In Duncan Brothers’ tea estates, firewood is the only fuel used for cooking and often, an excessive amount is used due to 50% of heat being lost in traditional Chulas cooking stoves.
However, using large amounts of firewood is not feasible due to a shortage of forest areas in Bangladesh caused by the continuous felling and stealing of trees. Duncan Brothers have therefore introduced the use of an economic and eco-friendly stove with more advanced technology, offering installation at a reasonable cost and effectively reducing the amount of firewood used. Duncan Brothers plan to install this Improved Cooking Stove, known as the ICS, in phases to all garden workers’ houses.
Advantages of eco-friendly ICS
- Prevents felling / stealing of shade trees
- Eco-friendly; minimises air pollution
- Saving 50%-60% of firewood (cost reduction)
- Reduced cooking time; food value ensured
- Reduced respiratory diseases (less health hazard)
- Smoke free (prevents blackening and rusting of C1 sheet roof)
- Less blackening of cooking pots and utensils
- Less chances of accidental fire
- Reduces deforestation
With increase of population, depletion of forest resources and lack of fossil fuel, there is an ever increasing pressure on existing plantations in the gardens for collection of firewood for cooking. Until an alternative more cost-effective renewable energy source becomes available, ICS is the most effective solution for the foreseeable future.
From 2012-2015, a total of 246 ICS have been installed in garden staff and Sirders’ houses, reducing the amount of firewood used by 50%. 509 ICS have been approved for installation during 2016; so far 220 of these have been installed and a remaining 289 are in progress. It is expected that with adequate budgetary provision, all worker houses will be provided with ICS by 2020.