Kenya - Efficiency in the Kitchen



Ondati is no different to much of rural Kenya when it comes to using energy. To provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to 130 students daily mean that the school goes through a great deal of firewood. The system that has been used in the past is one that is common in villages. A three stone stove that is not only inefficient in terms of fuel, the amount of smoke produced makes the school cooks life very unpleasant!



The rocket lorena stove which was first developed in Uganda is a 2 pot stove which has an efficient combustion chamber which requires very little fuel. It has a chimney which further improves efficient burning and cuts down on smoke. It is made from locally sourced materials (anthills, bricks, sawdust, sand etc). All that is required is a few committed people to build it and a few weeks to wait for it to dry.


Matthew Langdon introduced the concept of the stove to Ondati and with the help of the Project Coordinator, Ben and a member of the community, John who donated bricks to the project, it was completed in 3 days (although arguably the biggest contribution came from the field officer, without his regular cups of tea, annoying questions about the reliability of the stove, and pointers in construction despite not really knowing what he was talking about, the project simply would not have been completed!).   


The most exciting thing about the stove is not only the fact that it should reduce school running costs, there is an opportunity to replace the fuel used from firewood to cow patties (which is one thing that is in abundance at Ondati!) and really would be an environmentally and cost friendly solution to one of the issues we had at Ondati. This is something which could be adapted to other rural projects involved with the model, and can be a great example in a practical business lesson for reducing expenditure for the students!


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