Construction and Installation of Improved Indigenous Wood Saving Stove or locally known as 'Adhanet' Mogogo.   [Eritrea]

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Reporting Entity: Eritrea

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights: No

Completeness: 74%

General Information

General Information

Title of best practice:

Construction and Installation of Improved Indigenous Wood Saving Stove or locally known as 'Adhanet' Mogogo.  



Reporting Entity:


Property Rights

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights:



Section 1. Context of the best practice: frame conditions (natural and human environment)

Short description of the best practice

Traditional stoves use a lot of biomass such as wood, crop residues & cow dung to get household energy for cooking and heating. Despite the use of a large amount of biomass, it is energy inefficient hence uneconomical and environmentally unfriendly & unhealthy to women and children who use it for cooking daily meals and heating purposes. On the other hand the indigenous improved stoves use less firewood per unit time & are relatively speaking more energy efficient than the traditional stoves. The improved stove reduces the use of fuelwood by 60% to 70% while cooking efficiency ranges from 20% to 25% as compared to the traditional stove which is 5 to 8 % energy efficient. Because of this reduction the improved stove is known as 'Adhanet mogogo'' locally which means literary saviour stove. The improved stoves are designed in such a way that they are raised from the ground to about 1 metre height & 1 metre width depending of course on the availability of space. Each stove has three compartments. The smoke produced lets out through the chimney unlike in the traditional stoves where the smoke remains in the kitchen. Each improved stove has a fire grate & insulating materials such as ash & sand. The external body is constructed with mud bricks. The stove is an integrated and is three in one which makes it economical and efficient. One can use all three at the same time. One of the stoves has a clay oven with 60 cm in diametre & is used for preparing 'injera', the stable food of the communities. The middle one with about 20 cm in diametre is used to prepare stew/sauce & the third oven made from metal is used to prepare 'kitcha' which is similar to pancake and is another stable food. The metal and clay ovens each has metal covers. This oven has also 60 cm in diametre. Each stove has a perforated fire grate which allows jet stream of hot air to circulate. Fire grates have conical shaped with large sized openings at the bottom and narrow openings at the top such arrangements do not need ventilation as it is self-ventilated. Fire grates also serve as fire holders. Each has an opening with a sliding door fixed by door hings. The doors are always closed & are open only when one wants to add some burning materials. The entire system has an insulated double layered wall to keep the heat inside. As of today there are about 125,000 improved stoves distributed throughout the country and more are being constructed.  


These stoves are introduced in most villages of the country.  

Brief description of the natural environment within the specified location.

Biotic and abiotic factors affect the formation of soil types. Soils vary from calcareous to cambisols, and loamy soils along the valley bottoms. There are also clay and sandy loam soil types. By and large soils are poor in fertility and are shallow.
Most of the highlands are mountainous bisected by valleys whereas the lowlands are flat plains. Altitude varies from about 120 metres below sea level to about 3020 metres above sea level. Altitude has a major role in rain fall distribution and temperatures ranges.   
Climate is semi-arid with uneven and erratic rainfall. Rain fall is bimodal where the small/short rains come from Feb/Mar to May and the big rains fall from mid June to mid Sept. The coastal areas get rain fall from Oct to Jan. Annual rain fall ranges from 400 mm to 1,000 mm. Temperature varies from 25 to 45 degrees Centigrade.  

Prevailing socio-economic conditions of those living in the location and/or nearby

Agriculture is the main stay of the Eritrean society, Most of the target communities are sedentary and are subsistence farmers. They own agricultural land and livestock. They grow different types of cereals and leafy and non-leafy vegetables, different types of animal products majority of which are for household consumption with some for sale.          |
The main income sources are from the sale of agricultural products and participating in off-farm activities such as masonry, carpentry, small-scale traders, selling of embroiders and baskets. Some also work in factories and industries.  |

On the basis of which criteria and/or indicator(s) (not related to The Strategy) the proposed practice and corresponding technology has been considered as 'best'?

1. Participation, commitment and mobilisation: the target communities participate fully in the construction and instalment of stoves. They collect locally available materials such as mud and stones. They construct mud bricks which are necessary for stove construction. This is done freely. The local government, members of the National Union of Eritrean Women and extension agents of the MoA create enabling environment and mobilse the community so that each household could have its own stove. (2) Ownership and self-reliance: Each woman works diligently and eagerly because she knows that at the end of the day the stove belongs to her and maintains herself; (3) bottom-up approach: this intervention is not imposed from above. It is based on felt needs of the community because of this the intervention is sustainable.    

Section 2. Problems addressed (direct and indirect causes) and objectives of the best practice

Main problems addressed by the best practice

The main problems addressed by the best practice are deforestation and land degradation; loss of soil fertility leading to poor & unsustainable land husbandry followed by poor agric-yield per unit area; shortages of fuelwood for household energy; smoke related diseases such as eye and lung diseases; emission of excessive green house gases mainly carbon dioxide; biodiversity and recurrent drought, migration of people and livestock for food, grazing land and shelter, among others.

Outline specific land degradation problems addressed by the best practice

The dependency of fuelwood as a source of energy for cooking and heating has always been the number one cause of depletion of forests and flora biodiversity. However due to the absence of other alternative sources of energy, most of the local communities have to resort to the use of fuelwood despite its untold detrimental effects on the environment. Because of deforestation there is loss of soil fertility, reduction in agric-yield. The effects of climate change are aggravated resulting in the increase of drought period, rise in temperature and loss of organic matter and soil moisture all leading to aridity. Because of tree cutting for fuel downstream ponds, micro-dams and dams fill with silts decreasing their life span. Crop diversity is minimised and livestock products and by-products are reduced  

Specify the objectives of the best practice

The overarching objective is to contribute towards food &  nutrition & water security & poverty alleviation. The specific objectives are (1) mobilisation, sensitization & awareness raised, (2) transfer technology (3) reduce the use of excessive biomasss for h/hold energy (4) increase energy efficiency (5) improve health status of women & children (6) reduce emission of GHG; (7) save cooking time & spend the saved time to carry out other economically, socially & culturally important processes,|(8) Develop skills and know how on report writing, supervising, monitoring & evaluation of local government officials, members of NUEW,NUEYS and extension staff of the Ministryt of Agriculture (MoA) & Ministry of Mines and Energy (MoM&E) (9) Improved livelihoods of beneficiary communities

Section 3. Activities

Brief description of main activities, by objective

The materials needed for stoves are stones, mud, mud bricks & clay oven which are available locally & items like chimneys, fire grate, metal oven, metal door & hinges are purchased from the market. Beneficiaries collect locally available items which account for about 60% of the materials needed for stove construction. The others are purchased from the market. When all the needed materials are made ready the actual construction work starts. |One extension agent trains about ten women on average on stove construction, installation & maintenance skills theoretically & practically. The trained farmers again train others. They prepare their meals & heat water, milk tea or coffee with less firewood and less time. Such alternative energy stoves increase efficiency and reduce the use of biomass greatly.
The extension agents of the MoA, MoE&M & NUEW jointly train women on the construction, installation & maintenance of stoves, The effect of smoke on health & on climate change & prevention mechanisms are also included in the training sessions, Training includes both theoretical as well as practical aspects. Since it is not possible to train the entire community only a selected number of beneficiaries are trained & the trained women train others thus transferring technology of stove construction,
The local government in collaboration with VDC, NUEW, NUEYS & extension agents of the MoA & MoE&M sensitize & mobilise communities on the causes & effects of deforestation & land degradation and the drawbacks of indigenous stoves on health and on environment are also explained to raise awareness of communities in order to bring about a change of attitude. Explanation is also given as to the contribution of alternative energy devices towards food, health & water security.
The indigenous stoves use a lot of biomass to get energy for household purposes such as meal preparation, boiling & heating water, teae, coffee, milk, etc. Despite using a lot of firewood energy efficiency is poor &  consumes a lot of time. The improved stove uses small sized sticks which are usually available around dwelling places. They do not use crop residues or cow dung. The main activities under this objective are collection of sticks for the stove. It is effcient & saves collection time|Objective 5: Smoke & soot produced from the indigenous stoves remain in the kitchen there is no structure to take these to the outside. Because of this the health of women & children especially eyes & respiratory organs are affected badly due to the smoke & soot. The roof of the kitchen is always black with soot and smoke. The improved stoves have chimneys to take the smoke out moreover the amount of smoke produced is very little because a small amount of sticks are used as firewood. |Objective 6: As mentioned above the indigenous stoves use & consume a lot of biomass such as wood, cow dung & crop residues per unit time in preparing meals & heating purposes. Because of this they produce a lot of green house gases like carbon dioxide, methane, etc. which are emitted to the atmosphere. However, the improved stoves use small sized sticks in small amounts and do not use crop residues & cow dung. The efficiency of energy use is also good & high which enables GHG reduction. |Objective 7: Women and school children both girls & boys used to spend a lot of time collecting firewood for the indigenous stoves. Because of this school dropouts & the rate of school leavers was very high especially in the case of girls. However, with the use of the improved stoves less time is spent on fetching small sticks & since the stoves are efficient & save time greatly the number of school dropouts and school leavers have reduced tremendously.   |Objective 8: Reporting and evaluating: NUEW, NUEYS, VDC, and extension agents write and compile periodic and final reports and submit these reports to their respective institutions.
2. Final evaluation is made by an external agency which is recruited on certain given criteria|Supervision, monitoring and evaluation activities are undertaken.  Members from the NUEW, NUEYS, VDC, beneficiary communities, extension agents of the two line ministries carry out these activities.|Objective 9: All these activities lead to an increase of agric-production & productivity, improvement in health status & increase in household income which collectively bring about an improvement in the living conditions of  community members.

Short description and technical specifications of the technology

The technology is indigenous with slight modifications in order to be more energy efficient with less firewood. The improved stove has an integrated three stoves in one which makes it more efficient. The clay oven is 60 cm in diametre and has a metal sheet cover and is used to prepare injera, the stable food. At the centre is a small oven used for preparing sauce or stew and at the other end is an oven with 60 cm in diametre and used to prepare 'kitcha' a sort of pancake which is also a stable food. The height of the stove above the ground is about 1 metre and the width is also about 1 metre depending on space availability which facilitates working conditions. There is a conical shaped fire grate in every stove which is perforated to allow jet stream of hot air upwards. The conical fire grate has large sized openings at the bottom and narrow sized once at the top. The presence of such openings avoids the need for ventilation as it is self-ventilated. Fire grates also serve as fire holders. The opening of each stove has a small sized sliding door which is closed during operation i.e. food preparation and is opened during inserting burning materials. The whole system is equipped with an insulated wall which is double layered. The improved stove reduces the consumption of fuel wood by about 60% to 70%. The cooking efficiency is about 20% as compared to the traditional stove whose cooking efficiency is only from 5% to 8%. In the traditional stoves the smoke remains within the kitchen because there was no structure such as chimney. However, in the case of the improved stoves the smoke gets out of the kitchen through the chimney hence it does not make the kitchen black with smoke and soot and does not affect the health (mostly eyes and respiratory organs) of women and children. The improved indigenous stove received national & international recognition. It has received award from the follwing  organations (1) Expo 2000 received recognition as the best innovation, (2) Copied 2000 in South Africa has been selected and issued in publication. (3) Ashden Award 1st Winner on June 2003 and received UK Pound 30,000, (4) Expo Japan 2005-Received Award and Yen 1 million, (5) Technical Museum Award for Innovation benefitting humanity in USA recognised and awarded Best of Best in 2006,    

Section 4. Institutions/actors involved (collaboration, participation, role of stakeholders)

Name and address of the institution developing the technology

The technology is indigenous but the experts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Mines and Energy have modified to a certain extent so that fuelwood consumption would be reduced, and energy efficiency is increased.|Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Extension Department, P. O. Box 1048, Phone 291-1-181480; Fax:291-1-181412,  Asmara, Eritrea; e-mail asgedomheruy@gmail.com;    

Was the technology developed in partnership?


List the partners:

1) Communities (2) Village Development Committee (VDC) (3) Local government (4) National Union of Eritrean Women, (5) National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, (6) Ministry of Agriculture, and (7) Ministry of Mines and Energy   

Specify the framework within which the technology was promoted

  • Local initiative
  • National initiative – government-led
  • International initiative
  • Programme/project-based initiative

Was the participation of local stakeholders, including CSOs, fostered in the development of the technology?


List local stakeholders involved:

1. Communities. (2) Village Development Committee, (3) Local government office (4) National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW), (5) National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS), (6) Ministry of Agriculture and (7) Ministry of Mines and Energy   

For the stakeholders listed above, specify their role in the design, introduction, use and maintenance of the technology, if any.

1. Communities/beneficiaries prepare locally available raw materials for the construction of the stoves, construct, instal and maintain stoves. They assure sustainable use of stoves. About 60% of the stove materials are contributed by the communities themselves. (2) The VDC, NUEW and NUEYS create conducive environment and mobilise communities to construct and instal stoves, They sensitize the communities for the efficient use of the stoves; the MoA and MoM&E train communities on stove construction, installation and maintenance skills and know how. They monitor and evaluate the status of the constructed and installed stoves.   

Was the population living in the location and/or nearby involved in the development of the technology?


By means of what?
  • Consultation
  • Participatory approaches
  • Other (please specify)

Communities are involved during supervision, monitoring and evaluation processes.


Section 5. Contribution to impact

Describe on-site impacts (the major two impacts by category)

The technology uses much less fuelwood as compared to the traditional stoves. There is less use of cow dung, crop residues and wood. At present cow dung, crop residues are being used as organic fertilisers instead of burning them  which boosts agri-yield. There is less tree cutting for fuelwood.    
The technology uses less firewood. Hence tree cutting for firewood is reduced which brings about an increase in biodiversity, in soil fertility, reduction in siltation of water bodies thus increasing the life span of the water bodies such as dams, micro dams.
Trees are used to sequestrate atmospheric gases. If the trees are cut the atmospheric air gets hot which could raise temperature and this has a negative effect on the communities. The improved stoves do not use a large amount of wood because of this the environment is ameliorated.
The technology is efficient. Cooking time is saved & more time is spent in child rearing including family care, education, farming & participating in social and economic affairs which all lead to the improvement of livelihoods through the increase of agric-production & income generating activities.
Because the technology is efficient there is ample time to participate in social, economical & political affairs & women can have the chance to elect & get elected thus improving the socio-economic level. These also lead to gender equality & equity. Teaching mothers means teaching the family.    
Most rural women are busy and fully engaged in household chores. However, because of the high efficiency of the technology women get time and chance to get formal and informal education to increase their knowledge and skill as a result of which socio-economic level increases.

Describe the major two off-site (i.e. not occurring in the location but in the surrounding areas) impacts

As mentioned above with the use of improved stoves the rate of tree cutting for fuelwood is very low and siltation of water bodies is reduced. People can use water for irrigation purposes throughout the year. They could grow a variety of cereals, vegetables and fruits and sell to the market and earn cash to improve their livelihoods.
Forests protect soils erosion, improve soil structure, soil moisture & soil fertility all leading to an increase in agric-yield. They also ameliorate climate change induced effects such as drought and poor health. The use of improved stoves reduces deforestation leading to an increase in yield, health improvement and amelioration of climate change induced droughts and diseases.

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?


Section 6. Adoption and replicability

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?



1. Households within the target villages that did not instal such stoves  and waiting for installation,  2. Neighbouring  villages

Can you identify the three main conditions that led to the success of the presented best practice/technology?

Participation and motivation of the communities was high. The local government offices, NUEW, NUEYS & extension agents of the MoA and NoM&E created enabling environment,  played major roles & responsibilities in creating awareness and sensitising the communities and trained the beneficiaries with zeal and enthusiasm which could be easily replicated with some modifications to suit the prevailing socio-economic conditions of the beneficiary communities.  
There was a felt need for the construction of easily maintained and biomass saving stoves because of shortage of fuelwood. In every village there is Village Development Committee that is well organised and looks after the needs of the society. This committee is responsible to find solutions to the problems of the society such as to look for heat efficient stoves. This structural at the community level could be replicated with some adjustments to suit the prevailing conditions of the society.
Weather conditions are challenges which encourage farmers to be creative. To solve weather induced challenges farmers discuss among themselves, plant quick & drought resistant tree species near their homesteads where they could look after them very attentively & when grown they could use them as firewood for their improved stoves. This can be replicated very easily provided there is dire need, will & determination. This can be done either individually or collectively.        


In your opinion, the best practice/technology you have proposed can be replicated, although with some level of adaptation, elsewhere?


At which level?
  • Local
  • Sub-national
  • National
  • Subregional
  • Regional
  • International

Section 7. Lessons learned

Related to human resources

1. Change in attitude developed: Communities have realised causes & effects of deforestation. 2. Awareness of the general public towards the need for & importance of judicious use of natural resources raised, 3. need for & importance of participation, communication, team work, experience sharing, leadership & mobilisation were realised & strengthened; (4) the importance of bottom-up approach recognised;

Related to technical aspects

The need for & the importance of alternative energy devices was felt and women developed skill. Women beneficiaries get training on stove construction,  installation & maintenance skills & know-how. The trained women do train others. The extension agents of the MoA and MoM&E produce & distribute IEC materials which could be used to upgrade the skill and know-how of the beneficiary women. Capacity of all stakeholders in skills related to supervision, M&E & report writing have improved greatly.

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