With wood scarce in Darfur, a new stove promises safety for women, girls, and the conservation of the environment.
Why we care:  In the camps of Darfur, women are exposed to attacks on their treks to the countryside to gather firewood. In addition, fuel is expensive causing catastrophic costs for the women and their families. 
How we’re solving this:  Providing energy saving metal cookstoves that are designed specifically for use in Darfur and adapted for local cooking traditions. The cookstoves reduce the need for fuel and firewood.
Many women in Darfur no longer have homes. They are living in crowded camps for displaced people where the simple stoves on which they cook define their days—days filled with treks for firewood that expose them to attacks, with dangerous hunts for work to earn money for stove fuel, with painful decisions about selling some of the food donors give their families so they can use the cash to buy fuel to cook the rest.
Buying fuel in the marketplace is an alternative, but is so expensive that families in refugee camps spend up to one-third of their entire cost of living on fuel wood and routinely skip meals for lack of fuel.
All of these choices are grim. But in Darfur, where more than eight years of conflict have set 2.8 million people adrift, this is the reality. Oxfam has launched an initiative to bring a new kind of wood-burning stove into the camps, a stove designed to dramatically reduce the amount of firewood families need each day.
The initiative is the latest step in Oxfam’s ongoing program to help women in Darfur find cheaper and more efficient ways to cook. The goal is not only to keep them safer by cutting the amount of time they spend searching for wood beyond the safety of the camps, but to reduce the demand for the resource which is leading to severe deforestation in some areas.
These stoves are estimated to save $300 per year per stove in fuel costs. The stoves are cutting families’ fuel costs in half. Over the lifetime of a stove, the savings could come to $1770 per family – enough money to support a small family for two years. The stoves ultimately pay for themselves within less than a month. Each stove lasts for five years and is a very good investment with high returns.  
In addition, the stoves are specifically designed to meet the cultural and environmental needs of the Darfur camps. The stoves are assembled by camp residents in Darfur, providing much-needed employment for camp residents.
Putting only three and a half (3.5) stoves into production is equivalent to taking a car off the road in their reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Conflict and displacement have taken a heavy toll on the fragile land near the camps, stripping it of trees. The stoves program complements Oxfam’s work to restore and protect the natural environment by planting tens of thousands of tree saplings.