Rwanda launches the first ever cook stove testing laboratory

The Gouvernement of Rwanda has launched a cook stove testing laboratory which will also be used for testing of other aspects of renewable energies.

The cook stove testing laboratory was launched in the celebrations of the World Standards Day celebrated every year, on 14th October, to pay honour to the joint efforts of the numerous experts across the world that voluntarily develop the technical agreements, that are issued as international, regional or national standards.

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in collaboration with Rwanda Standards Board and partners including the World Bank and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) supported the installation of the cook stove testing laboratory, under the project entitled “Improving the efficiency and sustainability of charcoal and woodfuel value chains (NDF)’’ implemented by REMA.

Nearly 2.5 billion people around the world currently use an open fire or traditional cookstove to prepare their meals. For these families, cooking poses serious risks to health, safety, and income.

Close to 4 million people, primarily women and children, die prematurely each year from indoor and outdoor exposure to the harmful emissions released by solid fuel combustion, according to statistics of the World Health Organisation.

“We all know that the use of traditional stoves can also have a significant impact on deforestation and climate change. This alarming situation creates a critical need for cook stoves that significantly and verifiably reduce fuel use and emissions, in order to reach protective levels for human health and environment and here we are now’’ said Honorable Minister of Environmemt Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.

The launched cook stove testing laboratory cost more than 370,000 USD.

The Director General of Rwanda Standards Board, Raymond Murenzi said that the cook stove testing laboratory "is not only a solution to cookstove and deforestation problem, but also a solution to air pollution"

It is expected not only to contribute in minimizing the risks to health and safety, but also to contribute to sustainable environment protection and provide services covering regulators’ survey needs in biomass fuels use, conformity assessment of imported and locally manufactured cook stoves and calculation of emission factors.

Test methods and test parameters for the launched cook stove laboratory have been selected referring to existing international standards on cook stove. They include efficiency, emission (CO, CO2 release), Particulate matter (PM 2.5), Biomass fuel calorific values needed for stove efficiency tests and emission factor, among others.

“We have a number of expectations on this laboratory as we are looking forward to shift from traditional cook stove to modern cook stove able to reduce fuel use and emissions, in order to reach protective levels for human health as per National Strategy for Transformation (NST I) targets’’ concluded Dr. Mujawamariya.