Thursday, January 31, 2013

Senegal's Gamou Celebration!

Ephraim Payne reporting

InStove launched the new 100 Liter/26 Gallon stove in Dakar, Senegal at the annual Gamou festival, a large public event at the center of cultural and religious life in this fascinating country. Hundreds of thousands of people take to the city's streets in celebration, and no matter how little money they have everyone is fed! During the festival, four of our stoves were used alongside about 100 traditional stoves – with spectacular results. Cooks prepared giant pots (25 gallons) of very complex cuisine, and learned very quickly that our newest stove is fast, super-efficient, virtually smokeless and easy to use.

“We’re used to this food taking four hours to cook, and with the 100 Liter Stove, we were finished in two hours,” says Head chef Mohamet Mbacké  of  our new stove. “We will have to do more advanced preparation when using these stoves, because they are so fast.” Everyone noticed the tiny amounts of fuel being used (around 80 percent less than the traditional stoves) and the virtual smoke-free operations in a kitchen area completely smoke-filled by the traditional cookery. “The stove is also a pleasure to use because I am standing up straight while cooking instead of bent over the traditional fire on the ground,” Mohamet added. “At the end of the day, my back did not hurt.”

“Cuisine” is the only word to describe the delicious traditional Senegalese food prepared for thousands of celebrants. The cooks sautéed meat or fish in oil, adding more ingredients over the course of the cooking process. Near the end, a rice steamer is placed atop the pot; when finished, the rice is added to the delicious stew in the pot. The result is many large platters of highly flavored rice with chunks of meat and vegetables, served communal style.

“Very satisfying, ” says InStove Executive Director Fred Colgan of the first trial of the new stoves. “This is the most complex food I’ve ever seen prepared on our stoves, and the cooks had no trouble turning out pot after pot of exquisite and delicious food. It was especially wonderful that the traditional rice steamer used here was a perfect fit with the 100 Liter pot. Another magical moment for InStove!”

In the coming months, InStove and several Senegalese groups will work together to bring a container or two of stoves (100 or more) for a larger demonstration and field trials. Then, we will look to initiating local Stove-Factory-In-A-Box production of our stoves in Senegal. We also anticipate bringing briquette presses and autoclaves to Senegal, where access to fuel wood is an increasingly serious problem.

Monday, January 28, 2013

InStove Represented at Global Stove Conference

Dennis Hartley reporting

The annual (Engineers in Technical and Humanitarian Opportunities of Service) ETHOS conference took place last weekend in Kirkland, Washington. ETHOS is the global confluence of “stove world” engineers, academics, representatives of governmental institutions, NGOs, and other humanitarians to support each other and share information, in order to further advance efficient stove technologies.

I represented InStove this time, because Fred Colgan was called away to Senegal and Nigeria to further our work there. I made a presentation about the rapid growth of our organization, and talked about our new initiatives in Africa and Haiti, as well as showed the first pictures of our new stove application:  water pasteurization. We will unveil a working model at our upcoming Winter Workshop, co-hosted by Aprovecho Research Center, February 4-8 in Cottage Grove.

Subjects examined at the conference included carbon and global climate change, the continuing efforts to develop international standards for stove testing, and new programs of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. It was a great experience to be a part of a group that is having such a positive impact on the world and people’s lives.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Workshop Registration Still Open

Ephraim Payne reporting

This February 4th-8th, InStove is co-hosting a clean cookstove workshop with
Aprovecho Research Center (ARC). The workshop, developed at the request of
several United Nations and other humanitarian agencies, provides participants a working knowledge of the basic science behind clean cookstove technology and
“state of the art” stove development and dissemination. Our focus will
be on empowering informed decision-making on improved cooking technologies
given the realities and current conditions in refugee situations around the world.

In four intensive days, ARC and InStove staff will teach design principles for
a variety of stoves, heat transfer basics for more efficient heat use, testing
protocols for better stove development and evaluation, a look at the new global
stove standards and proven stove production techniques. Both organizations are
recognized world leaders in cookstove development.

Workshop participants will leave with a thorough understanding of scientific stove
development and the best practices for innovative production and distribution.
Registration is open to all and costs $750 USD, including daily lunches. InStove’s
Stella Strother-Blood can take reservations or answer questions about the event
and local accommodations via email at or by phone: +1-541-

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Factory is on its Way

Ephraim Payne reporting

On January 9, InStove shipped the first container of stove parts and tools to establish our first Stove-Factory-In-A-Box in the city of Afikpo in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. A second container is scheduled to go out at the end of the month. With these containers, our Nigerian partner, the International Center for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) will have all the tools and parts needed to built 430 stoves.

The project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID), culminates 3 years of work in
Nigeria where InStove’s founders launched their first pilot project at a boarding school in 2010. Now, ICEED will become a full-fledged production partner with the opening of a factory. Fred Colgan, our executive director will visit Nigeria in mid-February for planning sessions, and in March, will go to Afikpo where he will be joined by Production Manager Dave Lentz and Stove Builder JD Laurich to fine-tune factory operations.

We expect to see the factory running at full capacity by the end of the year, with an initial team of six workers producing an estimated 100 stoves per month. ICEED will use the stoves to establish pilot projects in the Nigerian school system, placing stoves in schools in every state in the country in order to demonstrate their efficiency and generate orders from local school districts.

The opening of this factory is a great step forward and an opportunity to slow
deforestation and improve lives in the country that gave InStove its start.