Total savings :330,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year
Technology transfer :Efficient firewood stoves that save 80% of energy
Local environment :Less deforestation in the region
Further advantages :Fewer expenses for household energy (on charcoal), lowering the potential for tension over firewood
Project partners :SaferRwanda, Rwanda Women Network, UNHCR, ENEDOM (The´Energie Domestique SARL)

Population growth increases demand for wood

In 2020, Rwanda had an average of 533 inhabitants per square kilometre – about twice as many as in the same area in Germany – and the trend is rising. Population growth is increasing the demand for wood as fuel. In addition, the pressure on natural resources is increasing due to refugees from eastern Congo and neighboring Burundi, who are being provided with basic necessities by the UNHCR in Rwanda.

Rwanda hosts 149,000 refugees, most of whom are housed in refugee camps where they are provided with basic necessities by the UNHCR. The food provided in Rwanda is mainly maize and beans, which, however, have to be cooked for a particularly long time. Accordingly, the demand for firewood is increasing and it is becoming more and more difficult to meet this demand ¹.

As in many other African countries, wood and coal are the main source of energy for households in Rwanda. Since this will not change in the near future, it is particularly important to meet the growing demand for these resources without cutting down more trees than can be regrown in the same period.

Higher efficiency leads to lower energy expenses

The efficient stoves reduce the amount of wood needed for cooking by up to 80%, which can significantly improve everyday life. This leaves households with more money for other important purposes such as education or better nutrition.

So far, the efficient wood stoves were manufactured in Rwanda from imported components, creating local jobs and generating income opportunities. In 2020, we took the first steps to shift the entire production of the Save80 including all its components to Rwanda. In March 2022, the first stove was produced in the new factory in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Local production reduces manufacturing costs and creates employment opportunities. In the long term, production is expected to be self-sustaining – even without atmosfair’s funding.

Our partners mainly employ women in machining the components and assembling the stoves. Trainings and demonstrations on how to use the stove in the best way not only have a positive effect on the efficient use of the stove, but also bring households together to share experiences, knowledge or even recipes.

The design and construction of the efficient firewood stoves – called Save80 – makes them as easy and intuitive to use as traditional three stone fires. Compared to the latter, the Save80 uses 80% less wood to achieve the same performance. Replacing a charcoal stove with a Save80 results in even higher wood savings because of the high amount of wood needed to produce charcoal (9kg of wood for 1kg of charcoal). Given the rising prices for charcoal due to high demand as well as rising production and transportation costs, Rwandan households can save substantially by using a Save80 stove.

The additional savings from the reduced need for wood enable households to cover other financial expenses. atmosfair subsidizes the stoves, so that low-income households in particular can afford the Save80 and thus become less dependent on price fluctuations on the wood market. There is also the option of paying the stove in installments.

Our Partners

SAFER RWANDA is a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 2000. SaferRwanda is engaged in several peace and environmental protection projects such as solar energy, tree planting, energy saving cookstoves and disarmament of light weapons.

RWANDA WOMEN’S NETWORK is a national humanitarian NGO dedicated to promoting and improving the socio-economic welfare of women in Rwanda since 1997. Over time, the organization has worked towards developing strategies that empower women and has extensive experience in fostering women’s participation and grassroots responses to community challenges. To date, RWN works with various local and international partners and a network of over 52 grassroots associations across the country.

THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR), established by the United Nations General Assembly, is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. Currently there are more than 149,000 refugees from Congo and Burundi in Rwanda being assisted by UNHCR.

ENEDOM (ENERGIE DOMESTIQUE SARL), a small-scale enterprise located in Kigali. ENEDOM’s goal is to find new ways to supply households with alternative energies in order to support environmental protection. ENEDOM has a great stake in setting up the project in Rwanda. ENEDOM has also developed its own locally produced efficient cookstove which is currently being quality tested and test sold in Rwanda. ENEDOM also engages in the local production and selling of heat retaining cooking bags and sustainably harvested wood.

Your contact at atmosfair

Dr. Ute Werner
Project Manager
+49 (0) 30 120 84 80 - 36