| Boiling Point No. 26 - December 1991 |
You may have noticed an article from "GLOW" in this issue of Boiling Point. We would like to congratulate GLOW magazine for its first issue in its new form and we wish it every success.
GLOW is produced by the Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination and Yayasan Dian Desa in Indonesia and is based on their Asia Regional Cookstove Programme (ARECOP).
In the first issue the magazine looks at:
The birth of the Asia Regional Cookstove Programme Charcoal Use in Japan
A Single Pot for the Pacific Islands
Glow appears quarterly and is distributed free of charge. Please contact ARECOP at the following address if you wish to be put on their mailing list:
Jalan Kaliwang KM7
PO Box 19
Fax: 62-274 63423
Gate Question Answer Information
by Peter Watts, ITDG
GATE - the German Appropriate Technology Exchange - is a division of GTZ, the German government's Agency for Technical Co-operation. "Gate" is also the name of the organisation's quarterly journal, which focuses on particular aspects of the agency's work in developing countries. The issue for March 1991 (no. 1/91) takes as its theme Integrated Household Energy Supply, with contributions from GATE's own staff, GTZ's partner agencies, and other agencies and individuals working in this field.
GATE's IHES programme is the successor to the Improved Cookstoves programme established in l984. While improved cookstoves are still a vital part of GATE's work, the change of name reflects a changed understanding of the issues addressed by the programme. As Dr Agnes Klingshirn, IHES Programme Coordinator, says in her theme article:
The dissemination of energy-saving technologies to conserve woodfuel energy cannot be a goal in itself, but the objective should rather be to assure an adequate supply of energy for the people to satisfy their basic energy needs for the household and community in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
The articles in the journal do in fact deal with the technologies concerned, but as a means to the end of improved living conditions at household and community level. For instance, a thought-provoking contribution from Kenya discusses the health hazards posed by regular exposure to biomass smoke. The 'Maendeleo' stove, designed by GTZ in conjunction with the Kenyan national women's organisation, Maendeleo ya Wanawake, can reduce hazardous emissions by up to 70% in comparison with the three-stone fire. Even so, exposure levels are still well above the safe limits recognised by the World Health Organisation. That the best such a programme can achieve is still considered unsatisfactory is a paradox, and one which might call into question the very rationale for the IHES programme. Might it not be more effective, for instance, to plough the same resources into the development of an infrastructure to allow the whole world to cook with clean and sophisticated fuels such as electricity and gas.
The point is, of course, that most developing countries do not have this option. The bulk of their populations will for the foreseeable future remain dependent on biomass energy, yet the attention paid to this issue in the world in general, and the amount of resources devoted to it, bear no relation at all to its significance. The work of GTZ and other agencies is an attempt to redress the balance, and the articles in this issue of "gate" make a convincing case for increased support from governments, NGOs, multi- and bi-lateral agencies for efforts to tackle the problems of household and community energy supply in the developing world.
The Kenya Ceramic Jiko
- a manual for stovemakers (pp 100, 1991, IT Pubs, £8.95) by Hugh Allen. Editorial review.
After several years development work in Kenya and other East African countries, the Kenyan Ceramic Jiko - KCJ is now one of the very few improved stoves which has become internationally known and popular. Only the Lorena (mud stove) and the Thai Bucket one-pot stove, from which the KCJ was developed, have become famous names and the former has not been widely accepted in its original Guatemalan form.
The KCJ is a one pot, portable charcoal burning stove consisting of a ceramic liner inside a metal case and the "improved" KCJ has a layer of insulating material between the steel and the clay. It bums 25 to 40% less charcoal than the traditional East African metal stove.
Hugh Allen's book is much more than a technical description of the stove, its design and how to make it. He traces its design from the traditional Kenya Jikos and shows how it was influenced by changing user needs. He is an engineer and so appreciates how the success of the KCJ depended on continuous improvements in methods of production of the metal and ceramic components and their assembly. The design was gradually modified to give higher fuel efficiency and greater convenience of use whilst production methods were changed to reduce material and labour costs. These improvements resulted in greater uniformity and interchangeability of parts to suit the increasing use of machinery as the scale of production changed to meet the rising demand for stoves in Kenya and from its neighbours.
Greater production was achieved by a choice of the most appropriate methods at each stage, by compromises between the skills of the artisans working under the trees and the specialized skills of a team in a small or medium sized workshop. This was done without bringing in overseas consultants with a big turnkey plant and putting large numbers of artisans out of business. Second-hand sheet steel is still used and no scarce foreign exchange is needed. Production capacity can be increased or decreased or directed to other products with a minimum of social disturbance.
The KCJ is not everybody's cup of tea but is being copied in modified forms by several of Kenya's neighbours. Hugh Allen's book, with its clear style and excellent illustrations, can help this process of technology transfer .
Since our last edition, ITDG has celebrated the 25th anniversary of its foundation.
It is no longer a room full of idealists with a big idea from Fritz Schumacher. It has a dedicated staff of 234 people of whom 106 are based overseas (Peru, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe etc). 128 at the Rugby headquarters and 12 at the London bookshop. About two-thirds are technologists, social scientists or communication specialists.
ITDG is still funded mainly by the ODA and by many charities and individuals in the UK. The l 990-1 expenditure is approximately £5,000,000. As you will see from our back cover, it now thinks more in terms of the technology users and suppliers rather than technology development alone.