Monthly Archives: March 2010

Project Gaia Offers Haitian Relief

Bringing the promise of hastened recovery for Haitian families devastated by the recent earthquake, Project Gaia International, a global clean-cooking initiative, announces a new effort to place clean-cooking, ethanol-fueled stoves in Haitian homes.
“Since the earthquake, most Haitian households have been forced to rely on charcoal and firewood for cooking,” said Harry Stokes, Director of Project Gaia International. “Some families must spend up to 40% of their income on cooking fuel alone. And while burning charcoal is less polluting than burning firewood, charcoal production takes days, creates pollution, and deforests the land.” Haiti is already more than 98% deforested.
Stokes believes Project Gaia has a solution for Haitian families: a stove fueled by clean-burning ethanol. “Ethanol has been thoroughly tested for cooking and is in use today in Africa and Brazil. Ethanol fuel produces no smoke, no soot, and no dangerous gases.” Ethanol is also cheaper than kerosene, charcoal, or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). “Best of all, ethanol is a renewable resource that can be made right in Haiti,” he added.
The ethanol-fueled stove also cooks faster than a wood or kerosene stove. “Our ethanol-burning stove has been tested extensively and is in use today in Africa and Brazil. It performs like an LPG stove but without the pressure. Its unspillable fuel canister makes it the safest stove on the market.”
Project Gaia plans a three-phase program for their Haitian stove-and-fuel effort. During the first phase, they will place clean-cooking stoves in a targeted community. Project Gaia staff and local partner Viva Rio will set up a fuel supply chain, provide technical support and training in stove operation, monitor stove usage, and report progress to the Haitian government and interested partners. “Brazil has kindly donated the ethanol for this phase of the Haiti project,” Stokes said.
Next, Project Gaia will extend stove-and-fuel placement to IDP camps and large communities, working with local organizations to coordinate this expansion. “Rice, water, and utensils are being solicited internationally. But how will people be able to cook? Where will the energy come from?” asked Stokes. “This is the problem we hope to solve with our stove-and-fuel effort.”
Based on stove-and-fuel acceptance, Project Gaia will encourage the Haitian government to enact a biofuels plan that will stimulate production of alcohol fuels for cooking. “Haiti is ideally suited to produce ethanol,” Stokes observed. “Mills and distilleries are already in place.” Waste created by sugar cane production provides ample raw material for starting a cooking-fuel industry.
Project Gaia will offer technical advice on microscale production, help local partners create business plans, and provide financial assistance. “We also want to help local manufacturers build the alcohol stove in Haiti.”
Project Gaia partners in the Haiti effort include the Government of Haiti Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Government of Brazil Ministry of External Relations, UNICA, COSAN, Dometic Group, Viva Rio Haiti, Marine Biological Lab (Woods Hole), CODEP, Terra Endeavors, Inc., J & J Import BDP International, Trees Water People, and Public Private Alliance Foundation (PPAF). Other interested parties are encouraged to contact Project Gaia.
Project Gaia is a global initiative promoting the use of clean-burning alcohol cooking fuel for the three billion people on our planet who must still use polluting solid fuels. Visit us on Facebook to join the Project Gaia revolution.