Stove Entrepreneurship Drives Income Diversification for Community Members

The stove entrepreneurs in Gongulong, Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, trained by  ICEED and the Maida project have continued to make brisk businesses in stove production. On Friday, September, 19, 2020, the producers, under their registered business name; Gongulong Energy Efficient Cooperative Society, supplied Eight Hundred stove liners to their client. This of one the many bulk purchases that the Cooperative has made in recent times.

All the members of this Cooperative society come from the conflict affected communities of  Gongulong and Zabamari in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State. The conflict in the North East has affected their communities and their means of livelihood. Before the Maida project, many of the trained entrepreneurs, especially the women, had no means of income; they rarely went to the farm because the farms were considered insecure for them, while the men, with no skills, depended on daily jobs that were scarcely available within their communities. They survived on Aid.

The Maida project trained men and women on the production of efficient woodstoves using locally sourced materials. They were given training in determining the best clay for pottery, the mixing ratio of all materials, process of clay curing, and stove firing.  Beneficiaries also benefitted from stove business development, which culminated into the registration of their Association with the Borno State government. Some of the members of the Cooperative have continued to diversify their income generation. Two of them; Abba Bundi and Haja Kaka Bura,  have been outstanding. Haja Kaka Bura, a female member of the Gongulong Energy Efficient Cooperative Society, has used  her part of  her earnings from the stove production to establish businesses for two of her children, Goni and Fantani. Haja Bura built and stocked a local grocery store for Fantani, while she also opened a phone charging shop, powered by a 0.9kva generator for Goni.  In her words, “I believe it is better for me to empower my children, now that I am making some income from stove production, so that tomorrow, the children can remember me, while I am old.”

Abba Bundi, a male member of the Cooperative Association has also used part of his earnings from the stove production to purchase two grown cattle, which he intends to sell in another one month. According to Abba, “I will sell these two cattle in the next one month, and hope to make some substantial profit to enable me buy four cattle the next time. I intend to go into cattle farming, where I will grow cattle for food purposes and also for labour purposes like ploughing and irrigation.”