Wood fuel saving cook stoves are improving livelihoods in Kenya

With the support of the ACP-EU Energy facility, the project “Improved cook stoves for Households and Institutions” has enhanced access to and use of efficient, renewable and clean energy options in five counties in Kenya.

Approximately 200,000 people have experienced significant improvements in livelihood with new efficient wood fuel cook stoves with a saving wood fuel capacity up to 50% according to the project partners: Hivos, ETC and SCODE. Especially women have been targeted, and women are now at the centre of stove installation, maintenance and repair in the five counties. The participation of women in the value chain has translated to income generation, which in turn has increased women’s standing in their families and within the community. The empowering of women in the project, making them “change agents” within their communities, is a big part of the project’s success.

Engagement with village credit associations, SACCO’s, has ensured access to cook stoves allowing SACCO-members to buy stoves on credit. Thus, poor rural households delivering milk to their SACCO can now access a cook stove through a check off system. However, this has only been applicable in counties with a strong SACCO movement.

The adoption of a market-based approach has ensured that an income can be derived by anyone or any organisation that decides to enter the cook stove value chain. The project has made a difference for many poor households in poor rural areas; however, the highest impact has been in the areas with most economic resources where the market for improved cook stove has had the best conditions to thrive.