Rwanda : Efficient cookstoves

Total savings: 40,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year, over 10 years
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 partner: SaferRwanda, Rwanda Women Network, UNHCR Rwanda, INYENYERI, ENEDOM (The´Energie Domestique SARL)

Project status Rwanda

Population growth increases fuel wood demand

With a population density of over 390 inhabitants per km², Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa (as a reference, Germany has 235 inhabitants per km² and Kenya only 68 inhabitants per km2). The ongoing population growth is causing the demand for energy to rise.

In addition Rwanda hosts more than 70,000 refugees from Congo which have fled from violent clashes in the east of the Congo to safety in Rwanda. Due to lack of land and resources the refugee situation adds to the pressure on the natural resources and especially the supply of fuel wood to the camps becomes more and more difficult. The long cooking time for beans and maize, which are one of the foods mainly provided adds to the difficult situation.

Highly efficient wood stoves help to reduce the demand for fuel wood significantly and thus contribute to easing the difficult living conditions of refugees. They also help in reducing the potential risk of conflict with the host communities due to competition for the same resources. Since firewood is supplied by UNHCR and is procured locally a reduction of fuel wood supply will make available funds for other activities.

Additionally, skills training and income opportunities are generated since stoves assembly and user training are conducted locally. In the case of UNHCRF stoves assembly and user training is done by refugees whereas other partners involve mainly women in the bending, assembly and distribution of the stoves. User trainings and demonstrations also bring together households to share experiences, knowledge and cooking recipes.

Stove demonstration UNHCR

During a cookstove demonstration at the UNHCR refugee camp

Achievment of higher efficiency leads to fewer expanse for energy

The design and construction of the efficient firewood stoves makes them as easy and intuitive to use as the stoves that preceded them. Compared to a traditional three-stone fire, the new stove uses 80% less wood to achieve the same performance. Replacing a charcoal stove with a wood stove results in even higher wood savings given the large amount of wood needed to produce charcoal (9kg of wood for 1kg of charcoal). Rwandan households therefore can save substantially since the charcoal prices are rising due to its high demand as well as the rising costs of production and transport.

Additional savings enable the families to meet their other household financial needs. Furthermore, atmosfair subsidises the stoves so that low-income households can also afford them. The stoves can also be paid off in instalments.

To ensure the high efficiency and long service life (>10 years) of the stoves, industrialised pre-production and high-quality materials (stainless steel) are used. The components are prefabricated in Germany, and the stoves are produced in Rwanda. Every part that can be sourced locally is sourced locally. For instance the pots and the adapter rings for the pots are both produced in Kigali.

Our Partners:

SAFER RWANDA , an independent non-state actor and non-for-profit organization 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 non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to promotion and improvement of the socio-economic welfare of women in Rwanda since 1997. Over time, the organization has dedicated its efforts to 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, which 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 70,000 refugees from Congo in Rwanda being assisted by UNHCR.

INYENYERI – A Rwandan social benefit company seeks to eliminate the negative impacts of cooking with traditional wood stoves by providing highly efficient gasification stoves to customers free of charge and by producing and selling biomass fuel pellets which are used in the stoves. The pellets are made from plant material that is crowd sourced from Rwandan farmers who collect the raw biomass that is abundant around their homes and farms. atmosfair supports Inyenyeri by purchasing the carbon credits which enables Inyenyeri to receive loans to finance the upfront costs of the gasification stoves.

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 is furthermore involved in the local production and selling of heat retaining cooking bags and sustainably harvested wood.

Your contact at atmosfair

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Sven Bratschke | Manager CDM Projects

M.Sc. Global Change Management

☎ +49 (0) 30 120 84 80 - 63
[email protected]