Cookstoves for Maasai Communities

Protecting native forests and improving livelihoods with sustainable cooking technology


The Maasai people inhabit an area spanning much of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Despite pressure from governments to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, the Maasai people have maintained age-old customs that preserve their unique culture. Yet, the traditional Maasai method of cooking over an open wood fire is time-consuming, encourages deforestation and produces significant amounts of indoor smoke exposing women and children to severe respiratory health hazards.

Cooking Stoves
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Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being

28,000 people

now have access to cleaner cooking methods, greatly reducing the incidence of indoor smoke-related respiratory illness

Affordable and Clean Energy

108,000 MWh

5,650+ families now have access to clean, thermal energy for sustainable cooking

Climate Action

14,500 tCO2e

reduced on average annually, through reduced emissions and avoided deforestation

Life on land

66% less

wood needed to fuel stoves, alleviating pressure on the Mau Forest

The Solution

This project has distributed over 5,500 efficient cookstoves to-date, to replace open fires. The cookstoves reflect traditional woodfire methods, but require 66% less firewood and reduce smoke emissions considerably, improving overall community health. By reducing emissions and slowing deforestation, the project reduces approximately 14,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.


The Impact

By using the cookstoves, the Maasai people reduce the amount of smoke produced by indoor cooking, limiting their exposure to dangerous pollutants that cause respiratory diseases. Women and children also spend less time collecting firewood and instead focus on earning an income or attending school, respectively. Meanwhile, demand for firewood is alleviated from the Mau Forest the largest native montane forest in East Africa.

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