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Impact

In Africa women primarily use stoves which are powered by solid fuels like wood and charcoal for cooking. As you can see in the chart below the usage of these stoves is especially common in Sierra Leone as they are used by almost 100% of the population. As women primarily cook inside their house and they do not have a proper ventilation system, they breath in all the smoke which is emitted by these stoves. Naturally that is very bad for their health and due to that they often suffer or even die from respiratory diseases.


Globally the usage of these stoves leads to approximately 4.3 million deaths per year. Sierra Leone has a total population of 4.7 million people and almost 100% of them use these stoves. Therefore a large percentage of the 4.3 million deaths can be allocated to Sierra Leone. Due to these enormous number of deaths, which could easily be prevented, Atmosierra decided to find a solution (more detailed description on page The Big Idea) to this problem. 

Collecting waste, producing Biogas and selling it to Sierra Leone's population solves several problems and therefore Atmosierra is able to make huge impact in this area. 

  • Improved health: As people will be provided with a clean cookstove, they do not have to inhale the emissions of their original cookstoves anymore. Therefore people will not get respiratory diseases, they will not longer have irritated eyes and their general medical condition will improve. 
  • Reduction of deforestation: Official statistics state that Sierra Leone already lost 17.7% of its total forest and woodland habitat in the years between 1990 and 2005. Due to this fact the prices for wood increased tremendously from 200 SLL to 1,000 SLL within the last 10 years, making it much more difficult to afford by the population. Due to the introduction of stoves powered by biogas people will no longer use wood for cooking. Therefore deforestation will be reduced enormously. 
  • Recycling of waste: Biogas is a mixture of different gases, produced by the breakdown of organic matter, like human, animal and food waste. People are able to collect this waste and it will be picked up by Atmosierra's pick-up-service. Instead of disposing this waste somewhere unsanitarily, it will be collected and converted into the gas, which afterwards can be used for cooking. 
  • Human waste disposal: At the moment people are used to dispose their waste near their houses, which is very unhygienic and also provokes numerous of diseases (cholera, typhoid). Due to Atmosierra's pick-up-service and the reuse of the waste, the hygienic conditions in Sierra Leone will improve considerably. 
  • Micro-Entrepreneurship: From the third year on Atmosierra will also involve local people in its business. Starting with 3 people in year 3 it will increase by one person yearly. By investing into locals, the company will not only be able to supply more people with the fantastic product and service, but also create employment and therefore increase incomes and support the local economy. 
Atmosierra will start its operation in Kabala, the capital city of Koinadugu in Northern Sierra Leone. The total population in this city amounts to 40,074 people. In the table below you can see how many customers the company is trying to serve in the first five years. Although these figures seem low, compared with the population size in this area, Atmosierra is sure that its business will be successful. As the Sierra Leonean population is really averse to change, it will be difficult to introduce a new product. Moreover the company will just operate in the capital city in the beginning. 

 Year HouseholdsPeople 
 1 300 1,800
 2 500 3,000
 3 1,000 6,000
 4 1,200 7,200
 5 1,400 8,400


So by the end of year 5 Atmosierra will have decreased exposure in the leading cause of respiratory diseases by almost 25%!

As the company wants to further increase its impact by increasing the customer base, it will invest into local people from the third year on. By doing that, the number of supplied customers will increase and the product will also be available in other areas of Sierra Leone. Moreover local people can gain experience in entrepreneurship and therefore they will be able to earn enough money for their families. 

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koinadugu_District
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1205987/