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South Sudanese women make energy-saving stoves in IDP camps

South Sudan

Access to electricity; one of the major problems faced by millions of displaced people in South Sudan.

In this camp in the Upper Nile region, cooking and warming food is no longer a problem.
Trained by the Rwandan troops of the United Nations Mission in Southern Sudan (UNMISS), a group of women is learning to build energy-saving stoves that retain heat longer and generate less smoke than traditional stoves.

“The stoves help us a lot because when we buy charcoal for about 25 cents it lasts about two days, whereas before, we used to spend 50 cents a day on charcoal. So we thank the Rwandan troops for this idea, we will pass on this knowledge to the rest of the camp, so that we can all benefit from it,” said Priscila Joshua Kur, an Internally Displaced Person and trainee in stove making.

Walking long distances in search of firewood exposes women to the risk of sexual abuse especially in remote areas. These stoves will reduce the risk because they won’t have to go out so often anymore.

Hazel Dewet, Head Office, UNMISS Malakal wants the stoves used in every block. “We will also ensure that all women at the civilian protection site have a truly important cooking method that limits the number of patrols required and reduces their exposure to danger while preserving our environment,” she said.

Since 2013, South Sudan has been in the thick of a civil war between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar.

The conflict has left tens of thousands dead and 4.5 million displaced, amid reports of mass rape and ethnic violence.

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