Everyday three billion people cook their food over smoky open fires or inefficient cookstoves; inhaling these fumes is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes per day and causes 4.3 million deaths per year (more than HIV and malaria combined).

Research shows that cleaner, more efficient cookstoves not only improve health but also reduce CO2 emissions and deforestation and improve livelihoods, as less time is spent on meal preparation and money on fuel.

The key to expanding clean cook stove usage in developing communities is to create a product that is both efficient, hard wearing and low-cost.

Engineers Without Borders UK have worked with our partner Prakti in India since 2014 by supporting them in the design, manufacturing, testing and marketing of their growing range of clean cookstoves.

Chris and Pete, two Engineers Without Borders UK volunteers, worked with Prakti in 2015, providing technical and engineering capacity and research, design and development skills.

They set up and developed new manufacturing practices at Prakti to improve the durability of the existing stoves and to introduce costing analysis of different designs and materials. This has given Prakti the capacity to make efficiency savings across their range as well as improving quality.

Pete also engaged with local suppliers to bring stove manufacture in house and improved Prakti’s knowledge base about material durability, advanced testing technique, manufacture processes and cost. This resulted in the team developing the new low-cost ‘Nemo’ stove which is now being launched across India. 

In 2015, Engineers Without Borders volunteers worked a staggering 32,054 hours on international projects, such as this one. With your help we are determined to build local capacity of communities to deliver engineering solutions.