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close this bookBoiling Point No. 29 - December 1992 (ITDG - ITDG, 1992, 40 p.)
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Tanzanian Stoves

Extracts from "Improved Stoves in Tanzania"
by Tom Otiti, Stove Notes No. 6, published by FOOD, Nairobi, Kenya 1991

Wood energy accounts for over 90% of total energy consumption in Tanzania (UNEP, 1988). Energy is used for cooking, water heating, space heating and, to a lesser extent, lighting. Increased pressure on the biomass resource base caused by population growth and the accompanying demand for domestic and industrial energy coupled with the inability of the rural masses to gain access to non-traditional energy supplies, has resulted in over-exploitation of the same resource base beyond its capacity for renewability. It is estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 ha of natural forests and woodlands are lost each year (Kilahama, 1990). As in other parts of Africa, the open fire is the most widely used stove in rural areas while the most popular urban stove is the charcoal-burning traditional jiko.

Improved stoves were initially introduced in Tanzania to combat deforestation. Later or., it was suggested that improved stoves would enhance the quality of life of the users by improving the kitchen environment.

The open and competitive atmosphere that prevails in Tanzania has created a good environment for creativity and led to the development of a wide range of innovative improved stove designs. The Institute of Production Innovation (IPI) at the University of Dar es Salaam is currently testing stoves to compare the efficiencies of the different stoves in the country. The most common improved stoves are:

· Morogoro charcoal/wood stoves
· Jiko la Dodoma
· Jiko Bora
· Coal stoves

With the exception of the coal stoves, which are fairly recent, the dissemination of the other three stoves is now at an advanced stage.

Morogoro Charcoal/Wood Stoves

Research and development in wood-burning mud and ceramic stoves started in the early 1980s in Morogoro, at the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science of the University of Dares Salaam (now the Sokoine University of Agriculture). It was at this place that a Louga stove (originally developed in Senegal) was modified to suit local Tanzanian socio-cultural conditions. This work was sponsored by IDRC but did not go beyond the stage of laboratory testing due to the unpopularity of the Louga stove.

In 1985, the Morogoro Fuelwood Stove Project (MFSP) was launched with support from NORAD. Two separate portable ceramic stoves were developed, the improved Morogoro charcoal stove as well as the Morogoro firewood stove. The emphasis was on production, training and the promotion of the two stoves and awareness-creation of the socio-economic and environmental advantages of conserving firewood.

The Morogoro all-ceramic charcoal stoves use up to 45% less fuel than the traditional metal charcoal stoves. This project faced a serious setback when it was learnt that 60% of the all-ceramic stoves cracked when they were first used. Two years of work on clay mixtures, forming and firing did not cure the cracking problem and so the design was changed to incorporate a grate. This reduced the cracking rate to about 25%.

Fig 1 - Morogoro Charcoal Stove (MCS)

To date, some 2,500 stoves have been sold, although not all are still in use. Experiences gained by the MFSP indicate that people in Morogoro are generally not motivated to pay for or even use a stove if they can get firewood relatively easily and free of charge. Thus the diffusion of these stoves has been fairly slow.

Apart from working on the ceramic cookstoves, MFSP is training people to produce metal stoves, namely Mapumba cookstoves. The Mapumba stove is an efficient improved metal stove which utilizes biomass wastes such as sawdust, rice husks and cowdung. The stove is made out of scrap metal. It is cylindrical in shape with a 2cm diameter hole at the lower side and a metal lid with a 5 cm diameter hole at the centre through which a wooden rod passes. It has two handles.

Fig 2 - Mapumba Biomass Waste Stove

Jiko la Dodoma

Another type of improved charcoal stove is the double-walled metal UNICEF-designed stove from Kenya where it is known as the Umeme jiko. In Tanzania, the stove was christened the Jiko la Dodoma.

In comparison with the traditional charcoal stove (jiko), the Dodoma stove features three design improvements which contribute to increased energy efficiency:

enclosure of the combustion chamber and partial enclosure of the cooking pot by raising the wall of the stove; better insulation of combustion chamber and pot through double wall; regulation of air inflow through a sliding door.

Fig 3 - Dodoma Charcoal Stove

This stove has a heat transfer efficiency of 36% compared to 15-20% for the traditional stove. The material required to produce the Dodoma stove is four to five times the amount necessary for producing a traditional stove. Likewise, the labour input required is five times greater and the work needs a skilled artisan. The stove is both bulky and heavy and small pots tend to slide while food is being stirred. In spite of these drawbacks, the Dodoma stove has registered significant sales in Dodoma, Arusha, Tanga, Iringa and Dar es Salaam.

Jiko Bora

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals' Renewable Energy Development Project Unit (REDPU) has launched a project aimed at developing and disseminating more efficient technologies for wood conversion and utilization. One of the components of this project is the Dar es Salaam Improved Charcoal Stove Pilot Project whose objective is to design, develop and disseminate an improved energy-saving cookstove.

Fig 4 - Jiko Bora Charcoal Stove

The project has adopted the metal ceramic design of the Kenya ceramic jiko (KCJ) which has been modified to suit the prevailing production technology in Tanzania. The end result was the charcoal burning Jiko Bora.

The project started by buying 200 KCJs from Kenya and giving them to people in and around Dar es Salaam. People were allowed to use the stoves for about one month and if they liked them, they paid for them. But if they found the stoves unsuitable, they were free to return them so they could be given to other households to try. After one month, none of the households resumed the stoves; instead they asked for more stoves for their neighbours.

Secondly, artisans were trained to make this type of stove. About 300 stoves were made in Tanzania and laboratory-tested at the Institute of Production Innovation. Two types of standard laboratory tests were conducted: the water boiling and the controlled cooking tests. After the laboratory tests, a field test was conducted and the performance of the stoves was found to be acceptable.

The future market for the charcoal burning ceramic Jiko Bora looks good, with sales projected at over 60,000 per year in Dar es Salaam region alone and well over half a million annually country-wide.

Community Charcoal/Woodstoves

For public institutions that use wood as fuel, different sizes of improved woodstoves with chimneys have been developed by CAMARTEC (Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Rural Technology). The main purpose of these stoves is to reduce the running expenditure through reduced woodfuel consumption. This stove is designed for use in institutions such as schools and hospitals. Since May 1989, woodstoves of 100 litre and 200 litre sizes have been produced with their locally manufactured stainless cooking pots. According to CAMARTEC, fuel savings of this stove range from 70 to 85%. The community woodstove can use mineral coal and can also bake bread.

Institutional Stoves 30-200 Litre Sized

The improved community charcoal and woodstoves are commonly known as the Duma stoves. Two models of Duma charcoal stoves of 30 and 50 litres capacities have been produced. These institutional charcoal stoves are made of steel sheet metal and lorry rims. The stove has its inside lined with bricks and plastered. There are portable and non-portable models. In Arusha, the stoves are made at the CAMARTEC workshop and about 20 to 30 are sold each year. In total, 100 stoves have been sold so far.

Fig 5 - Duma Institutional Wood/Charcoal Stove

The Way Forward

The future development of stove programmer in Tanzania looks bright, but eventual success will depend on a wide range of factors. Two of the central requirements for any successful attempt to realize the wide-scale dissemination of improved stoves in the country are:

continued support for greater participation of small-scale informal sector entrepreneurs and private sector manufacturers; institutional development.

Most of the stove producers in Tanzania who wish to expand their production are faced with financial problems. But the metal/ceramic stove technology has shown quick signs of high replicability by the entrepreneurs and good acceptance by users in Tanzania. It has also been confirmed in Tanzania that wood energy conservation through the introduction of innovative stove products is a significant industry providing opportunities for new jobs and income generation in a novel sector.

It is remarkable that many small and medium-scale Tanzanian entrepreneurs have shown willingness to invest their own financial resources in the production and marketing of improved stoves, especially the Jiko Bora. Assistance in the form of loans should be channelled to informal sector entrepreneurs and private sector manufacturers to ensure that the dynamism of the small and medium-scale entrepreneurs is brought to bear on the dissemination of improved cookstoves in the country.

Institutional Development

There is no well-established, specialized stove agency (such as KENGO) in Tanzania. All key institutions working on improved stoves are involved in other development activities. Improved stoves are just a small part of their development activities.

Specialization is a very important ingredient in introducing a product to the sophisticated urban household market where competition from other producers of traditional biomass and high grade fuel stoves is fierce (Karekezi and Walubengo, 1990). The need for specialization therefore depends on the type of technology and the intended beneficiaries. In the case of improved stoves which benefit the urban population, there is need for specialization. This can be achieved by strengthening the newly formed Tanzania Traditional Energy Development Organization so it is able to monitor the impact of training, stove designs and publicity on the intended beneficiaries.


UNEP, 1988, Strategy Resource Planning Vol III: Forests, Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme.

Kilahama, F B 1900. "The role of woodfuels in Tanzania". Issue paper for the National Seminar on Energy Policies. Held in Tanzania, October 10-15,1990.

Karekezi, S. and D Walubengo. 1989. Household Stoves in Kenya: The Case of the Kenya Ceramic Jiko. Nairobi: Kenya Energy and Environment Organization.

Ed Note: The stove development described above shows a strong move towards the use of charcoal and possibly coal to replace wood as the preferred domestic fuel. BP would like to be able to report the views of the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy and other stove promoting agencies on the trend in relation to deforestation, energy policies and environmental pollution and health and on the efficiency of charcoal production in Tanzania.