Trash-burning stove helps clean up African village

10 April 2013


Every morning Dorcas comes to this huge oven in the centre of her village in the Rift valley of Kenya to cook food for her family.

A simple activity, made unusual by the fuel heating the stove -- rubbish from the nearby farms and from around the village.

SOUNDBITE 1: Dorcas Atieno (English, 9 secs):

"So I was buying charcoal and I was using much more money, so now I can save money because I'm not using charcoal any more."

Dorcas also says the food cooks much quicker, and tastes better than when she cooks it at home, as there is no smoke around the cooker.

There are other benefits too. Her village is getting cleaner and greener.

SOUNDBITE 2: David Musyoka, Project supervisor, Community Cooker foundation (English, 9 secs) "It will avoid people cutting down the trees and they'll be using the cooker instead of the fire wood."

Although the idea behind burning rubbish to heat a stove is a simple one, the design is actually quite complicated.

It took the architect, Nairobi born Jim Archer, several years to get the internal heat hot enough to cook on. Funded by the UN, the foundation behind the community cooker now hopes to see similar models in operation elsewhere.

SOUNDBITE 3: Janice Muthui, Foundation manager, Community Cooker foundation (English, 12 secs):

"We've had enquiries from all over the world from Bali, from cornwall in the UK, from Nigeria, so we are hoping to be able to replicate this idea in as many places as possible."

The community cooker can't burn everything -- rubber produces too much toxic smoke for instance -- but it can rid whole neighbourhoods of plastic bags and other rubbish. And that could see both the environment, and the residents reaping the benefits.


All images filmed in Naivasha on the 28th March, 2013, apart from interview with Janice Muthui, on the 5th April, 2013 filmed in Nairobi (SOURCE: AFPTV

MS of rice being washed

WS Dorcas Atieno

CU rice being poured into bowl

WS cooker

MS fire

SOUNDBITE 1: Dorcas Atieno

WS cooker

CU pan saucepans

WS boy sweeping street

SOUNDBITE 2: David Musyoka

WS cooker in Nairobi

MS man fixing cooker

WS Janice Muthui

MS pan rubbish

SOUNDBITE 3: Janice Muthui

WS man sorting rubbish

MS man poking fire

MS fire

MS saucepans

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