Low-smoke stoves in El Fashir, Sudan

This four year project aimed to improve the livelihoods of 6,000 poor families by switching their cooking fuel from wood or charcoal to liquid petroleum gas (LPG) - both a cleaner and a cheaper fuel.  LPG cook stoves were distributed in the region and a revolving fund of micro loans enabled families to pay for their initial fuel supply.  Practical Action worked in partnership with the Women’s Development Network in El Fashir to ensure long term sustainability.

The initial phase raised awareness in the community of the danger to health of indoor smoke from cooking on wood or charcoal as well as the negative impacts on the environment from cutting wood for fuel.  Training in the safe use of LPG stoves was an important part of the project. As a result of using LPG the destruction of local forests declined and new community forests were established.

Using LPG also changed some of the traditional ways of preparing food, saving both time and money.  Monitoring of the project confirmed a growing perception among beneficiaries of the economic and health advantages of LPG.  Private sector LPGs suppliers now recognise the advantage of investing in a revolving fund to build a sustainable market.

The Low Smoke Stoves Project (LPG) in North Darfur has now become the first accredited carbon credit project in Sudan and for Practical Action.

Case study: Randa Fadul Ali from Kafut

“I am from a small village called Kafut. My whole life I have cooked with wood. This means walking for maybe three or four hours to collect firewood which I then carry on my head. It is very painful for my back. And it is exhausting.

"Cooking with wood meant that the whole house is full of smoke. It’s a house made of hay and inside it is completely black. I have serious eye problems as a result of the smoke – I am going blind because of the smoke.

"The LPG stove I think has saved my sight. Before my eyes would stream constantly but now this has stopped. And now I can breathe easily.

"I belong to the Women’s Development Association in my village and other women come to my house and see the LPG stove and have learnt about this new, safe way of cooking. I am helping to distribute 19 stoves to families across my village and 61 to other communities nearby.

"The LPG stove has totally eliminated the smoke and it has also helped families to have a bit more money. LPG gas is cheaper than charcoal – which many families use to cook with as well as firewood. We can use the money we save on other things – maybe for our farming or to buy more food. I think each family saves about 110 Sudanese pounds a month.

"I love working with Practical Action and the WDA. They gave me a small loan helped me to set up my own small business selling LPG canisters to community members. So people come to me to buy the safer LPG at a cheaper cost, and I can make a living. I’m not married; I’m on my own, so this is good. Everyone is happy.”

Current work

Low Smoke Stoves project (LPG)

Our Darfur Low-Smoke Stoves Project in western Sudan is benefiting thousands of families who now have a clean kitchens, clean lungs and more money to spend on essentials. Based on earlier work to bring efficient LPG stoves to homes in Kassala, eastern Sudan, the project is also helping the enviro...

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