South Africa has over 12 000 schools cooking on open fires daily to feed over nine million learners as part of the national nutrition programme.
An estimated 70 000 tons of wood is used and cooks are exposed to large amounts of smoke and suffer lung and eye diseases.
Louise Williamson, a social entrepreneur of the Lowveld with over 20 years of rural community development experience, invented the Mashesha Stove as a solution to this problem.
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A Mashesha Stove is a portable metal cook stove which burns using two flames, saves half of the wood and has less smoke. This project is an international award-winning innovation with its latest award being received by the Innovate Durban pitching competition.
Williamson is one of four South Africans participating in the South Korea Partner for Growth (P4G) Summit in the sustainable development goals energy category. Sixty companies from 12 countries are represented here.
“I am trying to assist upcoming entrepreneurs in South Africa to acquire a Mashesha Business-in-a-box start-up toolkit which will enable the entrepreneur to make the Mashesha their own and make the business fly,” said Williamson.
This kit is available for R260 000 and includes everything including training.
“Over 600 Mashesha Stoves have been sold with some being sent to Mozambique and Botswana.
“Mhlume Secondary School in KaBokweni, under the leadership of Thembi Mdaka, is a flagship school that has embraced the Mashesha stove. TRAC, White River Rotary, SAPPI and York Timbers have also bought stoves for schools in their strategic areas. Many generous individuals have bought the stoves for feeding programmes and families in the Lowveld.”
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Williamson has five units in her range, three for rural schools and households and two types for the urban household and the outdoor enthusiast. Any potjie-lover could use one.
“What is really great about this project is that it meets six of the sustainable development goals and impact is measured immediately for every stove being used. We are mitigating climate change through reduced emissions and wood fuel volume pressure and promoting gender equality/ equity through improving the cooking environment for schools.
“If any company is looking for a valuable CSI or social economic development project we can issue you with the documentation you need for your BEE scorecard and good governance.”
Williamson said Mpumalanga has over 1 300 schools that desperately need a Mashesha Stove.
“Together we can promote a sustainable and clean cooking solution to our schools. With Covid-19 virus being a respiratory virus, we need to promote a safe and healthy cooking environment for our cooks.
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“Let’s make a positive impact though working together and supporting our province.”
Williamson can be contacted on the following:
Email: [email protected]
WhatsApp: 072 436 8347
For more information visit www.masheshastoves.com