125,000 fuel-efficient cookstoves built and in use


We introduced the fuel-efficient cookstove in Africa to communities in Malawi to provide a safer and more sustainable alternative to the three-stone fire. They are known locally as the Changu Changu Moto (Fast Fast Fire).


  • Three-stone fires use three to four bundles of wood each week
  • This amount of wood takes three to five hours each week to collect
  • Three-stone fires produce a lot of smoke
  • Children are more at risk from burns


  • Each Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove uses only one bundle of wood per week
  • It produce less smoke and the fire in the cookstove is contained and is therefore much safer with less risk of burns
  • The cookstove benefits from being a double burner
  • It is cheap and easy to build

Fuel-efficient Cookstoves in Malawi, Africa

Achievements and Future Plans

So far, we have helped communities construct over 125,000 Changu Changu Moto cookstoves and have supported the householders to maintain and use them. This has resulted in 250,000 fewer bundles of firewood being needed every week, reducing household wood use by 67%. With additional funding, we hope to provide more Changu Changu Motos to expand the project.

How We Work

Local community volunteers for each village are trained and then work with the communities to build a Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove in each kitchen. Each house is regularly monitored and householders are trained on maintenance and wood use, and the information is recorded on a database. We continue to monitor the households to make sure that this simple technology becomes a way of life.



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So far, we have helped communities construct over 125,000 Changu Changu Moto cookstoves and have supported the householders to maintain and use them.

We have reduced the burns rate within Nkhata Bay District by more than 60% as the fuel-efficient cookstoves are safer than a three stone fire.

The Changu Changu Moto project is a great example of Ripple Africa working in partnership with the community to assess what is needed most and finding simple solutions quickly to meet these needs. Over the years, we have made several adaptations to the project such as:

several improvements to the stove model and the number of bricks used

  • the way our Project Coordinators are trained, and
  • the best way to work with the local communities.
  • When we first started the Changu Changu Moto project, the high demand and simple nature of the fuel-efficient cookstoves enabled us to roll out the project quickly in different areas.

While we expanded quickly, some of the households stopped using the stoves a few months after they were built. When Ripple Africa investigated the reasons for this, the solutions were often simple – for example, teaching families about the correct use of wood for the fuel-efficient cookstove and that large branches and tree trunks well suited to an open three-stone fire are too big for the Changu Changu Moto, so encouraging them to harvest smaller branches instead.

The solution was simple, but it took several follow-up visits to get the stove in use again.

To ensure better quality control, we now have a new monitoring and evaluation system:

  • We measure not just the number of stoves built, but the number of stoves still in use.
  • Coordinators return to each household several times over a two-year period to ensure problems are addressed.
  • This gives us more opportunity to educate families and to solve any problems that they may have.
  • The data we now have on every stove means that we can assure our donors that the project has been a success.

Deforestation in Africa is a huge problem, but we believe that the use of our fuel-efficient cookstoves in Malawi will help save millions of trees. We expect that every stove built will continue to be in use for an indefinite period of time. With the longer monitoring period, our hope is that any problems are addressed during this period, so the stoves will be in use well into the future. Householders are taught to care for, repair, and even replace their stoves, so the outcomes from the initial investment will carry on for years to come. We have also helped families to plant their own trees which can be coppiced to provide a sustainable source of fuel close to where it is needed.

How to Make the Changu Changu Moto Fuel-efficient Cookstove

Anyone can build their own Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove, and we encourage people to copy our design! Just follow the instructions below or download our Step-by-Step Guide on how to build one.

This project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals: