Kwaku Duah is a stove manufacturer in the Roman Hill district of Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana. Two years ago Kwaku was trained to manufacture the “Gyapa,” a fuel-efficient charcoal stove introduced in Ghana by EnterpriseWorks/VITA with support from the Shell Foundation and USAID.
Since adding the Gyapa to his production line in June 2003, Kwaku’s business has really taken off: He has sold over 3,000 stoves and realized US $3,000 in profits from these sales. And with this money, Kwaku has been able to expand his business – he’s hired five employees -- and begin construction of a four-bedroom home for his family.
Today Kwaku is 1 of 42 manufacturers supplying Gyapa stoves to 86 retail outlets in Accra and Kumasi. Together these retail outlets have sold nearly 54,000 stoves to consumers since the launch of Gyapa in November 2002, generating a total of US $311,000 for the enterprises producing and selling the stoves.
To create this robust supply chain, EnterpriseWorks/VITA trained local metalworkers to manufacture the Gyapa and then linked them with local retail outlets. Local ceramicists were also trained by EnterpriseWorks/VITA to produce the stove’s ceramic lining; these ceramicists sell directly to the manufacturers.
Kwaku manufactures Gyapa stoves with
the help of his five employees
Initially the stove manufacturers were given orders with 50% payment upfront so that they could build-up investment capital. Retailers were also given assistance by way of free transport and stocking on a sale-or-return basis. At the same time, the project conducted an intensive marketing campaign – tv and radio ads, open-market demonstrations -- to establish Gyapa as a household name in Ghana.
As consumer demand for the stove increased, the project began to scale back its support to the supply chain to ensure the sustainability of the activity. In May 2004, project assistance to the supply chain was removed and today these enterprises are operating and working together without project support.
But it’s not only the supply side that is profiting from the Gyapa – consumers and the environment are seeing big benefits as well. By switching to a standard-size Gyapa stove, which burns about 40% less charcoal than the traditional charcoal stove, households will save an average of US $35 a year (~ 233.6 kg of charcoal) for their initial average investment of US $5. Regular household use of the standard-size stove will also save 0.1 hectares of forest and reduce CO˛ emissions by 300 kg annually.
A recent study of Gyapa owners estimated the number of stoves in effective use to be 49,614 stoves (52,801 standard size and 841 “chop bar” size at utilization rates of 86% and 100%, respectively). With 49,614 stoves in use – and the impacts from one chop bar stove being equivalent to five standard stoves – the environmental impacts are huge:
11,589 tons of charcoal, 92,712 tons of wood, and 1,944.86 hectares of forest are saved annually. In addition, 38,103.5 tons of CO˛ emissions are being averted every year.And it’s only the beginning. As the popularity of the Gyapa continues to grow, the benefits to the businesses, consumers and environment will only get bigger.
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