Project overview

Electric Pressure Cookers (EPC4S) use energy-efficient technology to replace wood fuel and provide cleaner, faster, cheaper and more convenient cooking for school canteens.

The problem

Currently, a large percentage of schools in Lesotho rely on wood fuel and charcoal for cooking.

Exposure to smoke from biomass-based cooking leads to health problems such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. The demand for firewood results in deforestation and environmental degradation, while the cost of wood and charcoal remains relatively high for the local community.

In addition, cooking with charcoal and firewood contributes to rural poverty; women and girls are affected the most as they tend to spend a considerable amount of time collecting wood and cooking, missing out on other productive activities.

Photo: WFP/Giulio d'Adamo


The solution

The adoption of clean cooking solutions can improve public health, reduce deforestation and save cooking costs. This project uses electric pressure cookers (EPCs) to sustainably replace biomass-based cooking in school canteens in Lesotho.

EPCs don't produce any harmful emissions compared to biomass cooking. They have lower operating costs compared to other solutions; for example, the research shows that cooking on an EPC in urban Nairobi, Kenya, results in up to 10 times lower operating costs than cooking with charcoal. Moreover, combining EPCs with solar water heaters can lower cooking energy needs and supply warm water for other uses.

Photo: WFP/Fredrik Lerneryd


The way forward

Throughout the WFP Sprint Programme, the team will test EPCs in schools in Lesotho to assess business viability, tech feasibility, and problem-solution fit; this will be the first live testing of EPCs in a WFP School Feeding Programme.

After this initial pilot, the team intends to have operational EPCs in 20 schools in Kenya and Lesotho.

In three years' time, the team intends to scale to 10 other WFP Country Offices and have rolled out the intervention in 1,000 schools.

Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud
Last updated: 07/07/2022