High Efficiency Stove Microenterprise


University of Colorado - Boulder, 2008 - $31,185

Lower respiratory infections are the second leading cause of death in Rwanda.  Many of these deaths can be attributed to indoor air pollution from cooking stoves that can simply be described as indoor campfires.  It is hard to believe that the cost of this deadly wood represents the majority of a Rwandan family’s household income because of the large deforestation problem. To alleviate this problem, students from the University of Colorado at Boulder Engineers Without Borders Chapter designed and implemented a high efficiency stove to better utilize limited resources and provide cleaner more efficient cooking conditions. The stoves are made from all local materials including pumice, an abundant resource in the area with ideal thermal properties.

Summer 2009 Update: After the success of this project and interest from Rwandans, the project is ready to be taken to the next level and converted to a sustainable micro-enterprise, eventually led and owned by Rwandan citizens. This will not only alleviate much of the clear-cutting of trees, but also increase the financial stability in Rwanda.

Below, team member Christie Chatterley talks about the Sustainable Vision workshop she attended, and how it helped.


Working on a stove design.