Low Smoke Stoves project (LPG)

Indoor pollution created by smoke from using firewood and charcoal for cooking is a major cause of deaths across the world, particularly for women and children. Over 90% of households in North Darfur, Sudan, depend on firewood and charcoal for cooking.

In the Low Smoke Stove project in North Darfur, LPG fuel and stoves are used as a substitute for wood and charcoal in household cooking. 

Thousands of families now have a clean kitchens, clean lungs and more money to spend on essentials.

The project is now in its third phase. It is the first carbon trade financed project in Sudan based on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Gold Standard methodologies. Find out about the latest phase.

Project objectives

  • Reduce pressure on dwindling forest resources in Darfur and North Darfur in particular
  • Raise the awareness of El Fashir residents on the negative health and environment impacts caused by excessive use of fuelwood
  • Reduce indoor air pollution in the kitchen thereby improving the health of women and children below five years
  • Train households on the efficient use and safety of LPG
  • Promote widespread use of LPG as cooking fuel in El Fashir by removing barriers
  • Facilitate poor households access to LPG through microfinance credit system, revolving fund
  • Build the capacity and enable WDAN to run a sustainable LPG microfinance credit system

Project goals

  • Improve the livelihood of poor families and poverty alleviation through switching to clean energy source, LPG, for cooking purposes.
  • Reduce indoor air pollution caused by smoke emission from burning firewood thereby improve the health and quality of life of women and children below five years.
  • Contribute to environment conservation by reducing pressure on dwindling forest resources in North Darfur

Target group / beneficiaries

The target group for this project is very poor and poor households of El Fashir Town. This sector constitutes about 70% of total households in El Fashir, ie. 19,953 households. The estimated present LPG use penetration in El Fashir is only around 10%.


  • 8,981 stoves have been installed by the project so far
  • Almost 100% of households acknowledge air quality is drastically improved
  • LPG reduces fuel consumption by 50% - 70%
  • Cooking with LPG reduces key pollutants by 95% compared to solid fuels
  • Using LPG, households can save up to 65% of their monthly fuel expenditure
  • The LPG cookstoves will cut more than 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 10 years
  • 93% of women surveyed said that they had more time to work since buying a stove

In 2014-16, the project saw 11,175 women, and 8,780 men accessing LPG.

Women Development Associations Networks are gaining capacities and able to negotiate decision levels for this specific and other social benefits and improving own image by providing such a vital service to their communities. With Practical Action they have set a strategic plan for five years.

The project also facilitated women engagement in other income generating activities and there are 60 new Community Based Organisations for IGA. In 2015-16 there were 48 awareness campaigns held to promote LPG in all of the districts of El Fashir, including the poorest neighborhoods in areas that contain high numbers of those displaced by the conflict and followed by six adio episodes for the same purpose.

To insure wider expansion to LPG access in North Darfur, a lighter 5kg canister was introduced by Greater Nile Petroleum Company (GNPC) after persuasion from the Women Development association, since the 12.5 kg canister was found to be unaffordable for many poor families to refill and too heavy for nomads to transport.

To make the cooking of traditional food easier and to attract more women in poor area, Kisra Plate Stoves have been introduced. Kisra is a Sudanese staple flat-bread eaten across the country, especially in rural areas. Kisra cannot be cooked on a conventional LPG stove because it requires a large surface area heated equally and to a very high temperature. This new plate stove is specifically designed to make the cooking of kissra easier for women, while avoiding the environmental and health drawbacks of charcoal/wood.

It is evident from periodical surveys that – in addition to heath improvement and sustaining environment – a significant decrease in cost and time of cooking have been realized enabling poor families save income and time for improving livelihoods and freeing girl’s time for education. With clean cooking environment men are more and more sharing cooking work load with women who are traditionally responsible for cooking business.

Smoke - stop the killer in the kitchen

Over four million people die each year after inhaling lethal smoke from kitchen stoves and fires. But these are deaths that could be prevented – using simple technologies like smoke hoods or clean stoves.

Read more

Khalda Adam Ahmed Adam, a mother of three, bought an LPG set in August 2015 and only had to wait for two weeks before receiving it. She heard of the programme from her sister, a neighbour of the WDAN financial director.

She wanted to switch to LPG to save time preparing food and tea for her children before they start school. She has now cut her cooking time for all meals in half, giving her three hours of additional free time, in which she can now relatives and help her children with their homework.

Khalda has also cut her fuels spending six-fold, and is saving around 300 SDG a month that she uses to pay for her children's school fees, keeping them in school.

Lubna Ahmed Hossain, is a 45 year old mother whose life has changed beyond recognition.

“Before the LPG stove I used wood and the traditional three stone fire to cook. This method of cooking affected our health. We had chest infections, coughs. I never allowed my children to come into the kitchen while I was cooking.

“The LPG stove is much faster and much cleaner. The conditions in my kitchen are so much better and we don’t have the same health problems anymore. No coughs or anything. I don’t have to fear for my children’s health. I feel free. We feel safe, happy comfortable. Because the stove is so efficient I also use it to make foods that I can then sell at market to earn a bit more money for my family. The stove is making our lives better. It’s amazing how just one small change can make such a huge difference.”

More case studies

Low-smoke stoves in El Fashir, Sudan

Switching from wood or charcoal to LPG reduces indoor air pollution when cooking. Practical Action worked with women in Darfur to help introduce new stoves that improve health, save money and reduce the environmental impact of the older stoves.

Read more

Revolutionising lives through cleaner cookstoves

Practical Action, in partnership with Carbon Clear, has developed a project funded by corporate organisations that helps families in Darfur, buy new, cleaner low smoke cookstoves.

Find out more

A pilot LPG project began in North Darfur in 2008 as a replication of the methodologies of a Kassala project since 2003 in partnership with local civil society organizations, WDAs, and other partners. They worked with the internally displaced community in Kassala State to identify appropriate cooking technologies that reduce indoor air pollution using participatory approaches discussions, demonstrations and knowledge sharing.

Therefore, Practical Action and its partners WDAN in north Darfur developed a sustainable, non-subsidized mechanism to allow households switch to LPG use. This showed very positive results and Low Smoke Stoves Project (LPG) in North Darfur has now become the first accredited carbon credit project in Sudan and for Practical Action.

Low-smoke stoves in El Fashir, Sudan

Switching from wood or charcoal to LPG reduces indoor air pollution when cooking. Practical Action worked with women in Darfur to help introduce new stoves that improve health, save money and reduce the environmental impact of the older stoves.

Read more

LPG a clean energy source in North Darfur

On 3rd April I attended an energy programme review in our North Darfur office that involved numerous stakeholders participating in our Low smoke stoves project. The review was attended by members of community based organisations, government representatives, and the private sector ...

Find out more

Mobile data collection system in Low Smoke Stoves project

A key factor of success is good planning to monitor project activities and proper distribution of roles and responsibilities among partners. Our project now seems to be expanding to rural areas in North Darfur. That’s why it’s time for a technological platform through which monitoring activities can be done faster ...

Find out more

Clean-burning gas stoves have the power to transform lives in North Darfur

Practical Action Sudan Director Muna Eltahir writes for The Guardian: Collecting wood for indoor stoves puts women at risk of attack, and the smoke is highly toxic, but a project bringing LPG cookers to Darfur is turning lives around.

Find out more
no comments