News from the Consulate - Cape Town
Clean Cookstoves for a Cleaner World
Senior U.S. officials visit to discuss the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves initiative with government, NGO and private sector
An estimated 600 million households worldwide use open fires and inefficient cookstoves for their primary cooking needs. At least 150 million of these homesteads are in Africa, in both rural and urban communities. The United States is an active participant in the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and two senior officials from the U.S. Department of State visited South Africa May 4-8, 2012, to discuss the initiative with government, NGO and private sector representatives. “There is important work already underway in South Africa to address this problem,” said Kris Balderston, U.S. Special Representative for Global Partnerships. “And I am confident we will find ways to work together more closely in the future.”
Balderston travelled to Cape Town’s Phillipi township and met with Raymond Khilimba, who uses an improved cookstove in his home and sells them to his neighbors. Khilimba says fellow Phillipi residents express growing interest in healthful, energy-saving alternatives to paraffin cookstoves and cookstove technologies. “People see their neighbors using them and they become interested,” Khilimba said. Khilimba’s wife was preparing a meal of samp and beans for the family using an improved cookstove at the time of the visit.
Khilimba is an agent for Restio Energy, which sells environmentally friendly cookstoves from space leased from in “The Business Place,” a non-profit (Section 21) company offering business services to local black entrepreneurs on the site of an old cement factory on the Cape Flats in Phillipi. Balderston was accompanied by Jacob Moss, U.S. Coordinator for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.