Cover Image
close this bookBoiling Point No. 44 - Linking Household Energy with other Development Objectives (ITDG - ITDG, 2000, 44 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentTheme editorial: Integrating household energy into wider development objectives
View the documentInterlinkages of household energy with the environment
View the documentAre energy projects not wanted any more?
View the documentHealth and household energy - the need for better links between research and development
View the documentCooking smoke can increase the risk of tuberculosis
View the documentMonitoring ECO-house performance as if people mattered
View the documentCarbon trading: a new route to funding improved stove programmes?
View the documentGTZ Pages
View the documentThe integrated approach to link household energy with other development objectives - Some organisational experiences from the ProBEC demonstration project in the Hurungwe District of Zimbabwe
View the documentThe ecological cost of increasing dependence on biomass fuels as household energy in rural Nigeria
View the documentWomen in post-harvest operations: reducing the drudgery
View the documentLight... from wind... a journey of will and imagination
View the documentThe Tehesh efficient biomass stove, Tigrai, Ethiopia
View the documentResearch and Development: The 'Turbo' wood-gas stove
View the documentPublications
View the documentWhat's happening in household energy?
View the documentITDG energy news

GTZ Pages

Household Energy Programme (HEP)
Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany
Tel: +49 6196-79 1618/6354

Editor: Cornelia Sepp and Anette Emrich

News from Headquarters

Regional ProBEC workshop in Mozambique

A 'Regional Workshop on Improved Stove Design and Dissemination Strategies' organised by ProBEC was staged in Maputo Mozambique during April 3-7, 2000. Participants were professionals from Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. A similar workshop will be held at a latter date with participants from the other ProBEC member countries, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa.

Sustainability of project effects

An analysis was commissioned by HEP on the sustainability of measures initiated during two former projects, the improved stove dissemination project in Mali (1988-1997) and the household energy project 'Women and Energy' in Kenya (1982-1994).

The main focus of the evaluation was placed on the various dissemination strategies (production, design, marketing, use), to identify transferable results - but also problems and possible solutions, for ongoing and future household energy projects and project components. The study will be concluded by the middle of this year and can be acquired through HEP, GTZ.


The former regional co-ordinator of HEP-Sahel, Beatrix Westhoff, concluded her assignment for HEP-Sahel at the end of March in 1999. She has been replaced by Madame Armande Sawadogo in Ouagadougou, who has taken over the position of co-ordinator for this regional programme. At GTZ headquarters, Anke Weymann is responsible for administrative steering and back-stopping. Several missions in this function have taken her to Mauritania, Senegal and repeatedly to Ouagadougou during the past year.

Household energy and environment

The French translation of the study 'Household Energy and Environment - Recording and Evaluation of Ecological Effects in Household Energy Projects' was completed and published. A summary version and translations of the study are now available in German and French.

Extension course

Following a request from GTZ's Addis Ababa based Household Energy/Protection of Natural Resources (HEPNR) project, an extension course on household energy for Ethiopian experts was prepared and implemented in November 1999 by ECO-Consult. Due to the appreciation of this course by the participants and based on the experience gained, HEP has now contracted ECO-consult to produce training material for a non-country-specific course.

· The basic objective is to create a common level of information and awareness on the nature and causes of the current fuel-wood crisis in a specific country,

· the possible political, environmental, and socio-economic impacts at national, regional and household levels,

· common strategies for tackling the crisis, and

· the respective advantages and disadvantages of those strategies.

The course and material can be used as a tool for lobbying for the importance of household energy programmes at the level of decision makers. The material will be available in English and French.

Promotion of the Ukombozi mud-stove in Lushoto, Tanzania

by Ursula Schimmel and Asha Shelukindo

The Soil Erosion Control & Agro-forestry Project (SECAP), active in the Lushoto District in the northeastern part of Tanzania, has included household energy activities in support of its overall strategy for the promotion of improved land-use systems in the Western Usambaras. SECAP's household energy project component is assisted by HEP.

The promoted improved stove is the Ukombozi stove (the 'saving stove'), a copy of the Kenyan liner-stove, built from local material. It was introduced to the West Usambaras in 1999 to replace the existing Usambara stove.

The traditional Usambara mud-stove is widely used. The owner - or a skilled neighbour - builds it according to personal wishes. Most stoves have a big fire chamber, large door and several cooking places without pot rests. Efficiency is low though, and unfortunately there is little knowledge about fuelwood saving kitchen management.

Figure 1: The Ukombozi stove under construction


To replace the traditional stove, promotion of an efficient, affordable improved mud-stove - instead of the liner stove - was seen most suitable, as distances are long and purchasing power is low. Additionally, there are many skilled stove builders (women only) in the villages and, by tradition, mud stoves are generally well maintained by their users.

The Ukombozi stove is an exact copy of the liner-stove. The standard dimensions are used, but, in addition, insulation, using chambers filled with ash, is incorporated. Building materials are clay soil, fresh cow dung, and stones. Several designs have been developed, e.g. double - or triple stove, round stove, corner stove, and high stove, giving customers a choice.

The dissemination approach changed over time. Initially training was offered to interested women groups on stove building. In a next step, this was extended to traditional stove builders, who mastered the skills with greater ease, but were usually not in a position to spend much time on stove building, as the criteria were set to involve only trainees who would be able to work on a self-employed basis.

In the early stages, the local authorities regarded the stove builders as private entrepreneurs and did not offer much assistance. Now, however, emphasis is put on close co-operation with the local authorities. After initial discussion, it is for them to decide whether they require training for stove builders in their areas, and to request it. They then commit themselves to assist the stove builders in the promotion of the improved stove.

The training now not only includes stove construction but also kitchen management and promotion issues. The training was extended from three to five days. Always one experienced, self-employed stove builder is included as co-trainer. Regular follow-up is provided.

The stove builders like to work in teams (2-3 women); about one team per 100 households seems to be sufficient. Most of the women are good technicians; some have come up with further kitchen improvements, e.g. seats, benches, storage facilities. Their customers have almost all demolished their old stoves and started keeping a dry stock of fuelwood. Generally, the kitchens are much cleaner and better maintained than before. According to the first consumption test conducted, fuel-wood savings amount to 30-50%.

Experience proved that payment is crucial for the women to continue actively as stove builders. Some of the women started free construction of the new stoves, for instance, for relatives and friends, or for poor farmers, for whom the traditional stove was usually constructed for free. None of these women are active in the field anymore.

In order to establish themselves as paid artisans the women are, thus, trying several approaches:

· They fix the price of stove construction according to the purchasing power of the area;

· They advertise their skills as trained craftswomen instead of neighbourhood help;

· They refuse to build for free but accept payment in cash, kind or labour;

· For promotion, they co-operate with village leaders and build demonstration stoves in public buildings.

In areas were the stove builders have established themselves as paid artisans, little additional promotion is needed. The Ukombozi stove advertises itself. However, education in further kitchen management is needed and exchange of ideas between the teams of stove builders has to be facilitated.

Figure 2: The Ukombozi stove in use


Development of tin can fireplaces in Lesotho

by Michael Hones

As already reported in Boiling Point No 39, 1997, HEP supports the use of empty tin cans for the construction of stoves and heat-reflectors in Lesotho.

The idea originated from the offhand question: How does one save firewood in a poor country where strong cultural traditions rule? The answer seemed to be not too difficult: Don't change the cooking culture, add something new to it.

The transformation of the answer into reality, though, wasn't quite that simple, once the circumstances were analysed, especially in a society where literally no tradition for using energy saving devices exists. Neither a self-made, nor a commercial approach seemed to fit, with the self-made approach eventually leading to less efficient devices, and the commercial approach needing high qualification and financial resources. The purchasing power of a majority of the people is extremely low; and those with access to money have generally already switched to other fuel sources, such as gas and electricity.

The idea then was to combine both approaches. With empty beverage and food cans readily available and of high value and mechanical qualities, a free and suited construction material was found. While the size of the cans defines the basic construction norm (thus preventing constructors taking 'short-cuts'), their numbers can be varied to adapt the energy saving devices specifically to the pots used in a household. The tin cans are attached to each other (4 holes punched per can, wire, several rows high) to form a ring which is placed around the fire and pot to serve as a heat reflector. There is no significant change in cooking habits. About 35% firewood and 15% boiling time are saved. Under normal conditions and daily use, the tin can fireplace will serve its purpose for up to two years.

The acceptance of this energy saving device among the population was tested in a small pilot project financed by GTZ. Training was delivered into rural areas. Also, a workshop with representatives from local institutions was organised, and results were printed in a booklet in the local language, Sesotho, covering cooking and fire management guidelines, as well as the construction, use and marketing of the tin can fireplace.

The most suitable locations for a project of this kind, it was found, are densely populated areas and places around traffic junctions in rural areas, also villages situated up to a distance of about 20 to 30 km from a larger town. These are places with high tin can consumption and access to cans on the one hand and a shortage of fuelwood on the other.

During an extension of the project, the English version of the booklet will be made available for other projects with similar objectives. Contact is possible through [email protected]; a website: will eventually be available.

Solidarity as a means for solutions in the household energy sector

by Cornelia Sepp

'Development factor: Solidarity' was the heading of the second Eschborner Fachtage which took place from between June 22 and June 23 at GTZ in Eschborn, Germany. The following article summarises a presentation held during this meeting.

Two definitions for 'solidarity' were given:

The dictionary definition 'optimal degree of conformity of objectives between the individual objectives of the majority of members and the objectives of the organisation itself (Gablers Wirtschaftslexikon, 1996)

Attachment, close ties and community of fate (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, 1996)

Man's natural endeavour is to live together and to form a social order. Thus, it follows that solidarity is based on voluntary adaptation, and even personal sacrifice in favour of social relationships. It may also be assumed, that these bonds are most natural in the immediate social surroundings, such as the family or clan. With increasing size and complexity of the group, the direct ties between individuals lose relevance and are gradually replaced by (religious) norms and governmental intervention and regulation.

An inquiry into the interrelation between solidarity and household energy issues reveals the obvious connection with the terms 'subsidiarity' and 'sustain-ability'.

As household energy supply is directly based on activities carried out at the community and family levels, they are closely linked to subsidiarity as a guiding principle.

Sustainability may be defined as solidarity between generations. However, it can be stated, that solidarity-ties gradually loosen, as resources become scarce.

All three terms: solidarity, subsidiarity and sustainability, and the way they relate to each other, are highly relevant to household energy measures in the context of development. The main problem which household energy projects seek to address is the scarcity of energy, so one of the main objectives is to guarantee a long-term, sustainable supply of energy to households.

Solidarity may thus be considered one of development cooperation's guiding principles and of immediate relevance for better dissemination of household energy project measures. At the same time, though, solidarity has to be seen as an objective in itself, to which household energy measures can contribute.

Table 1 indicates some of the relationships between household energy measures at different intervention levels with solidarity, subsidiarity and sustainability.

Table 1: Interrelation of solidarity, sustainability and subsidiarity with household energy measures at different levels of intervention.

Local level Households, producers, traders, communities, associations

Regional/national level Governmental organisations, high-level decision-makers

Global level International decision-makers, institutions, donors, recipients


· Communication and sensitisation in the group
· Stove construction in the frame of neighbourhood assistance
· Commercial production by women's groups
· Commercial production by forgers/potters
· Common marketing of firewood

· Tax policies
· Pricing policies (e.g. introduction of fixed prices for forest firewood)
· Umbrella organisations (strengthening of organisations)

· Transfer of benefits for the reduction of CO2 (carbon trading)
· Debt for nature swap (an agreement between a donor or NGO and a debtor country for cancellation of debt in exchange for environmental commitments by the debtor country) Joint implementation


· Regulation of land use allocation
· Common afforestation/forest management
· Creation of energy alternatives
· Energy savings

· National plans for household energy supply
· Development and spread of household energy technologies
· Introduction of alternative energies

· Certification
· Forest Convention
· Agenda 21


· Own construction of stoves
· Individual tree planting

· Decentralisation of markets for the sale of firewood and stoves
· Taking over of former state responsibilities for forest resources by communities

· Decentralisation of decision competence
· International Forum on Forests (IFF - Rio follow-up process)