Fuel Efficient Stoves for Darfur

by Global Communities
May 2, 2007

Engineer Arrives in Darfur to Begin Stove Production

The temporary camps in Darfur have seen their populations increase as more internally displaced people (IDPs) arrive every day. Food is cooked in pots on wood fires outside of simple shelters. Firewood is available at a price from markets in the camps, or women have to walk for many hours to gather it. These women are often at risk from criminals who may steal their wood and/or threaten them with bodily harm. It is anticipated that by reducing the amount of wood needed to cook food, life will get better for the IDPs.

The Berkeley Darfur Stove (BDS) is a portable, fuel-efficient, sheet metal stove that uses much less wood to cook. The design, manufacture and distribution of the BDS is a team effort by CHF International and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. The major benefits of the fuel-efficient stove are: less money spent on firewood, less time spent gathering firewood, improved personal safety, and a reduced impact on the environment.

The BDS project achieved a major goal with the arrival of a mechanical engineer in Darfur. Michael Helms, VIP (Visiting International Professional) traveled to Darfur this week with several hundred pounds of tools and materials. Helms brought equipment with him to set up a metal stove factory. The simple, rugged tools will cut, bend and spot-weld the sheet metal used to make the stoves.

After arriving in Darfur, Helms met with local CHF staff to discuss their assessments of the first batch of stoves that were distributed to IDPs in November 2006. CHF interviewers reported that women using the stoves saved significant amounts of firewood. They also learned that the food cooked faster and tasted better when prepared in the new stove. The BDS design provides a cleaner, hotter fire, transfers more heat to the cooking pot, and uses less wood than the traditional three-stone cooking fire used by IDPs. Helms visited local businesses to assess availability of tools and materials, and made his first visit to a camp to learn how the stoves are being used. He is now working with the stove design team to enhance the stove's functionality, simplify its manufacture, and reduce total costs.

  • Tim Fleming
    Tim Fleming It is gratifying to know that our donations are reducing the enormous risks the refugees live with.
    • 10 years ago
    •  · 
  • Joan Ochi
    Joan Ochi Appreciate the descriptiveness of this report. I'm glad to see my alma mater doing good works in the world, too!
    • 10 years ago
    •  · 
  • Patricia B.
    Patricia B. I was very pleased to hear that you also were seting up a metal stove factory, that will give people work that they need so much. I have a friend that is very interested in solar energy and do you know that you can buy solar stoves? He bought his from Tebet but I also hear they sell them in So. Africa. No need for wood,... Read more »
    • 10 years ago
    •  · 
  • JLS
    JLS It's really great to get on-the-ground details of how the project is going. It helps donors feel more involved in what is happening right now. It helps overcome the sense of separation that you can feel from being on the other side of the world - and feeling connected helps with giving to the project.
    • 10 years ago
    •  · 
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Organization Information

Global Communities

Location: Silver Spring, MD - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.globalcommunities.org
Global Communities
Project Leader:
Erin Mote
Manager of Resource Development
Silver Spring, MD United States

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