Why are the improved cookstoves important? — Three different aspects

2023-11-21 13:23

Ecological aspect

The use of the stoves reduces firewood consumption in the households. This reduces the pressure on forest resources and subsequently deminishes the effect of climate change and preserving biodiversity. The forest is preserved and is able to reduce ozone layer depleting gases from the atmosphere. This is in line with SDG13 (take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts) and SDG15 (protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forest resources, combat desertification and reverse and halt land degradation and halt biodiversity loss).

Socio-economic aspect

Using the stoves reduces the costs for firewood as the quantity used for cooking is considerably less. Families are now able to save cash, which can be used for improving their livelihood (improve family nutrition, education of children, buying of some basic household needs). Connected to SDG1 (end extreme poverty in all forms by 2030) and SDG3 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture).

This model of a domestic ICS is made from materials that are readily available locally, at little or no cost. The users are trained and are able to subsequently build and repair their stoves, leading to ownership of the process. This is an affordable and sustainable method to reduce firewood consumption. This ties with SDG7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).

The use of the stoves reduces the quantity of firewood used in preparing food, reducing the time spent by women and girls in rural areas for collecting wood. They can now fetch wood once in a week that will be enough for the entire week unlike fetching on a daily basis when using traditional cooking methods. This gives time for these women to carry out other activities like farming, taking care of the children, performing other household chores and even carrying out income generating activities.

Health benefits

The use of the stoves means less smoke inhalation, it reduces the occurences of respiratory and eye diseases and minimizes risk of burns. The ICS is well protected and the smoke from the cooking is channeled away from the user. This contributes to achieving SDG3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages). Women using the stoves attest to the fact that they look cleaner than before and their visits to the hospital due to breathing problems are less.

Figure 3: Graph showing the number of ICSs built per year

The introduction of the FRCs and RWTs in November 2018 and the construction and use of ICSs has more than doubled, as shown in the graph. The number of stoves has increased from 3,190 to 9,974 in July 2019. This has allowed to sequestrate about 5244.04 TeqCO2 and preserved approximately 449.23 ha of forest.


The building and use of improved cookstoves is a major means to mitigate the pressure on the forest resources if properly constructed and put to use.

FRCs and RWTs can enhance and increase the construction and use the stoves, where there are building materials readily available.

SSM improved cookstoves