Action Guide

Clean Cooking:

Mud Stoves

Why: The problem/opportunity

Three Billion people worldwide cook over open fires. It causes CO 2 and carbon emissions which significantly contribute to Global Warming and Deforestation. Open fire cooking also causes 4 million annual deaths and serious health problems due to the inhalation of toxic smoke and burns. In addition, it is an obstacle to gender equality, as it is the women who do most of the time-consuming cooking and firewood collection.

What: The Solutions

Raising awareness and providing a pathway to cleaner cooking alternatives by teaching how to build mud stoves, especially in developing countries. Solutions have to be practical, affordable, scalable and culturally acceptable.

Who: Beneficiaries + Stakeholders
  • Communities
  • Schools
  • Women (saves them from carting wood)
How: Implementation Ideas

With a team of 20 Key Farmer Trainers, we are teaching families how they can use free local
materials to build their own mud stove which will use 2/3 less firewood and take most of the cooking smoke out of the kitchen. We also build large mud stoves in schools for smoke-free cooking of school meals and train local people who will pass the expertise on to their communities. Tree nurseries which supply agro-friendly tree species to farmers and schools have also been set up.


In Uganda, Mubende District, the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper in the UK has 25 years of
experience of working with rural communities providing training in organic agriculture and microcredit, improving basic education at village schools and addressing health and environmental issues. Building fuel-saving mud stoves and planting trees is part of that.

The cost of providing a school with a large mud stove including a chimney, a fair wage for the stove builders, transport and the training of 6 local people is $300. Mud stoves built by families in their own houses do not need funding. Rotary Clubs and others who decide to sponsor a
school will receive pictures and be fully informed on the progress of their stove.

Tips/Other ideas

ESRAG Clean Cooking webpage