Smokeless stoves make a difference. So can you

20 June 2014

As we noted in our last blog, the smokeless stove project is not a new one for Friends of Londiani. Friends of Londiani began work on the project in Kenya back in 2009. But it’s not just about building a smokeless stove: it’s about training, financing and supporting the entire concept. In fact in some ways, the building bit is the most straightforward. You need (approximately) 50 bricks, a bag of sawdust, clay water, a chimney, iron bars, a skilled installer to meet specific design requirements and some people to work on it. Planning and support take up just as much effort, however, which is why these days there’s a partnership between the Kenyan Ministry of Health, Kipkelion Table Banking and Friends of Londiani to make this work. And it is working. Some 350 stoves have been installed to date, bringing health benefits, more efficient use of fewer trees for firewood and business opportunities for manufacturers of bricks and chimneys. And some innovative financing too. The involvement of Kipkelion Table Banking (a community-developed fund that offers loans for income-generating concepts) has led to the development of a ‘smokeless stove loan’ available to all members of KTB. Women, in particular, can use the loan to finance stoves that could then pay for themselves by improving the efficiency of key tasks like collecting firewood and cooking meals - and giving women more time for other productive activities. There’s already a growing number of trained installers, community backing and stoves themselves in place. But a lot more work is needed. And that’s where you could come in — if you’re available in November. The July Harambee team is already established and soon going to be involved in the smokeless stove project as part of its volunteer work. But there are still a few places to fill for the November Harambee, so the registration date has now been extended to late August. So if you want to get an understanding of how charities, government and local enterprise can all work together in a way that visibly makes a difference- and get your hands dirty in a very good cause, why not have a look at, or email And read on! There will be much more on Harambee in next week’s blogs.