Van Tola tells about her success story in Cambodia

GERES develops new technologies in Cambodia. The New Lao Stove (NLS) is an improved cookstove which allows to reduce interior toxic fumes. Cooking with wood and charcoal has direct negative health impacts on users, most of which are women. From 2003 to 2010, over 1,150,000 tCO2eq of greenhouse gas emissions have been saved.

The NLS allows to reduce the pressure on natural forests by using 22% less fuelwood and charcoal than a traditional cookstove. « The project contributes to preserve our environment » explains Van Tonla, NLS producer. « You know, in Cambodia, we cook with wood and charcoal. When we use the NLS, less wood is needed. I hope with this project people will cut less quantities of wood. The forest is important for us. »

In 1960, 73% of Cambodia was forested. Now, forests cover no more than half the country. Tropical forests might totally disappear in 50 years.

Environment and development

GERES involves the private sector in order to sustain the actions and support the economic development in countries of the South. In this perspective, Van Tola opened a production centre in 2004. “My family was very poor before. I could see my father only once a month because he had to go far away to sell traditional stoves.” Since he started these activities, his life has totally changed. “Thanks to the financial support and training from GERES, we decided to open our own NLS production centre. From the start, my business is successful.” In addition to the support he is now able to provide to his family, Van Tola also supports the development in his village. “Now, I can send my brothers and sisters to school. I also help the villagers to get a job. The production centre helps to reduce poverty in my village.”

Awareness raising is crucial to preserve the natural environment and is part of the project. Sem Norn works for the centre. “My director explained to me. Now I understand better how important our forest is. The forest protects us from floods, storms, temperatures rises…” And she concludes : “I started planting trees around my house.”


To find out more about the project

fuelwood saving project project in Cambodia

GERES Southeast Asia website

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