Innovation That Matters

In many parts of the world, cooking over an open fire remains common | Photo source Timothy Meinberg / Unsplash

Simple cookstove design improves community health and reduces pollution

Architecture & Design

The mud and lime-plaster stove uses agricultural waste as fuel

Spotted: Renowned architect Yasmeen Lari has designed a cookstove to replace the practice of cooking over an open fire. Having closed her practice in 2000, Pakistan’s first female architect has since focused her work on ecologically-friendly designs for social improvement. Her ‘Pakistan Chulah Cookstove’ replaces the wood-burning open fires commonly found among the world’s poorest communities.

Built with local mud and lime plaster, the stove includes a raised platform that provides eating, cooking and storage space. It also encloses the flame for healthier home atmospheres. A hand washing area, chimney and air regulation pipe help to keep the cooking area tidy. Lari encourages owners of the stove to power it with local agricultural waste such as sawdust bricks and cow dung.

By reducing reliance on firewood, extensive use of the stoves helps protect local forests and improve air quality for the families within the community. Covering the flames also helps reduce cooking-related injuries, and the raised platform provides a focal point for the home. Many owners decorate the back of their stoves for fully personalised works of art.

From orange waste being used for electricity in Seville, to processing bio waste used for compost or cooking gas in Côte d’Ivoire, using agriculture waste for fuel is growing in popularity. This comes as processing becomes more efficient and distribution networks and general interest grows. 

Written by: Keely Khoury



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