Africa kitchen revolution: training women on transferable mud-building techniques

Country: Cameroon

Organization: Better World Cameroon

Representative: Sonita Mbah




Description of the project: BWC offers a simple, low cost,

sustainable alternative to heavy use of solid fuel by building clean

cookstoves with mud-building techniques and local materials. The

main objectives of this participatory project are to: improve the

livelihood of women by training them on the construction of lowemitting

mud cookstoves, reduce air pollution, improve health,

and enhance women’s participation in community engagement.

Reaching 300 beneficiaries in 30 communities, BWC has held 10

participatory stove building workshops with women’s groups; held

training of trainers; supported the establishment of partnerships

and cooperatives fostering income generation; organised annual

meetings for all trainees.

Climate impact: In rural Cameroon, 98% of the population are

using large amounts of firewood and charcoal for cooking. This is

causing deforestation, CO2 emissions, heavy indoor air pollution

and affecting the health of the women cooking. Following the

Paris Agreement, this project builds on a bottom-up

approach to fight climate change. With the improved cookstoves,

BWC expects firewood consumption in the communities to be

reduced by 60-70%, resulting in less pressure on forests and

reduced health impacts.

Gender impact: Women are gaining technical skills (building

and repairing cookstoves) originally carried out by men in the

communities. The adopted skills are easily transferable and over

12 women beneficiaries have engaged in the construction of mud

buildings. With less time spent on collecting firewood and cooking,

women have more time for other activities. 20 women have

formed a trainer’s network, empowering more women to engage

in local advocacy and income generating activities.

Scalability / replicability: The mud-building technique is easy

to replicate, adapt and upscale as it uses simple technology with

available local, natural, ecological and low cost materials. This

project also relies on a Global Ecovillage Network and an online

Solutions Library with one-page introductions and overviews of

technical alternatives. Developing and implementing sustainable

long-lasting projects in local ownership is one of the foundations

of climate change adaptation and mitigation, which requires a

truly participatory approach.