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You can’t go broke with this jiko

Schools, hospitals and prisons will be the main beneficiaries of the latest  cooking technology.

Envirofit International, a social enterprise, is about to put its latest innovation, institutional cooking stove, in the market.

The 100-litre stove is a cleaner, greener and cost effective cooking technology said to save up to 90 per cent on fuel costs.

The stove also has the capacity to burn wood completely, decreasing harmful emissions by 90 per cent and making fast the process of cooking.

Emission and soot

The stove has a 10-year warranty and the little maintenance required makes it more affordable than other stoves.

With many institutions, especially schools, spending between 20 and 50 per cent of their food budget on firewood, the technology would bring efficiency and cut costs.

The stove is capable of making a meal for 300 students in three hours with only three big pieces of firewood.

Kenya is the first country in Africa to have the stove and will serve as the continent’s hub as it continues its campaign for the adoption of the environmental-friendly method of cooking.

“We have chosen Kenya as the hub of our eastern Africa operations and we are also proud to select Kenyans as the first recipients of our latest technological breakthrough,” said Envirofit International chief executive, Ron Bills.

Unlike the traditional types of stoves (paraffin or charcoal/wood jikos), this creation releases no emissions thus eliminating soot, poisoning and reducing health risks associated with smoke inhalation.

The stove cuts the use of wood by 70 per cent annually for schools.

Two cigarette packs

“Through working with schools, we can demonstrate the economic and social benefits of adopting clean cooking technology to households.

About 84 per cent of Kenya’s population uses charcoal and wood stoves — with families spending as much as 30 per cent of their annual income on fuel costs.

When you use these traditional types of stoves, 90 per cent of the fuel energy is wasted and the smoke generated is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes each day,” said Mr Bills.

Envirofit plans to make the product available in other African countries  before the end of the year and to install 1,000 stoves in institutions in Kenya by 2015.

All parts

Envirofit has sealed a deal with Equity Bank and schools can now get low interest loans to acquire the stove.

On the other hand, an NGO Green Kenya Initiative said it would ensure the stove reached all parts of the country.

Through the institutional cooking stove, Envirofit hopes to get Kenyans to use the household charcoal and wood stove already in the market.

The social enterprise plant on Mombasa Road has a production capacity of 100,000 stoves annually.