours to ensure there is enough food for her family, some of whom are going to school and are only able to help her in the field on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mafatsa has to wake up very early, between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., during the week to start preparing the fire for cooking breakfast, heating water, and warming the house for all the children before they go to school. Collecting firewood, setting up the fire, and doing the actual cooking demands a lot of her time. After this she goes out to work in the field while her husband goes to work.

Temperatures in the Lesotho highlands are never really high. Winters can get very cold and often Mafatse has to start the fire inside her hut. Starting a fire releases smoke, which when inhaled in large quantities over a period of time can lead to lung diseases, eye problems, and in the worst case, death. In these circumstances, life for women like Mafatse is very difficult.

Mafatse and her group have requested a loan from Kiva lenders in order to be able to purchase clean cook stoves, which will provide her and eleven other people from her village, who are living in similar circumstances, the chance of cooking in a way that does not harm them and their families. The stoves will not require expensive paraffin, gas, or a lot of wood, which is hard to find in Lesotho. This stove can be started with the use of very little readily-available biomass, like dry twigs and dry cow dung and does not require much time to collect. It does not produce smoke while burning, thus making it safe to be used inside the home.

This stove comes with a solar panel for charging a battery, which runs the fan in the stove, a USB port for charging phones, and a mini LED lamp. It is a life-improving package for these women. These stoves save them time to be with their families, save energy, eliminate toxic inhalation, and give them a better lit home to see in the evening to cook and enabling their children to do their homework.

For more stove information, please check: www.africancleanenergy.com

In this group: Mafatse, Manthabeleng, Mamokete, Maponyane, Mamotseoa, Morongoe, Maphakiso, Mamookho, Mamatseliso, Malisebo, Mampolokeng, Mphonyane


This loan is special because:

It provides communities with energy saving cookstoves that also reduce pollution.



Loan details


Lenders and lending teams




Loan details