Eritrea and Ethiopia
Robert Van Buskirk October 2002
Dear Stove List:
This is an update on the efficient stove activities in Eritrea
East Africa with some reference to activities in Ethiopia.
In Eritrea and Ethiopia, the largest use of household energy
is in cooking the traditional bread injera. And this has been
the focus of activities in both countries.
In Eritrea the efficient stove work is organized by the
Energy Research and Training Center (ERTC) of the Eritrean
Department of Energy. The Eritrean Department of energy
secures funding from a variety of sources and then organizes
trainings and stove building programs in villages around the
country. The stove is in in-built stove with a chimney, a lower
air inlet, that feeds into the bottom of a ceramic grate.
that forms the floor of a round firebox. On top of the
round firebox is a flat cooking plate (about 60 cm in
diameter) on which the injera is cooked. The firebox has a
door that allows one to put the fuel in the firebox.
The activities of the Eritrean stove programs have recently
been picked up by Reuters, see for example:
which describes that the Eritrean government is setting the
target of converting all households to the new fuel efficient
stoves. The first village-level pilot tests were in November
1999, and they have expanded to the point where over 5000 households
in 25 villages have been converted and over 200 stove artisans
have been trained. New stoves are being built at the rate of
a few thousand per year. This needs to grow to many tens of
thousandsper year to convert the country to the more efficient
In support of these activities, we (the non-profit Eritrean
Technical Exchange Project) have done some studies to
technically support carbon credit funding. Two versions of
these studies are at:
The Eritrean government is pursuing Kyoto Clean Development
Mechanism carbon credit funding as one possible funding path.
Preliminary indications are that there will be some small
For the Eritrean stoves, the health and comfort benefits
appear to be more important than the fuel savings benefits.
Researchers at the ERTC are constantly revising and refining
the stove design.
I try to keep some studies, reports and updates at:
for your reference. Suggestions on the type of information
that would be useful for stove efficiency folks is welcome.
We have another collaborative visit to Eritrea planned for
In Ethiopia, work on the mogogo-type stove is described at:
and additional work on the jiko-type stove is also being
pursued as described at:
Ethiopia is taking a private sector approach with much
of the activity concentrated in the capital, Addis Ababa,
while Eritrea is taking a government facilitated approach
with the bulk of the activity occuring in rural villages.
I think it will be interesting for the members of the
stoves list to compare and contrast the Eritrean and
Ethiopian approaches as both of these programs evolve.
Our next initiative at the Eritrea Technical Exchange
will be to provide assistance to the Eritrean Department
of Energy in piloting ultraviolet water disinfection
technology as a complement to its stove promotion work.
for a description of that technology. Our estimate is
that stove work and water disinfection work are complementary
and comparable technology transfer activities for a
national program aimed at raising the village-level
standard of living.
I hope you find this informative and useful.
Robert Van Buskirk
Injera Cooking Costs
Ron Larson: Bob has kindly forwarded the answer to my question on the injera-cooking
stove costs - saying:
"Re: costs, the design process was done locally under the
constraints of local economics, where local means in
Eritrea. And the initial design which was developed
during the independence war was already a very low
Now, about 1/3 of production is in the village and
2/3 consists of materials made outside of the village.
The ERTC constantly searches out those national businesses
that can produce the highest quality materials at lowest
cost. So cost-optimization is integrated into the design
process, it is not a separate step. Given that the cost
constraint (of about $20/stove) is initially satisfied,
design effort can focus on improving quality within the