Innovation That Matters

Mukuru Clean Stoves has developed safer, cleaner cookstoves | Photo source The Earthshot Prize

Providing low-income families with clean, safe, and affordable cookstoves

Springwise Earthshot

Made from recycled material, Mukuru’s stoves reduce air pollution and fuel consumption

Spotted: Household air pollution is a major threat to public health – particularly in low- and middle-income countries. In total, the World Health Organization reports that one-third of the global population cooks using either open fires or inefficient stoves. This releases pollutants that cause a range of health issues from strokes and heart disease to lung cancer.

Charlot Magayi became aware of the issue in 2012. At the time she was researching safer stove designs after her daughter was burned by an overturned cookstove. She had also felt the effects of household air pollution firsthand – with she and her daughter suffering repeated respiratory tract infections as the result of only being able to afford charcoal fuel.

Inspired to make a difference, she founded Mukuru Clean Stoves. The organisation designs and manufactures cookstoves for low-income families in East Africa. The use of recycled materials ensures that the stoves are affordable for this target market. Moreover, the stoves use processed biomass in the form of wood, charcoal, or sugarcane waste briquettes or pellets. This feedstock burns cleaner and more efficiently than both open fires and traditional cookstoves.

After manufacturing is complete, Mukuru Clean Stoves takes a community-led approach to distribution – tapping into women’s community groups across Kenya. It has 125,000 users to date.

Other indoor air pollution innovations spotted by Springwise include an air purifier that recycles polluted air into tiles, a simple cookstove design that improves community health, and air quality data for building management.

Written By: Matthew Hempstead



Download PDF