Kenya Ceramic Jiko


reproduced from 'With Our Own Hands'. IRDC 1986

Jikos are traditional charcoal stoves in Kenya made from scrap metal: a small drum has a grate set in the middle.  A fire is made below the grate, pots sit on the top of the drum.  It is a form brought from India to Kenya by railway buildings in the 1890s.  They are inefficient and consume a lot of charcoal.
Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ) is an improved version adapted in 1982  from the ceramic charcoal stoves found in Thailand.  The top chamber is lined with a pottery liner made from clay, rice husks and ash cemented to the metal. The grate is either pottery or metal and the drum is now waisted: the fire is in the bottom chamber, the grate is small and the top flares out to hold the cooking pot.  The KCJ is 50% more fuel efficient.

The Mountain Gorilla population of Central Africa is near extinction because of deforestation due to the production of charcoal.  A workshop has been set up for the local manufacture of ceramic Jikos to reduce the demand for charcoal in areas with massive refugee populations, such as Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  This will reduce the illegal harvesting of wood in the nearby Virunga National Park, the last refuge of the Mountain Gorilla.

This comes by way of the World Challenge 

Stephanie WhiteAfrica, tools