Submitted by: Ministry of Energy and Mines
Implemented country: Eritrea
Title: A New Tandoor Stove Helps Keep Kitchens Clean
Energy plays an important role in improving the living quality for poorer parts of the population. Still, 1.6 billion people have no access to electric power and are, for example, forced to use fuel wood for cooking on an open fire. In Eritrea, located in north-eastern Africa, locals mostly use so-called tandoor ovens, which are special baking stoves that use wood, dung, and cereal residues for heating. They are big cylindrical containers made of clay. Before cooking, these stoves are lowered into the ground and fuel is ignited and the stove is preheated for two hours until it gets blazing hot. These traditional stoves are harmful to people’s health because they don’t have a smoke vent. Especially mothers and younger children suffer from eye and respiratory problems.
Debesai Ghebrehiwet is very familiar with these inefficient stoves and the smoke-blackened kitchens of his Eritrean home. He is a specialist for renewable energies and director of the Energy Research Center in Asmara. In cooperation with the Eritrean energy and agriculture ministry he developed a new and highly-efficient stove design. Thanks to improved ventilation, a two-chamber system, and a smoke vent, fuel wood consumption was reduced by 56 per cent after introduction of these new and energy-efficient stoves. Up to 3.8 tons of CO2 per household can be saved, and as women and children have to spend less time gathering fuel wood, they have more time for other activities. Another benefit is a reduction in health hazards.
Debesai made sure that the design of the new stove closely resembled that of traditional tandoor models. With a very little instruction, these stoves can even be assembled by Eritrean women themselves. The handling itself is not much different from conventional ovens, which made it easy for the local population to accept the new tandoor stoves. Debesai’s project, which has been implemented in a number of villages, has provided more than 400 families, that is, 2,125 individuals, with a new home-made stove. Debesai Ghebrehiwet is very proud of his improved stoves as well as of the fact that he has been able to help so many Eritrean families. Still, he would like to provide support to other families in other countries as well.
“Save the poor and the world – and you as well as the world will be saved.”
Debesai Ghebrehiwet Andegergish