How to make a Kenya Ceramic Jiko (A short cookstove training film for existing manufacturers)

Cookswell Jikos has been a family business since 1982. First started as Wood Energy Technologies, its second unveiling was through the Kenya Energy I Project, its third morph as Musaki Enterprises and then into the company that it is today, Cookswell Jikos. It is with great pride that the family of Maxwell Kinyanjui has taken over and expanded the business, being ever-grateful to our father and husband.
Many people have been involved in the design, development and improvement of the original Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ) and we thank all energy-efficient stove-making artisans for the promotion of this valuable invention. The many metal smith artisans and pottery experts around Kenya, East Africa and now all of Africa, we salute you.

To our many customers, we extend our thanks for your support of our business. We have received awards and accolades from all over the world, but we know that the feedback and continued purchases from our customers has made this wonderful stove such a success. Hundreds of thousands and possibly even millions of KCJs or its offshoot stoves have been sold and it is our honour to know that this stove had its beginnings in a tiny backyard in Westlands, Nairobi as the brain child of a man who loved Kenya and Kenyans and wanted to help improve their lives. This training project for the people of Mogadishu, Somalia has been funded and sponsored by the EU funded “Sustainable Employment Creation and Improved Livelihoods for Vulnerable Urban Communities in Mogadishu” (SECIL).
Special thanks are given to the project managers: Isabella Garino and Clare Sadd.

If this video assists Somali artisans (or any others) to produce better stoves for their people, therefore assisting with the economic growth of the country and well being of its citizens, Cookswell is satisfied.

Some socio-economic considerations.

In 1980, Maxwell Kinyanjui began experimenting with a new design for a charcoal stove. He thought of basing his
design on the idea of a circular oven-type metal stove, with a hot-water chamber surrounding the firebox area which
would help insulate the cooker and help save charcoal. Designing and producing the stoves one by one, selling them
to people who would give feedback and putting the money back into design improvements fostered the development
of the Kinyanjui Jiko.
Hearing about the “amazing Professor” who was designing and producing stoves in Kenya, the Ministry of Energy and
USAID approached Kinyanjui offering him a consultancy contract to design and produce energy-efficient, charcoal burning
The aim of this part of the Energy One Project was focused on impacting the 90%+ urban users of charcoal as their
main source of energy by reducing the amount of unsustainably produced charcoal, improving the air quality in
homes, lessening the expense of buying quantities of charcoal and positively affecting the environment in the country.
Kinyanjui readily accepted the exciting offer, went on leave from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Nairobi
and devoted the rest of his life to biomass house hold energy systems. The new jiko was tested thoroughly and the results showed that the new design was still socially acceptable, was at least 50% more efficient in the use of the charcoal and was fairly
easy to replicate.
Following the success of the KCJ, Kinyanjui was hired as a consultant by several NGOs and by the World Bank to travel
through many African countries designing and implementing the production of energy-efficient stoves. His guiding philosophy was to improve on designs already accepted and used by women (primarily) in each country rather than to impose the Kenyan model of stove. Before a decision is made to adopt this exact type of stove in Somalia, an assessment of its social suitability and
acceptability must be done. This involves a survey of cooking patterns, of target populations, types of fuels available,
materials and skills that can be utilized, etc.
The jiko is suited to cooking patterns where:
• Charcoal, briquettes, maize cobs, or coconut shells are fuels
• One pot is cooked at a time (clay or metal pots)
• High and low power outputs are required
• Space heating is not undesirable but not the main preference
• Stove portability is essential

A great deal depends upon the user and how often and under what conditions the jiko is operated, however, good marketing and sales techniques will help potential users to understand why the jiko or its modified “cousin” is most suitable for the conditions in that area/country and why its quality-production supports the possible higher cost than poorly-made copies.

We highly encourage you to also actively promote reforestation for woodfuel security in your area.

We would love to see photos of your stoves and hear your feedback on this - please dont hesitate to contact us on or
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