Energy-saving ground stoves [Uganda]

keno di-ot (keno di-kal)

technologies_3324 - Uganda

Completeness: 86%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Ayamo Margret

Peasant farmer


Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Uganda Landcare Network (ULN) - Uganda

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?



This is a sustainable energy saving technology.

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Energy-saving stove is a hole dug in the floor of a hut or in the compound. It helps to reduce the quantity of firewood used for cooking by reducing heat loss and ensuring firewood burning for longer time.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


The rate at which forests are disappearing in northern Uganda is so frightening that strategic ameliorative innovations such as reduced wastage of biomass energy need to be envisioned. As such, the technology known as “energy-saving ground stove or energy-efficient ground stove” is being promoted in the region. This technology ensures that (i) smoke is eliminated in the kitchen, thus achieving a healthy environment, (ii) cooking is done faster while the stove retains beat for longer periods, (iii) up to 60% of firewood used with traditional cooking stoves is saved, and (iv) accidents from open fires are prevented.The energy-saving ground stove is constructed by digging a hole inside the kitchen or in the compound. For domestic food preparation, the hole is usually 1 square meter and 15 cm deep. The end where firewood is inserted is about 20 cm wide; while the opposite end where the fire burns is about 30 cm wide. Sometimes, the ground hole is lined with a layer of clay on the floor and walls. During construction, the common wind direction should be noted, especially when the hole is constructed outside the house. Constructing this ground hole does not require much technical skill although making a good one requires some experience. A hand hoe is commonly used for digging the hole, but any ground excavating tool can be used. This technology helps to preserve heat in the soil for further cooking; thus reducing household demand for firewood considerably. Ultimately, this reduces the pressure on deforestation. It also substantially saves women farmers’ precious time, otherwise spent looking for firewood. This technology is particularly important for people who use firewood for cooking, because most energy- saving stoves available in the markets are expensive and require charcoal. Other locally made portable stoves also require charcoal. The challenge with the ground-stove technology is that it is not portable, hence, cannot be moved from one point to another. When constructed outside the kitchen, it becomes filled with water during rainy season, a factor that constrains its sustained use.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.4 Videos of the Technology



2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:


Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • applied at specific points/ concentrated on a small area

cooking points or kitchen

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • as part of a traditional system (> 50 years)

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • conserve ecosystem

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Settlements, infrastructure

Settlements, infrastructure

  • Settlements, buildings

Applied at cooking points or inside kitchen.


Applied at cooking points or inside kitchen.

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

Number of growing seasons per year:



1st rain between mid march to june, 2nd rain between mid july to november

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • energy efficiency technologies

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

structural measures

structural measures

  • S10: Energy saving measures

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover



Deforestation since the pressure on wood cutting is reduced.

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
  • adapt to land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

length 1m
burning end : round with diameter 30cm (depends on the purpose and sauce pan commonly used)
firewood input end 20cm (also depends on the purpose)
depth 15cm deep (depends on purpose )


Amale Balla Sunday



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology unit
Specify unit:


Specify dimensions of unit (if relevant):

not applicable

other/ national currency (specify):

Uganda shillings

If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

5000 per day

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Identifying a suitable space anytime
2. Marking lot anytime
3. digging holes anytime

this cost has never been incurred as a person would simply perform the task himself or herself

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour persons person hours 1.0 2000.0 2000.0 100.0
Equipment hand hoe piece 1.0 10000.0 10000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 12000.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 3.33

for the cost of hand hoe, the land user maynot meet the cost since it may be available within the farmstead

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. removing the ash once per week
2. shaping the corners once a year

There are no recurrent activities except from reshaping the hole after 2-3 years when it will have lost shape.

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour personnel person hours 1.0 2000.0 2000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 2000.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 0.56

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

price of the hoe

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

two rainy seasons separated by short dry spell between june and july. dry season between december to march

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:


Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant
Comments and further specifications on topography:

applied in the homestead, compound or inside the house/hut

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

poor drinking water (treatment required)

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • small-scale

technology applied at household level

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)

they have spring water for drinking

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


energy generation

Quantity before SLM:

collect fire wood once a week

Quantity after SLM:

collect firewood after every fortnight

Comments/ specify:

after SLM, little wood is required for their cooking activities

Income and costs

farm income

Comments/ specify:

increased since time spent in collecting firewood is put in farming

Socio-cultural impacts

land use/ water rights

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

farm land cultivated

more time to work on farm

farm land cultivated

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

more time to work on farm

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

impact of greenhouse gases

Comments/ specify:

efficient energy utilization

Specify assessment of off-site impacts (measurements):

This technology has indirect impacts on reducing land degradation.

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 11-50%
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

usually common among people brewing alcohol

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Less time needed for collecting firewood since wood demand is reduced.
Reduced cutting down of trees since demand for firewood is reduced.
Heat stored in the ground makes food cook very fast.
After cooking, the heat in the soil is used to roast sweet potatoes or cassava.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The technology is cheap and does not require technical skills.
It can easily be scaled up to highly populated areas since it takes up a very small space.
The technology is cheaper than any portable energy saving stoves available in the market.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Cannot be moved from one point to another.
If in the compound, rainwater clogs inside it. Cover it with carpet during rain.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Corners need shaping over time. Use clay to stabilise corners of the ground hole.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys


  • interviews with land users

2 farmers

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts


When were the data compiled (in the field)?


Links and modules

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