Distributing cleaner cookstoves in Kenya

Makesworth sustainability > Distributing cleaner cookstoves in Kenya


In many countries around the world, burning non-renewable biomass is the most common source of heat for cooking. Often, the stoves used to burn this biomass are not efficient enough to make the best use of the fuel available, leading to high levels of unsustainable deforestation.

Furthermore, burning more biomass than is essential produces even more greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. Not only are these emissions bad for the planet, they’re also detrimental to the health of the people nearby, producing air pollution within the home that compromises respiratory health.

In Kenya, 9 million people rely on biomass for cooking. Distributing cleaner cookstoves can bring lots of benefits to both people and the environment. By reducing the amount of wood and charcoal that is burned by using these more efficient stoves, the volume of greenhouse gas emissions produced is reduced, and also less time and energy needs to be spent collecting this fuel – a job which often falls to women and children to carry out.


This project distributes fuel efficient ‘Jikokoa’ cookstoves to communities around Kenya. These stoves reduce charcoal consumption by 64%, helping to ease the impact on local forests, and saving local families money. The stoves reduce indoor air pollution by 65%, generating health benefits for the families who rely on them.

Over the lifetime of this project, over 380,000 cookstoves will be distributed, avoiding 4.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, and reducing demand for wood fuel by 2.4 million tonnes. The manufacture and distribution of the stoves all takes place locally in a solar-powered facility, which provides over a thousand jobs for local people.

A study by professors at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Chicago has shown that this cookstove distribution project saves an average of 54 minutes of cooking per day, and produces a significant improvement in self-reported health outcomes. The stoves are also incredibly easy to use, and require no additional learning or behaviour change – which sometimes causes challenges for similar kinds of projects.


This project is verified by the Gold Standard. You can view it on the Gold Standard Registry here.


Climate solution

Improved clean cookstoves

Improved clean cookstoves can address the pollution from burning wood or biomass in traditional stoves. Using various technologies, they reduce emissions and protect human health.


Around the world, 3 billion people cook over open fires or on rudimentary stoves. As these burn, often inside homes or in areas with limited ventilation, they release plumes of smoke and soot liable for 4.3 million premature deaths each year. Traditional cooking practices also produce 2 to 5 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.


A wide range of “improved” cookstove technologies exists, with a wide range of impacts on emissions. Advanced biomass stoves are the most promising. By forcing gases and smoke from incomplete combustion back into the stove’s flame, some cut emissions by an incredible 95 percent.

From drawdown.org