Clean Cooking for refugees and host population in Uganda

Uganda hosts 1.6 mio refugees. Cooking on open fire leads to large scale deforestation. Ignite offers a large-scale transition to clean cooking for both the host communities and the newcomer population with best-in-class eco-cookstoves fuelled by locally available organic material. Stopping deforestation and improving climate and people's health.

Stage of the project




Starting Up





Why was this project started?

At request of the Ugandan ambassador, who wants to see the country flourish, the nature preserved, and the host population and the newcomers live together peacefully.

The results of the project so far

A project plan has been written for 1 mio cookstoves over the period of 5 years, providing for families in both the host population as well as the newcomers.

The project knows 5 phases:

1. Sharpening the plan with team on the ground - 500 cookstoves and bio fuel research

2. Proof of concept - 5000 cookstoves and bio pellets provision

3. Proof of business - 25,000 cookstove production in communities with bio pellets provision

4. Business start - 5 x 25,000 cookstove production in communities with bio pellets provision

5. Scaling up - N X 25,000 cookstove production in communities with bio pellets provision until the objective of 1 mio is reached

Starting in Northern Uganda, the team will then follow through with the rest of the country

What are specific, distinctive, strong elements in this project?

Ignite develops clean cooking projects together with communities. This allows for change from within, adopting new healthy cooking habits for entire communities, while providing entrepreneurship and labor for the involved people. This improves both lives and livelihoods, as well as health and climate.

Which specific lessons, do's and don'ts would you like to share? What would be suggestions for others when preparing or implementing the project in their own city?

The approach to involve communities helps change, but also scaling up faster. Selling cookstoves is common, but adaptation has been slow. Offering the best cookstoves in a community based approach requires stakeholder management in the beginning, but then the change goes faster for larger groups, whose interest is not only the clean cooking, but also improvement of livelihood. This makes it more sustainable.

Building project at larger scale will also allow for measuring impact, which can lead to carbon credits. These can be used to sponsor cookstoves for the poorest, and supporting new project to be started.

Have others adopted, or shown interest in adopting, your idea in their own area?

The use of cookstoves is common. They range from versions which still use wood, to modern fan driven efficient and clean cookstoves, like Ignite build with the communities, and within the communities typically empowering women and youth. Most cookstoves are produced in factories at scale. The producers see the users as consumers. Our community approach is different, since it sees the users in communities as co-producers. This gives them a larger stake and a larger interest in their own development.

While the project in Uganda would be a large scale break-through for Ignite, the social enterprise has started in India, Karnataka, with a community based production close to Bangalore. In India there is a growing community of users, which has given excellent user feedback on the ease of use and durability of the cookstove.

In India business is expanded to new partners in a social franchise with community based entrepreneurs, together with a local Ignite partner.

Currently Ignite is developing cookstove projects in Asia and Africa.

Can you tell us how valuable this project was for you?

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