An aid worker lands on the scene and hands out a relief item favourite: the clean-energy cookstove. But can a solar model, for example, provide enough energy to prepare rice or beans? Not really, experts say, urging relief agencies to tailor their assistance to better fit the practical needs and cultural settings on the ground.
“You can't tell a woman how to cook her meals,” Daniel Wolf, executive director of the Washington-based International Lifeline Fund said at a panel discussion last week on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and Climate Week NYC.
“(It would be like) telling an Italian woman how to cook pasta - that from now on she has to cook it in the microwave,” said Wolf.
Currently, 500 million households around the world do not have access to clean, safe energy, experts say.
Clean cookstoves are meant to help people cook their meals, but many models do not cater to the needs posed by different settings.
StoveTeam International has designed the Ecocina stove specifically for the Latin American population and encourages local production of cookstoves so factories can easily respond to the needs in each area.