Cover Image
close this bookBoiling Point No. 25 - August 1991 (ITDG - ITDG, 1991, 36 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFunding for Stove- Programmes
View the documentThe Ups and Downs of Stove Funding
View the documentTen Steps to Heaven
View the documentFuelwood a Burning Issue in Third World
View the documentEnergy Policies and the Greenhouse Effect
View the documentWorld Bank- Stoves Programme Funding
View the documentImproved Stove Programmes& Funders
View the documentStoves as Social Welfare Support
View the documentCulture-Specific Illustrations
View the documentCooking With Electricity
View the documentGate/GTZ News
View the documentBiomass Densification
View the documentAgricultural Residues In Farming Systems
View the documentConsultation on Indoor Air Pollution
View the documentNews
View the documentPublications
View the documentLetters to the Editor


Change of Date Asia Energy '91

Asia International Exhibition and Conference on New and Renewable Energy; Information on Policy, Planning, Technology and Equipment; World Trade Centre, Bangkok, 1720 October 1991.

Aims and Objectives
- To examine the impediments and constraints to realizing the commercial potential of renewable energy technologies at the expert level
- To create better opportunities for technology transfer among parties concerned through technology transactions/negotiations at the exhibition
- To translate the growing interest in the renewable energy advantages into tangible energy policies.

For further information please contact:

Foundation EDP Association for Energy Development & Planning Kerkweg 88 2641 CG Pijnacker
The Netherlands
Tel: 31 1736 95461; Fax: 311736 92377

Notice of "Improved Stoves Seminar
Organised by GATE/GTZ (Germany); ITDG (UK) 11 - 19 November 1991 in Bamako, Mali Aim of Seminar

To develop the methods of production and dissemination of improved stoves in rural areas with particular reference to Africa.

If you would like to receive more information, please write to:

Ms T. Flovell Fuel for Food Programme ITDG
Tel 0789 560631, Fax: 0788 540270

Technological Information Pilot System

Service Assists in Locating Partners In Developing Countries

For companies seeking partners in developing countries, TIPS is the vehicle to assist them. An information service of the United Nations Development Programme designed to expand technology and trade transactions of developing countries, TIPS offers daily bulletins in different sectors and a query service to match supply and demand.

The sectors covered are agro-industries, biotechnology, building materials, business opportunities, chemicals, electronics, energy, fisheries, food processing, machinery, mining, packaging, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

TIPS maintains a database containing more than 35,000 records of South offers and requests. Its national offices, which are in daily contact with companies, are based in countries that represent more than two-thirds of the population of developing countries. Thus, TIPS opens a window to a very large market.

Firms wishing to have their requirements registered in its database and featured in the bulletins can get in touch with the nearest TIPS office or TIPS, Via Panisperna 203, Rome 00184, Italy, Tel: 482-6967, Fax: 482 8838.

The Shadow of the Axe from SADCC, "Energy & Environment", Vol IV

Zambia loses about 0.2% of its woodlands every year. The bulk of this loss occurs around large human settlements where deforestation has gone ahead, randomly unplanned and often for short-term profits rather than to cater for real local needs. The indiscriminate cutting of trees for fuelwood, through chitemene, clearing land for agriculture, overgrazing, forest fires and overcutting has become a major cause of concern.

Traditionally, the source of fuelwood was dry and decaying branches or felled trees from land cleared for agriculture. Today, however, trees are felled indiscriminately and as a result fuelwood and charcoal have become expensive as people go further into the woodland for woodfuel. The problem is worst in the urban area where 87% of households use charcoal as compared to 24% of households in the rural area. The introduction of the improved charcoal stove, though, has helped greatly, through cutting charcoal consumption by 30% and reducing the amount of money people - usually women - spend on charcoal.

Chitemene is a form of shifting cultivation, which involves lopping and sometimes felling indigenous trees and burning the cut wood to generate mineral ash for fertilising the soil. The land is usually devoted to the cultivation of finger millet before being abandoned, some 6 years later, for new woodland. This works well for low population densities because the soil is given sufficient time to recover before re-use, but is quite unsuitable for population densities of more than four people per square kilometre.


Clearing land of its forests to make room for settled agriculture is a major cause of woodland loss on the national scale. In many areas this has exacerbated the shortage of fuelwood and other forest products, since the trees are often burned as waste rather than put to good use.

Overgrazing is a major problem in areas where cattle are abundant. The cattle trample the soil and inhibit forest regeneration after fuelwood cutting, chitemene or land clearance.

Poverty in the Midst of Plenty
Mozambique's Firewood Crisis

From SADCC - Energy & Environment Vol. IV

Mozambique has extraordinarily massive stocks of wood resources and although no accurate inventory exists, estimates put total stocks at around 3 billion cubic metres. This total is shared by the country's 15 million people who consume on average one cubic metre of wood each per year. This puts increments well in excess of consumption. With biomass the most important source of energy in the country, it would appear that Mozambique is in good shape; yet a significant proportion of Mozambique's population is facing a very serious energy crisis.

15 million people each consume 1m3/yr of wood

Defining the Crisis

The problem is of course one of access. Mozambique's human settlements have tended to concentrate along the coastline, so much so that today approximately 60% of the population lives within 50km of the coast. Another factor which has affected population concentration has been the war, which has forced most of the remaining population to seek refuge around inland towns and along the safe Beira, Limpopo and Ndola corridors.

The security problem, plus poor and very expensive motorised transport, have limited the distance it is possible to travel to gather wood. Thus the areas around towns, along the coast and in safe corridors are gleaned of all available biomass, leaving highly stressed environmental conditions. For example, hardly any indigenous trees have been left standing within a 50km radius of Maputo. Environmental degradation has also been compounded by the highly-inefficient production of charcoal in traditional pit kilns.

In socio-economic terms, a high price is also paid. It is not unusual for fuel expenses for cooking to comprise half of an urban worker's income. Rural women living in communal villages along the coast spend up to 6 hours a day collecting wood for cooking.

Another initiative taken by the Department of Energy has been an attempt to introduce coal as a domestic fuel in Maputo along with rigorous environmental impact studies and the setting up of commercially based distribution systems. Considerable effort has gone into the design of a low-cost coal-burning cookstove. Although coal is imported, its end price to the consumer does appear to compare very favourably with the other altematives, charcoal and wood. But problems in ensuring a continuous supply of coal have meant that even those who would prefer to use coal still continue to use wood and charcoal which are regularly available.

Stove Dissemination Through Training

By L R Shrestha
Reproduced from: CRT Newsletter, Nepal 314-91

Firewood consumption for domestic energy by thousands of households in rural areas was one of the main causes of rapid deforestation in Nepal. Because of this massive deforestation, soil is eroded heavily, women farmers need to travel hours end hours to collect firewood and drinking water. With the growing trend in population, this crisis is to grow worse in the future.

Nepalese people have been using the traditional stoves since ages for household cooking. Only since the beginning of the eighties, introduction of improved cookstoves was initiated by a number of organizations to increase the fuel efficiency as well as improve the rural health. However, owing to the following problems, the dissemination tack was greatly hindered

- Prefabricated clay stoves suffering heavy transportational breakage.
- Pot holes too small to accommodate large pots.
- Fixed size
- Lack of proper training on fabrication, installation, operation and maintenance.
- Lack of energetic dissemination strategies involving local organizations and women users.
- Lack of follow up and monitoring


In order to cope with above problems and also to increase the fuel efficiency, the Centre for Rural Technology (CRT) made a dialogue with Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST), Kathmandu for an improved design. RECAST had in mind a new design, already tested, and was looking for a chance to disseminate it. CRT took this new design to farmer women in rural areas through grassroots and women's organisations.

The main characteristics of the improved cookstove now being disseminated are:

- Iron tripod liked on the ground giving the stove higher strengh.
- Locally fabricated by trained local technicians
- Different sizes according to the need of the family.
- Using mainly local materials
- Cheap
- Smokeless
- Chimney made with number of mud made bricks, stacked, hole at centre.

Within a short period of ten months, Small Farmers' Development Project (SFDP) and Production Credit for Rural Women (PCRW) installed hundreds of improved cookstoves in the areas covered by the project. Housewives seem to be quite happy with this design and reported that they could save about 30% of fuelwood.

The unique features of CRT's cookstove dissemination programme are as follows:

- conducting orientation programme for rural people to create awareness among them about environment, its degradation and need for its sustenance.
- using trained women technicians to train local housewives for fabrication and installation of improved cookstove.
- training of local promoters on operation and maintenance of installed cookstoves.
- using these promoters to train local housewives for operation and maintenance of installed rural cookstoves.
- using trained local technicians and promoters for constant follow up and supervision so that rural housewives need not suffer from using the cookstoves incorrectly.

CRT is planning to expand the improved cookstove dissemination programme to cover more households in the future. This will, in a couple of years, have an immense impact in reducing the use of fuelwood by the rural households which will contribute directly to sustaining more trees in the forest areas of Nepal.

The pursuit of sustainable development requires a technological system that can search continuously for new solutions.

The Improved Thai Bucket

Wood Energy News, FAO, Bangkok, April 1991, Vol 6

No. 1 (For further information, please read BP 22 -Stove Journal Profile No. 5 - Thai Bucket).

One component of the Royal Thai Government/USAID

Renewable Nonconventional Energy Project implemented in 1982-1984 was the development of improved stoves, by the Royal Forest Department. More efficient rice husk, wood and charcoal stoves were developed at the time.

It was estimated that in the early eighties, 4 million charcoal-burning bucket stoves (ANG-LO, thought to have been imported from South China in the beginning of the century) were used in Thailand.

These are of greatly varying size, design, quality and are sold at prices varying from 20 to 300 Baht (I to 15 US $ at 1980 rates). The improved charcoal stove project took the Ang Lo as its starting point, and improved the design of at least 8 features, as shown opposite.

These improved stoves were tested for 8 to 16 months in 200 households. It was found that these households saved 30-40% charcoal compared with the conventional Ang Lo stoves. Also the users liked many other operational features, such as easier ignition, faster cooking and better utilization of low quality charcoal.


1. Deeply slanted rim for various size; of pots; 24-25 cm top Inside diameter;
2. Hot air outlet 1 cm;
3. Top rim higher than pot bottom to prevent heat loss caused by wind;
4. 1500-1700 cc combustion chamber for 400-500 gms of charcoal.
5. Grate-pot distance of 10-12 cm;
6. Air inlet door: 5-6 cm x 10-12 cm; cap required for heat reduction during operation;
7. Crate diameter of 16-18 cm, thickness of 35-4 cm; 61 holes of 1.2 cm, or 52 holes of 1.4 cm; holes 38-45 % of the grate area.
8. Stove wall & insulation minimum 5 cm thick
9. Weight < 10 kg