Over 40,000 households now have a Changu Changu Moto cookstove, replacing their inefficient three stone fires.
The cookstoves are saving over 80,000 bundles of wood per week. Read more >
How We Work
Local community volunteers for each village are trained and then work with the communities to build a Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove in each kitchen.
Each house is regularly monitored. Householders are trained on maintenance and wood use, and the information is recorded on a database. Read more >
The Project’s Future
We will continue to monitor the households to make sure that this simple technology becomes a way of life.
With additional funding, we hope to provide more Changu Changu Motos to expand the project. Read more >
What It Costs By donating to this project, you will be contributing to saving millions of trees, and changing the lives of women and children in Malawi. A donation of only £10 ($15) helps a family. This includes awareness training, construction of the fuel-efficient cookstove, and regular visits to monitor and train householders in its use and maintenance for a two-year period so that using and maintaining the cookstove becomes a way of life.
If you’d like to support hundreds of families with fuel-efficient cookstoves, as an individual or a corporate, please get in touch.
Donate now to the Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove project
FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT Why Is It So Important?
RIPPLE Africa is helping local communities to build fuel-efficient clean cookstoves in Malawi, Africa. RIPPLE Africa’s fuel-efficient cookstove is called the “Changu Changu Moto” which means “Fast Fast Fire” in Chichewa. The Changu Changu Moto:
Reduces household wood use from three bundles of wood per week to just one.
Contains the fire within the cookstove at the side of the kitchen, reducing injuries from burns.
Has a double burner so that two pots can be cooked at the same time, saving time.
Produces substantially less smoke than the traditional three-stone fire, reducing coughing and breathing problems.
Takes just one hour to make and is made from free local and readily available materials.
Is LOVED by the women that use it!
BEFORE: Mrs Longwe’s three-stone fire
The Changu Changu Moto cookstove being constructed
AFTER: Mrs Longwe now has her Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove
The Changu Changu Moto is a sustainable and locally produced fuel-efficient cookstove made out of just 26 mud bricks and a mud mortar mix. It is an adaption of a 16-brick design by Dr Larry Winiarski, and has been specially modified by RIPPLE Africa for Malawi after lots of positive trials and community feedback.
RIPPLE Africa has worked with several types of fuel-efficient cookstoves over the years; however, we firmly believe the Changu Changu Moto is the most realistic and aptly suited fuel-efficient cookstove design for rural Africa we have ever seen!
Three-stone fires typically use three large bundles of wood per week
Each year, about 1.6 million people worldwide die prematurely from smoke inhalation from cooking fires
Children regularly suffer burns from falling into three-stone fires or when their clothes catch fire
The project aims are:
Tackling deforestation in Malawi – 95% of families in Malawi depend on wood for cooking and millions of trees are cut down every year for use on inefficient traditional open fires. Our Changu Changu Moto project has resulted in 80,000 fewer bundles of firewood being needed EVERY WEEK, reducing household wood use by 67%.
Improving the health of women and children – The World Health Organisation estimates that over 1.5 million people die every year from smoke-related illnesses caused by cooking fires. The Changu Changu Moto produces less smoke, reducing the smoke inhalation of the people who sit regularly around the fire. Also in Malawi, women traditionally prepare the food with their children playing near them in the kitchen and it is common for children to fall into the fire or for women’s long skirts to catch fire. 60% of households consulted by RIPPLE Africa reported that a member of their family had sustained serious burns from a traditional three-stone cooking fire. The Changu Changu Moto fire is contained, greatly reducing the risk of burns while cooking.
Sustainability – The stoves are made of a simple mud mortar mix, and can be easily repaired by householders when broken. RIPPLE Africa doesn’t build the stove and walk away but works with households to deliver the long-term education which will ensure the stove will be used for life.
Saving labour – For women who collect wood, the stove can mean a saving of up to 10 hours each week. The stoves also cook faster, and the double burner means food is ready in half the time. Changu Changu Moto actually means Fast Fast Fire in Chichewa. This frees up time which women can spend on other activities.
Saving money – In many parts of Malawi, people cut down trees from existing forests near their home. However, in urban or heavily deforested rural areas, families have to buy their fuel for cooking. Wood is extremely expensive and makes up a huge proportion of a family’s expenditure, and a 67% saving in money spent on wood is particularly important to poor families.
Educating families about sustainable living – In addition to teaching people how to use the fuel-efficient cookstoves, much time is spent on discussing why people should use them. Users learn about the problems of deforestation, and the importance of sustainable and environmentally friendly living solutions. This is the key to ensuring the long term success of the project.
What We Have Achieved
So far, we have helped communities construct over 40,000 Changu Changu Moto cookstoves and have supported the householders to maintain and use them.
Only one bundle of wood is needed each week for a Changu Changu Moto cookstove
Two or three small pieces of wood are used at a time, and the bricks retain the heat to prolong cooking
Less smoke is produced, the cookstove is safer and cleaner, and it benefits from a double burner
How We Work
The Changu Changu Moto project is a great example of RIPPLE Africa working in partnership with the community to assess what is needed most and finding simple solutions quickly to meet these needs. Over the years, we have made several adaptations to the project such as:
Several improvements to the stove model and the number of bricks used.
The way our Project Coordinators are trained.
The best way to work with the local communities.
When we first started the Changu Changu Moto project, the high demand and simple nature of the fuel-efficient cookstoves enabled us to roll out the project quickly in different areas.
While we expanded quickly, some of the households stopped using the stoves a few months after they are built. When RIPPLE Africa investigated the reasons for this, the solutions were often simple – for example, teaching families the correct use of wood for the fuel-efficient cookstove and that large branches and tree trunks well suited to an open three stone fire are too big for the Changu Changu Moto, so encouraging them to harvest smaller branches instead.
The solution was simple, but it took several follow-up visits to get the stove in use again.
To ensure better quality control, we now have a new monitoring and evaluation system:
We measure not just the number of stoves built, but the number of stoves still in use. Coordinators return to each household several times over a two-year period to ensure problems are addressed.
This gives us more opportunity to educate families and to solve any problems that they may have.
The data we now have on every stove means that we can assure our donors that the project has been a success.
Diana, a RIPPLE Africa Community Volunteer, instructing a homeowner on how to use and maintain the Changu Changu Moto cookstove
This Changu Changu Moto was constructed with cement rather than mud to make a more permanent cookstove
These Changu Changu Moto cookstoves were built at a large church meeting which 2,000 people attended to raise people’s awareness of the project
The Project’s Future
Deforestation in Africa is a huge problem, but we believe that the use of our fuel-efficient cookstoves in Malawi will help save millions of trees. We expect that every stove built will continue to be in use for an indefinite period of time. With the longer monitoring period, our hope is that any problems are addressed during this period, so the stoves will be in use well into the future. Householders are taught to care for, repair, and even replace their stoves, so the outcomes from the initial investment will carry on for years to come. We have also helped families to plant their own trees which can be coppiced to provide a sustainable source of fuel close to where it is needed.
How To Make the Changu Changu Moto Fuel-efficient Clean Cookstove
Anyone with the knowledge can build their own Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove, and we encourage people to copy our design! Just follow the instructions below.
1. Make 26 mud bricks and dry in the sun
2. Collect clay soil and sandy soil, and possibly animal manure, to make the mortar
3. The Community Volunteer prepares a place in the kitchen and builds the cookstove
4. Once the cookstove is built, mud is plastered around the exterior
5. Mud pot rests are constructed – a Coca Cola bottle is used as an example of the correct size
6. The Changu Changu Moto cookstove is completed and is ready for use in two to three days when the mud has dried (it may be necessary to apply more mud to any cracks that develop)
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