Huck Rorick & Pearly Wong
Groundwork Institute http://www.groundwork.org
In the community of Besongabang, Cameroon the families often use firewood to process palm oil. The oil is sold to other communitiies, and the Besongabang families use the dried wastes (the leftovers of palm oil processing) to help light fires that are used for cooking, and palm processing.
The first 3 pictures of are of the palm oil processing practies of Besongabang, and the third picture is of the wastes, which are mostly dried. These wastes are often used to start the 3 stone family cooking files, but as Pearly Wong notes, the process of starting these fires is labor intensive. The sticks light easily, but the palm wastes frequently go out, and sometimes the fire must be started multiple times before any cooking can happen.
In this community, they are comfortable using stick wood and logs and there are no charcoal stoves or charcoal production. Groundwork volunteers have been talking through several options with other members of the Biomass Cooking Stoves list, and also with the families in Besongabang. It seems like an improved wood stove would be a good fit for this community especially if the problem of lighting the fires could be resolved, and the families value the improvements that may come in the form of less labor, less smoke or less fuel used.
Crispin Pemberton-Pigot and Christa Roth suggested using a lighting cone to help start the stoves. The lighting cone provides extra shelter from the wind and extra draft, and may help the families in Besongabang start their fires with fewer attempts and less wood.
For more information about lighting cones see http://stoves.bioenergylists.org/content/using-metal-cone