HOW HOW TO MAKE AN UPESI STOVE
Guidelines for small businesses Guidelines
Vivienne Vivienne Abbott Clare Heyting Rose Akinyi
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Introduction Before you begin Preparing the clay How to make an Upesi liner Firing the stove liners Marketing How to build an Upesi stove How to use an Upesi stove How to use an Upesi stove 1 4 9 12 23 26 28 31 32
Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Glossary Further reading About the moulds Good ideas from other potters 36 39 40 41
© Intermediate Technology Kenya 1995 ISBN 9966 9606 0 0
Illustrations by Debbie Riviere Cover photo Neil Cooper. A member of the Keyo Womens Group attaching the pot-rests onto the main mould Originally printed by Africa Church Information Service, Nairobi
The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Moses Agumba, who 'outlined all the salient procedures' that are followed in a standard liner production process. We would also like to thank Keyo Women Group who worked with Clare Heyting to enable her to fully understand all aspects of the liner production and to take all the photographs that were needed for Debbie Riviere to be able to produce the illustrations. In addition, we thank Tim Jones and Angela Langenkamp for sharing their knowledge and experiences.
Chapter Chapter One
Every home in every country in the world uses some form of cooking equipment. Some people cook with electricity, while others use gas or kerosene. However, in about half of the world's homes, people use biomass fuels such as charcoal, wood, animal dung and agricultural waste such as maize cobs, coffee husks, crushed sugarcane stocks and rice husks. During the 1970s and early 1980s it was assumed that use of these fuels was the main cause of the deforestation that threatened large areas of Africa, Asia and South America. As a result, many governments and development agencies introduced improved cooking stoves which burnt fuel more efficiently. They believed that the improved stoves w6uld help to slow down the rate of deforestation. It has, however, become clear that deforestation is mainly caused by other factors, such as clearing land for agriculture and timber extraction, rather than by fuel collection. Thus, people who rely on biomass fuels are actually the victims of deforestation rather than the offenders. It has also become obvious that improved stoves can bring other "hidden" benefits, which justify their continued promotion. Collecting fuel is hard work and takes up a lot of time. It is usually the responsibility of women and children. A woman spends many hours every week walking to collect fuelwood, and carrying it back home on her head; any reduction in the amount of fuel she needs will allow her to save valuable time and effort. In cases where fuel is purchased (notably in urban areas, where charcoal is commonly used), improved stoves can lead to cash savings. In some cases, women may choose to use the same amount of fuel as before, but are able to do more with it; they can cook more frequently, or boil water for drinking. Biomass fuels also give off smoke which can cause both respiratory and eye infections. Improved stoves bum the fuel more efficiently and so reduce the amount of smoke to which cooks are exposed. As a result, improved stoves are now promoted as a means of improving the quality of life for poor households which rely on biomass as their main source of fuel rather than as a solution to the problem of deforestation. One type of improved stove - the Upesi (also known as the Maendeleo) - has met with great success in Kenya. There have been many enquiries about the stove from other countries, particularly in East Africa. This book, which will help to answer many of those enquiries, provides a step-by-step guide on the production of the Upesi. It touches briefly on other aspects of stove production such as firing methods and marketing, and provides details of where to obtain further information. It is important to note that the Upesi stove is not necessarily suitable for use throughout Africa. Local needs vary according to local circumstances: environment, culture and cooking methods all play a part in determining the most appropriate type of stove. However, the book will help project workers to decide if the Upesi is the most appropriate. The Upesi stove The Upesi stove is a simple pottery cylinder (known as the liner) which is built into a mud surround in the kitchen. It is designed to bum wood, although it can also bum crop waste such as maize stalks and cobs, and animal dung. Fuel is fed into the fire through an opening at the front of the stove. The stove does not have a chimney, but produces less smoke than an open fire. This is because it bums fuel more efficiently.
Fig. 1.1 A Upesi liner
The Upesi is designed for one pot, but two or more stoves can be installed side by side so that the cook can use more than one pot. The stove's three strong pot rests can support a range of commonly used pots, with round and flat bottoms. However, it is unsuitable for very small pots, or very wide ones such as the Ethiopian mtad.
Fig.1.2. A Upesi stove
History Upesi History of the Upesi stove The Upesi was developed in the mid-1980s, as part of the Special Energy Project that was run by the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and the German government agency, GTZ. The Kenyan national women's organization, Maendeleo ya Wanawake, helped to design the stove, and as a result the Upesi began its life as the "Maendeleo". The name "Upesi" - a Swahili word meaning "fast" - was adopted in the early 1990s to make the stove more marketable. Early tests by the Special Energy Project showed that, compared with the three-stone open fire, the Upesi consistently used over 40 per cent less fuel. Further tests have shown that it reduces smoke by up to 60 per cent. Many users report that they are also able to cook much more quickly on an Upesi than on an open fire. The main disadvantage of the Upesi is that it gives out less light and heat than an open fire. This can be a major problem in highland areas. Cooks may also have to cut their fuel into small pieces so that it will fit into the stove. GTZ began training small-scale businesses in central Kenya to produce Upesi stoves. In west Kenya, Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) and its local partner, Kenya Energy and Environment Non-governmental Organizations (KENGO), trained groups of women potters, including the Keyo Women's Group, which is one of Kenya's largest stove producers. The stoves were originally distributed by the Ministry of Agriculture's extension agents, the Home Economics Officers (HEOs). They sold them, with the help of transport subsidies from the Special Energy Project, for "less than the price of a chicken". This made many people aware of the stove, but distribution was limited and production was slow. In 1992, ITDG carried out a marketing study to establish how best to market the stove
Fig. 1.3 A Upesi stove for less than the Price of a chicken
By Abbott, A., Hayting C., Akinyii, R., Published by Practical Action Eastern Africa on 01/01/95
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