Improved Stoves

Programmes and projects to improve household wood and charcoal stove efficiencies have been launched throughout the developing world over the past 20 years. Most have failed to establish sustainable improved stove programmes primarily through lack of sufficient attention to consumer tastes and market dynamics. Consequently, governments, donors, consumers have become sceptical about the potential for significantly improved stove performance yielding reduced household expenditures and thus better living standards, and easing pressures on fragile environments.

However, several stove programmes have enjoyed major commercial success over the past decade. Hundreds of thousands of Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ) stoves and an adapted form of the Jiko, the Lakech stove, designed to achieve a 25% saving in charcoal consumption, have been sold through the urban marketplaces of Kenya and Ethiopia without subsidies, totally on commercial grounds.

an improved charcoal stove

More than a million KCJs have been sold since USAID and the Kenyan Ministry of Energy stopped supporting the project in 1985. An estimated 1.2 million Lakech stoves have been sold in Ethiopia since 1992, at least 600,000 since the World Bank and GoE support stopped in 1995. Both stoves currently sell for 1/20th their original prices.

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