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Igniting impact: scaling up the Kenya cookstoves project

The Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project, a pioneering initiative in Kenya's Mt Kenya and Aberdare regions, aims to combat carbon emissions and deforestation by manufacturing and distributing locally-made energy-efficient cookstoves to local communities. As the project scales up, it brings forth several key benefits that enhance its effectiveness and impact.

Video of DGB's project update in Kenya.

One of the most significant advancements is the expansion of the working space at the Kagio facility. This expansion accommodates the growing demand for additional staffing and enables the efficient drying of clay stove liners. Liners are the inner structures of the cookstoves before they are placed inside the jacket. A jacket is the metal casing inside which the clay stoves are placed for better durability.

With two additional working areas constructed, the facility now boasts four main working areas, fostering increased productivity and seamless operations. Furthermore, the in-house liner drying capacity has been amplified to an impressive 4,000 wet liners, with an efficient system in place to manage the drying process effectively. After one week, these liners can be piled to make room for additional liners to dry. The facility currently has 12,000 liners at various stages of drying. 

Scaling up the Kenya cookstoves project_cookstoves factory as a part of Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project_visual 2Drone view of the cookstove factory - Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project, DGB.

To support the increased production demands, the project has bolstered its workforce, particularly in the areas of moulding, finishing, and scaled jacket production. By investing in skilled personnel, the project ensures the quality and durability of the cookstoves and that they meet the diverse needs of local communities. Additionally, the project has established a robust network with Jua Kali artisans outside the Kagio facility, providing training and quality control support to produce jackets at scale. This collaboration will lead to the production of an estimated 10,000 jackets by over 50 artisans in the coming month, further bolstering the project's outreach.

Read more about the Kenya cookstove project

A pivotal aspect of the scaling-up process is the continuous emphasis on efficiency improvements. The kiln capacity has been optimised, resulting in reduced firing time and lower fuel requirements, thereby contributing to the project's eco-friendly approach. Ongoing research and development aim to further enhance these efficiencies, with plans to construct another kiln in the near future, leveraging learnings and improvements to achieve even greater energy and fuel-saving capabilities.

The Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project is an exemplary model of sustainable development, ensuring a positive impact on both the environment and local communities. By reducing wood consumption, the project not only mitigates deforestation but also saves time and resources for local communities and enables afforestation and conservation efforts to flourish. Moreover, using energy-efficient cookstoves improves indoor air quality, reducing the prevalence of respiratory diseases.

Scaling up the Kenya cookstoves project_Local man working in the cookstoves factory_visual 3Local man working in the cookstove factory - Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project, DGB.

As the project evolves and embraces innovative approaches, it continues to uphold its commitment to sustainability, community empowerment, and environmental preservation. The scaling up of the Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project signifies a momentous stride towards a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future for the region. DGB Group remains committed to being nature positive by implementing natural solutions that effect real change in the world.

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