Kerosene Stoves Driving Charcoal Out Of The Market In Badhan

Published February 1, 2017 by Suad Hassan

Saud using ther kerosene cooking stove outside hwe house in Badhan.


Suad Ibrahim’s first encounter with a kerosene stove was three years ago when she was in her neighbor Juwria’s house one afternoon. Suad noticed that Juwria was using a stove different from the normal charcoal stove that most of the households in rural Badhan use. Curious, Suad asked Juwria more about this new cooking stove and found that it uses kerosene and it has many advantages over charcoal and firewood. Suad, who always used charcoal or firewood for cooking, did not know that there were an alternative and affordable cooking energy in her town.

Ever since she got the new stove, Juwria has been on a crusade, sensitizing her community members about how the kerosene stove is less expensive than charcoal, less time consuming and cleaner because it does not produce smoke like firewood. Using the stoves also means less demand for charcoal as a source of cooking energy.

‘’The main reason why I started using the kerosene stove was the cost. When I was using charcoal I used to spend $ 60 on 3 sacks of charcoal on a monthly basis.” Explained Suad.

According to her, the quality of charcoal has been worsening in the recent years because strong trees that would make quality charcoal are becoming difficult to find. The lower the quality, the quicker they burn through a sack of charcoal and the more they end up spending on charcoal for cooking.

“When I started using kerosene stove, 20 Liters of kerosene could last us for a month at $14 only. I also realized that it takes me less time cooking with the kerosene stove compared to charcoal, it is also clean and safe and needs minimum repair. I cook for a family of 14 members and it used to take me hours in the kitchen. Now, I still cook for the same number of people in half the time. It works like a dream” she added.

‘’There is a great demand for kerosene stoves in Badhan. In the month of November alone, I sold 30 stoves to new users.” Said Saed Mohamed Saleh, a shop owner in Badhan and a supplier of Kerosene stoves.

Saed is not the only supplier of the kerosene cooking stoves in Badhan. There are five other suppliers facing a similar demand for these stoves. Saed relates how one of his customers told him that a charcoal trader came to her promising to give a free sack of charcoal per month, only if she stops using the kerosene stoves. These new stoves are driving charcoal out of the market and only means that the demand for charcoal in Badhan is lowering. 

Although he is not the only supplier of kerosene and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) stoves in the town, Saed does business differently.

“I realized that these stoves are new to many people and so it’s important to not only sell the product but to also train customers on safety regulations and the use of these stoves. So I train people on how to operate the stoves, provide maintenance services, and I look into the customer’s concerns or questions as they are adjusting to using these stoves. "Said added

This community shift to alternative cooking energy comes as a result of over three years of awareness raising and sensitization about the harmful and irreversible impact of charcoal on the environment and as a result; people’s lives and livelihood.

Through the EU funded ‘Your Environment is Your Life,’ project, Adeso has introduced communities to alternative sources of cooking energy including kerosene stoves, LPG stoves, and improved firewood stoves. The project aims to improve the state of natural resource management through the implementation of land rehabilitation and restoration work on degraded rangelands, improving sustainable use of natural resources through community based range management program and support the development of alternative sources of energy.