METGE’s Lorena energy cooking stoves uplift the plight of the visually impaired in rural communities

 Story by  Rogers Fungo- Assistant Project Officer MEACCE

February 2021

Ms Alice Muduwa has a visual impairment though she was not born blind. She lost her eye sight at the age of 17. 

At 41 years Ms Muduwa has lived with this condition for a period of 24 years and happily married to Mr Patrick Wetaka who live together with their five children in Bumusi B Village, Bumusi Parish, Bunyobo sub-county in Sironko District.

 Ms Muduwa has benefited greatly, by the provision of a Lorena stove provided by the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE) tree planting programme, to help rural women to use less firewood and reduce smoke.

In September, 2020, METGE in collaboration with one of its implementing partners the Mount Elgon Agroforestry Communities Cooperative Enterprise (MEACCE), identified Ms Muduwa as an ideal candidate  to benefit  from the provision of the Lorena stove with a relatively smoke free energy saving cooking stove. This was provided at no cost to Ms Muduwa.

F31A5996.jpg

 Ms Muduwa has benefited greatly, by the provision of a Lorena stove provided by the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE) tree planting programme, to help rural women to use less firewood and reduce smoke.

In September, 2020, METGE in collaboration with one of its implementing partners the Mount Elgon Agroforestry Communities Cooperative Enterprise (MEACCE), identified Ms Muduwa as an ideal candidate  to benefit  from the provision of the Lorena stove with a relatively smoke free energy saving cooking stove. This was provided at no cost to Ms Muduwa.

As a woman she had to feed her family but could find difficulty to prepare food using a three stone traditional fire stove. 

 

She narrates, “I am a blind woman, when my children and husband are not around I would always find difficulty to cook food because I was risking burning myself in the process of locating the fire place especially after lighting it up,’’ she says.

She continues, “But when METGE through MEACCE, helped me and constructed Lorena energy saving stove, it is easy for me locate the stove, light it up and prepare food for my family.”

“What I have to do is to feel the fire and I place a saucepan on top and the rest of the processes I use my senses and prepare a meal for my family and the new stove is relatively smoke free and uses less firewood.” 

 

“I do not now have to fetch firewood on a daily basis. I use about 3 to 4 sticks of firewood but before I used to prepare one meal as my children used to come back in the evening after school which is not the case now, they are home because of the restrictions due to COVID-19 on when all learners will go back to school. Even when the children are home, I am using the same firewood to have two meals ready on the Lorena stove,” she says.

 

”I no longer have to choke on smoke because I am blind. The stove regulates it. Another advantage is, it keeps food warm for a longer period and by the time my husband  comes back from work, he finds the food is still warm and I do not need to light up the stove again,” she says.

Ms Muduwa thanks METGE through its implementing partner MEACCE, for the great job they are doing for vulnerable women like her to also benefit from the tree planting programme.

“Such projects make life easy for some of us with little hope of having access to modern cooking stoves that are completely smoke free because we cannot afford them,” Ms Muduwa says.