Clean Cookstoves

Name of Project: Clean Cookstoves

Dates: 2014 – Present

Background: Over 98% of Ethiopia families use solid fuels such as wood for cooking and cook over open fires within their homes. This practice has serious consequences- especially for women and children. Negative consequences include significant time spent collecting wood, high economic cost of fuel, serious smoke exposure leading to major illness and death, and degradation of the environment from wood collection and air pollution. Use of high efficiency, clean cookstoves can mitigate these issues.

“Clean cookstoves” more efficiently burn fuel and significantly decrease exposure to smoke and air pollutants. The Ethiopian government has determined these stoves as essential for sustainable development. However, only 3% of the Ethiopian population is currently using improved biomass cookstoves.

Improved stoves can be made from local materials such as clay.  Mastering cleancook stove production can improve the livelihoods of potters, traditionally one of the most marginalized groups in the local culture.

Community Involvement: This project was initiated locally by the Tembaro Water and Energy Office. They had already begun instructing traditional potters cooperatives and requested support from WEEMA in order to provide equipment and complete training so that the potters would learn how to make a new energy-efficient, clean-burning model of cookstove. Experts from the Tembaro Water and Energy Office continue to provide technical support to the potters.


  • Provide start up equipment and raw materials to local potters associations to facilitate training and long-term production of clean cookstoves.
  • Train local potters to increase their skills and production efficiency of “Gonzye” and “Mirx” clean cookstoves for community utilization.
  • To increase community access to clean cookstoves for their health, safety, financial, and environmental benefits.


  • 61 potters trained to produce high quality clean cookstoves.
  • 4 staff from the local Water and Energy Office participated in the training to increase their own knowledge and ability to provide ongoing support to the potters coooperatives.
  • 8 potters cooperatives were supplied with equipment and raw materials to initiate their production of the clean cookstoves.
  • Some clean cookstoves produced by the trainees are purchased by WEEMA and distributed to selected members in the community to benefit their household health and financial stability, as well as promote sales and utilization in the wider community.


  • 61 potters received training to increase their quality and quantity of production and benefit from greater sales.