| Application of biomass-energy technologies |
|III. Fuel-efficient cookstoves|
One of the most successful urban stove projects in the world is the Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ) initiative. Over 500,000 stoves of this new improved design have been produced and disseminated in Kenya since the mid-198Os (Davidson and Karekezi, 1991). Known as the Kenya Ceramic Jiko, KCJ for short, the improved stove is made of ceramic and metal components and is produced and marketed through the local informal sector. One of the key characteristics of this project was its ability to utilize the existing cookstove production and distribution system to produce and market the KCJ. Thus, the improved stove is fabricated and distributed by the same people who manufacture and sell the traditional stove design.
Another important feature of the Kenya stove project is that the KCJ design is not a radical departure from the traditional stove. The KCJ is, in essence, an incremental development from the traditional all-metal stove. It uses materials that are locally available and can be produced locally. In addition, the KCJ is well adapted to the cooking patterns of a large majority of Kenya's urban households. The KCJ design was not selected or identified at the onset of the stove programme but was arrived at through a series of iterative and dynamic research and development steps that involve a large number of individuals including existing artisans producing stoves; interested NGOs; government ministries; and research agencies.
In many respects, the KCJ project provides an ideal case study of how an improved stove project should be initiated and implemented. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the KCJ initiative, an appreciation Kenya's household sector, the subject of the next section, is vital.