Energy Efficient Stoves

How does it work?

Stoves Content

In 2015, CarbonZero Kenya began researching potential groups in Kisumu West in Kenya that could undertake the hefty task of manufacturing 900 fuel-efficient cookstoves for financed under the Toshiba CarbonZero scheme. The Umeme Women’s Group was selected to be part of it. The group received training in how to source the supplies and manufacture artisanal stoves. Additionally, they received business management training to help them market the stoves and manage their sales and income. The women of the group now also act as experts in their own community: they support stove owners to maintain stoves which have become damaged.





Other co-benefits of the project include:

  • Reduced deforestation and degradation of surrounding forests
  • Reduced soil erosion, nutrient loss and risk of flooding
  • Reduced cooking and wood collection time; householders can spend more time on other household tasks, as well as schooling and supervising children
  • Reduced exposure of firewood collectors (mainly women) to hazards in remote areas
  • Reduced burns and injuries from exposure to an open fire



Judith's Story with our Energy Efficient Stoves

Judith has gone from knowing nothing about fuel-efficient stoves to becoming an expert on the subject in the space
of 2 years.

Judith's Story Stove Project

Judith Okeyo, a member of the group, recounts how she had very little knowledge of alternatives to using the inefficient 3-stone fire for cooking prior to her group's selection to take part in the scheme. Like many residents of Kisumu West, her family was suffering from the escalating deforestation in the region wrought by the pressure on forests for firewood. With wood itself, becoming increasingly scarce, her family had little option but to buy firewood, which would at times account for almost 50% of household income, presenting a vast financial burden simply to be able to cook.


 In addition to promoting a stove that greatly reduces the burden on households to obtain firewood and vastly reduced CO2 emissions, the group members themselves received a great financial boost through their engagement in the project. The group operates a revolving fund which several members have subsequently been able to borrow from to support their own household level small businesses, particularly in selling groceries locally. Group members also receive income for the time they spend working on producing stoves.




Rachel Githendu's Story

“I never used to believe that it would be possible for me to pay school fees for my children whilst saving money each month because I was living from hand to mouth. I can now afford a decent meal for my family and dress them well, and I do not take this for granted. I now believe that it’s possible to engage in the right activities to create income and reduce poverty, and I am very happy.”

Rachel faced impossible choices between spending all her time collecting firewood and therefore not having time to tend to her crops and livestock, or buying firewood, meaning that she had less money to invest in her agriculture activities and to pay for school fees and uniform for her children. 

All that has changed since Rachel received her Carbon Zero stove. With the stove’s efficient technology her firewood needs have reduced by more than half. She now visits the forest to gather firewood only once a week rather than every day, and never has to buy any firewood. She spends her extra time tending to her farm, and with the cash she has saved on firewood, she can buy crops and pay casual labourers to work on her farm. This has greatly increased her income, because she now has surplus vegetables and milk to sell. She now faces no challenges in paying school fees for her children and is even able to save a small amount of money each month, giving her a pot of money to keep for emergencies and invest in income-generating activities in future.

Rachel's Story

Dennis Omer's Story

Dennis Omar's story Stove Project

“I will be able to earn about 1,000,000 Kenyan shillings from the sale of these products and with this, I will be able to pay school fees, buy stationary for my children, purchase extra food for the family and cover any medical fees. With the Carbon Zero stove, we no longer spend hours every day in search of firewood for domestic use. This has given us so much time to concentrate on other activities that can help improve our livelihoods. My children are now good performers at school.”

Dennis Omer is 22 and lives in Kadero village in Kisumu East with his wife and 4 children.

Dennis recounts how the family used to spend hours every day gathering firewood to be able to cook, with the children sent out for at least 2 hours every evening after school, which took valuable time that could be spent on their homework. Family members would also frequently become sick and cough due to smoke inhalation, with rarely a week passing without at least one child being forced to miss a day of school.

Since receiving the stove, the family’s firewood consumption has reduced to less than half of its previous amount. Dennis has taken advantage of the time saved on gathering firewood to plant a field of sunflowers. His plan is to harvest the seed to sell to a sunflower oil factory a few kilometres away, which guarantees him the ability to sell a bulk volume of seed and generate a significant contribution to household income.

Do you want to know more?

The projects do more than just compensate for the carbon emission - they create jobs for local people and involve them in monitoring the impact of the different projects as well as the education of their peers. Below you will find more information on the projects we are currently supporting. Please access the latest impact report here.