Energy-efficient Cook Stoves for Siaya Communities - Kenya
This effort is combining financial empowerment of communities in Kenya with distribution of a
fuel-efficient cook stove.
“Energy-efficient Cook Stoves for Siaya Communities” has integrated introduction of
a “rocket” stove that reduces firewood use by half with a community savings and loan
scheme that provides microfinancing for stove purchases. By switching from the traditional
three-stone hearth to efficient cook stoves, women are improving their health and quality of life
while also reducing deforestation.
- 496 community savings and loans groups established with 8,066 members
- More than 11,000 energy-efficient cook stoves installed to date
- 14,850 tons of firewood saved yearly
Access to modern energy is limited and expensive for households in Siaya County, Kenya. People there
traditionally cook on open fires over three stones inside the home, which burns large amounts of firewood
that is gathered locally for cooking and heating. This is diminishing forests regionally, and creates
unhealthy and even dangerous conditions in homes.
The project has introduced “rocket”-style wood-burning stoves that are twice as efficient as
the traditional hearth. The cleaner and more efficient combustion has made healthier and safer kitchens for
Siaya County women.
Initially financed through the sale of carbon credits, the project also established a self-funding
mechanism of community savings and loan groups. Individual members are able to take out small loans to
purchase a fuel-efficient cook stove, making the technology accessible and affordable.
Helping the planet
Reduction of fuel wood consumption contributes to forest conservation, avoiding erosion and preserving
microclimatic conditions that are critical for water and land quality. It also prevents carbon emissions
that would result from burning wood, and leaves trees standing to act as carbon banks, addressing the
problem of climate change.
Since Siaya County community members who use the efficient cook stoves aren’t burning as much wood,
they’re able to save time and money. Improved stoves also mean cleaner and safer kitchens, as indoor
smoke and risk of fire is reduced. Women and children in particular benefit from healthier kitchen
conditions. The project has also provided local jobs for stove artisans and project managers.
The community savings and loan groups, with 90 perccent female membership, are financially empowering women
and allowing them to explore others ways of generating income.
The project continues to scale up in Siaya County – it installed 11,000 stoves in the first
two-and-a-half years, and its goal over seven years is to install 50,000 stoves. The innovative model of
combining distribution of efficient cook stoves with community savings and loan groups that empower women
can very well be replicated in other countries or regions.
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