Cooking is a core part of culture and community in South Sudan. However, most people currently cook with charcoal/firewood over unimproved or open stoves
Cooking with charcoal/wood fuels on unimproved stoves creates harmful air pollution which can cause serious respiratory challenges, particularly for women and young children. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that over 10,000 people in South Sudan die annually from conditions attributable to household air pollution from cooking (e.g. ischaemic heart disease, respiratory infections, COPD, lung cancer, etc.). Further, cooking can be a significant time burden for women with some meals taking 4-5 hours of their time per day. Cooking fuels, especially charcoal are also very expensive and costs are increasing continuously. On top of all of this, traditional cooking fuels like charcoal and woodfuels are seen as a substantial driver of deforestation in South Sudan (deforestation rate is currently estimated at 1.5%-2%).
With grant support from Canada’s Humanitarian Grand Challenges Program, SunGate and its non-profit partners, the Dunn Family Charitable Foundation, Village Help for South Sudan, and EarthSpark International, have integrated clean cooking into its energy access portfolio specifically through the deployment of electric pressure cookers. These pressure cookers can eliminate the negative health impacts from smoke and heat, save both money and time compared to traditional methods while still maintaining the quality and taste of South Sudanese cuisine.
SunGate’s initial pilot consisting of 25 households, clinics, and restaurants is currently underway in the Wanyjok microgrid. SunGate has also adopted electric pressure cookers across its offices in Juba, Aweil, and Wau while also providing training and pressure cookers for other home, office, and commercial solar partners like Water for South Sudan and UNHCR
SunGate is also working with the Modern Electric Cooking Services (MECS) team on an eCookbook and clean cooking market assessment for South Sudan.