Momentum for Change To improve the livelihoods of vulnerable households within Kibera Slum through adoption of clean technology in waste management

Focus area: Mitigation
Location: Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya
Established: April 2009

Designed by Nairobi-born architect Mr. Jim Archer, Chairman of Planning Systems Services Ltd, the Community Cooker is a significant recycling initiative which can convert stinking piles of urban rubbish into what urban slums need most of all: hot water for washing, pure water for drinking and heat for cooking. The Community Cooker is simple to build, simple to operate and simple to repair, it is versatile and has two ovens cook cakes very quickly and each is large enough to grill a whole goat.

The Community Cooker generates heat responsibly and environmentally correctly by burning rubbish for cooking and for boiling and distilling water. The utilization of discarded sump oil drip and water drip as a heat boosting process. (Sump oil is another waste product which is also a water and ground pollutant).

The Community Cooker helps sustainably manage the rubbish of the Laini Saba village, Kibera Slum and will contribute towards achieving Kenya Vision 2030 on environment and achieving of the Millenium Development Goals and also contribute to integrated socioeconomic development and reduction in carbon and methane gas emission which affects environment.


Mitigation / Adaptation

Social and environmental benefits

Potential for scaling-up and replication

A Community Cooker,managed responsibly and operated for a year will save the caloric heat equivalent of burning 2,400 mature trees in a year.

More than 80 percent of Kenya's urban dwellers, many of whom live in poor, informal settlements, use charcoal made from wood as their primary source of energy, according to government statistics. Their heavy dependence on wood for fuel has contributed to the rapid decline of Kenya's forests, with negative effects for the local climate, wildlife, water sources and forest dwellers, says the World Rainforest Movement.

In March 2011 the Community Cooker in Laini Saba site was tested for stack emissions and residual ash. The results show that the Community Cooker has combustion efficiency of 99 per cent and that the levels of SO2 , NO2 and heavy metals detected fall within the regulatory limits of United States EPA and World Bank IFC guidelines. These Results also meet Kenya Air Quality and Waste Management Standards. Environmental Measure Report NRB1152-009421 March 2011.


The locals in the Laini Saba village in Kibera have been instrumental to the success of the activity.

This came as a one-time solution for not only our waste management problem but for so many other related issues as well. Free usage of the Community Cooker is given to anyone from Kibera slum who shows up with a sack of garbage.

The greatest thing about the cooker is that it is much cheaper than buying charcoal or kerosene, which are the most commonly used fuel sources in the slum.

The Community Cooker offers resourceful slum dwellers a fuel source that is far less expensive than wood fuel, charcoal, gas or kerosene, and very much less expensive than electricity and reduction in Acute Respiratory Infections due to household air pollution.                           

The activity employs seven young people who sort the solid waste in Laini Saba Kibera.


The pilot phase has been such a success there are hopes of replicating it all over the extensive slum.

An NGO called Jhpiego an affiliate of John Hopkins University are putting up a Community Cooker at Eastleigh,Nairobi and offering technical advice to the Community Cooker being put up by Longonot Fairtrade horticultural company at Karagita Slum, Naivasha, Rift Valley Province. The Community Cooker has received interest from a variety of organizations.