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Energy saving technology

Making the Upesi stove

Local women potters make the Upesi stoves in Kenya, working in groups to share resources. Clay is collected from nearby riverbanks (sometimes people are hired to do this).

Care is taken to prepare the clay to the right consistency and to avoid lumps. It is then moulded into a stove using a special paddle mould to ensure the correct thickness and to remove bubbles.

After a day, the door is cut and pot rests (which keep the pot stable) are added. The mould is removed and the stoves are left to dry for two to three weeks, depending on the weather. Once dry, they are loaded into a brick kiln and fired so that they become usable pottery stoves. This takes six or seven hours at 650 to 750C.

The stoves are unloaded carefully, left to cool, sorted and labelled ready for sale. They are bought by sellers, stockists or promoters, who publicise them, sell them and help install them. Each stove costs less than the price of a chicken.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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