Recommendations for Monwabisi Park

Recommendations for Monwabisi Park

The Back Part of C Section

The Back Part of C Section

Existing Housing

Through interviews and research, we can confidently conclude that most residents are aware of the dangers associated with using paraffin flame stoves, and that the biggest problem holding residents back from using safer methods is due to the prices of those options.  In order for a new technology to be widely accepted and be sustainable, it must be low cost; funding or finding a way to finance the safer methods is critical.  Currently paraffin is the most convenient fuel for residents to buy because most have trouble accumulating the R82 needed to refill a gas canister.  Consequently, it is the most common fuel used throughout Monwabisi Park.

Hot Boxes

First we recommend the use of hot boxes to save money on fuel and decrease the risks of using unsafe stoves.  This is a simple solution since it can be made out of materials easily found in the settlement; the unsafe stoves would not be used as much, reducing health and safety risks, and there would be no initial cost, thus residents will immediately begin to save money.  The best way to start getting hot boxes into the community would be to have workshop at the community centre where the materials would be provided and people could be taught how to make their own hot box.  At this workshop, the benefits of hot boxes should be described to the community in an appealing way.

For more information on hot boxes, click HERE.

Store owner pouring paraffin into unmarked bottle

Store owner pouring paraffin into unmarked bottle

Paraffin Stickers

Though we cannot stop people from using paraffin, there are ways that we can make using paraffin safer.  First, we recommend that when buying paraffin, stickers be placed on a container to clearly show that the liquid inside is hazardous.  This should dramatically decrease the risk of children accidentally swallowing paraffin.


We had a few suggestions for how to present new ideas more effectively to the community based on our experiences.  First and most importantly you have to make sure that the purpose of the presentation is clear.  Furthermore, it would be beneficial to advertise the presentations more in order to reach out to more community members.  This could be done through putting up posters in the local stores and in establishments throughout C Section.  We also suggest having a co-researcher take the lead in the presentation to help residents better understand what is being presented.

For more information on our presentations, click HERE.

Stove Implementation

There are two stoves we researched that best met our criteria that we would suggest: the Arivi Safe Paraffin Stove and ParaSafe Primus Stove.  Both of these stoves decrease fire risks since they self extinguish when lifted or tilted.  The emissions from these stoves are also safe and will not cause respiratory illnesses.  After presenting these options to the community, we have received positive feedback and interest in both, and therefore believe that both can be successfully implemented within the settlement.

Arivi Safe Paraffin Stove

Through our testing and research the Arivi Paraffin Stove has best met our 6 criteria for implementation in Monwabisi Park. Contact and negotiations with representatives from Arivi should continue to help establish a loyal retailer in Monwabisi Park.  Representatives from Arivi have informed us that they plan to have the stove on the market sometime in late 2010, around the same time next year’s project teams will be in Cape Town.   Monwabisi Park would be an ideal location for the initial distribution of the Arivi Safe Paraffin Stove. More information on the Arivi stove can be found here.

ParaSafe Primus Stove

The ParaSafe Primus stove is another sustainable option for cooking in Monwabisi Park. This stove is already sold in hardware stores at the nearby market. Even though the market is only a 20 minute walk away, residents may be reluctant to make that trip in order to purchase a stove.  Further contact with ParaSafe could lead to distribution of the stove within Monwabisi Park.  Accessibility continues to be the number one issue regarding implementation of any new cooking source. More information on the ParaSafe stove can be found here.

For more information on Safe Stove Implementation, click HERE.

Customers Leaving one of the Cash Stores

Customers Leaving one of the Cash Stores

Approaches to Distribution

The next step is to make the safe stoves available in Monwabisi Park.  This can be accomplished in a few different ways.

  • One approach is to work closely with the City of Cape Town to try to provide stoves to a number of people in the settlement.  This would only be a start, since it would not establish ongoing sale of stoves.  However this would serve as a meaningful trial run for the stoves in an informal settlement.
  • Another approach would be through the cash stores in the community.  If twenty to thirty stoves were distributed to three or four different stores in the settlement, then the stoves would be more accessible to the community.  The main problems associated with this approach would potentially be the reluctance of the stove companies to sell their product at stores in the settlement as well as the inability of storeowners to afford or even fit twenty to thirty stoves in their storage areas.

These are all options that would need to be looked into further before deciding on stove distribution.

New Housing

For the new housing we have three recommendations for stoves for the residents to use.

  1. Our first and highest recommended option is electric stoves. After conversations with Robert Taylor, we learned that all new housing will have formal electricity.  This option best fit our 6 criteria for cooking as it is the cleanest option since it does not produce any fumes and reduces the risk of fires.  Click to learn more about current usage of electricity.
  2. Our second cooking recommendation for new housing is gas stoves. Many residents often use their government provided 50kW hours of electricity for other appliances and then resort to gas or paraffin usage. In this case, gas usage would be the next best option for new housing because it the stoves are safer than paraffin stoves and will prevent fires that paraffin stoves can easily cause.
  3. Our third recommendation for cooking in the new housing is the Arivi Safe Paraffin stove. The residents often believe that gas is more expensive than paraffin because it cost R82 per refill, so they resort to using paraffin. This is a practice that will be difficult to break in many of the residents because they make their purchases day to day therefore paraffin becomes the most appealing. If the residents are going to resort back to paraffin usage it cannot be avoided, but what can be avoided is the use of dangerous flame stoves, therefore implementation of the Arivi stove is essential to the safety of residents.