The South African ’Wonderbag’ Soon to be UNFCCC Accredited
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A South African project that initially attempted to tackle poverty has shown potential to mitigate the effects of climate change and is expanding beyond the country’s borders.
By Kemantha Govender, BuaNews
The Wonderbag project – a recyclable, insulated ’cooker’ – focuses on developing countries and communities with high poverty, shortage of fuel supplies, high incidences of health problems associated with air pollution, and injuries from fuel fires.
The bag is a heat-retention cooker and requires only enough heat to start the cooking process. It is now in the final stages of being registered by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a programmatic Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project.
This means that for every bag sold, verified carbon offsets will be traded on the international market. The CDM is promoting Programs of Activities (PoAs) as a new mechanism to assist developing countries to help low-income groups on a large scale.
Wonderbag, made up of two poly-cotton bags filled with expanded polystyrene balls, is developed by Natural Balance and is one of South Africa’s first PoAs.
Some benefits of the Wonderbag include improved air quality in homes by reducing smoke from cooking fires and it reduces the risk of shack fires caused by paraffin stoves.
Households can save around 50 percent of energy used for cooking and food wastage is reduced as food cannot burn or overcook. From the stovetop, meals can be transported in the Wonderbag over long distances while the cooling properties allow people dependant on public transport to bring their food purchases home before they spoil. The manufacturing process, meanwhile, creates jobs and develops skills.