Kenya and Senegal: Cooperation in action Improved cooking technologies help protect the climate 

In Kenya and Senegal, many people use open fires to do their daily cooking. These fires are fuelled by wood or other biomass. Taken together, these cooking fires emit a considerable amount of greenhouse gases and contribute to deforestation – besides producing smoke which is detrimental to people's health if they are exposed to it over a longer period.

A project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the governments of Kenya and Senegal is helping to reduce climate damage and improve people's – and in particular women's – living conditions by introducing cookstoves which use improved technologies.

Around 15 per cent of the global demand for energy is currently being covered by traditional biomass such as firewood, charcoal or plant residues. Some 2.8 billion people worldwide use these biomass fuels for their daily cooking. Use of traditional biomass fuels for cooking is very common in both Kenya and Senegal. In Kenya, more than 80 per cent of the population use biomass fuels for cooking and heating; in Senegal, 58 per cent of the urban population and 86 per cent of the rural population do so.

Women producers of ceramic inserts based in the Kaolack region of Senegal.

Women producers of ceramic inserts based in the Kaolack region of Senegal.

Women producers of ceramic inserts based in the Kaolack region of Senegal.

When cooking on fires fuelled by biomass, greenhouse gases are emitted. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the use of improved cookstoves in place of open fires would reduce emissions by between 0.6 and 2.4 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.

The introduction of improved cookstoves in Kenya and Senegal could already save the equivalent of 25 megatonnes in carbon emissions  by 2030. The project, over its duration, is to lead to the equivalent of over six megatonnes of carbon dioxide being saved. Thus, changing the type of fuel used for cooking is a simple and effective way of reducing emissions in these two countries. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for both countries acknowledge this.  

This is what the project “Promotion of Climate-Friendly Cooking: Kenya and Senegal” is all about. It is funded jointly by the Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Government of Kenya and Senegal's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and its Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

The aim of the project is to boost the market for efficient cooking technologies and popularise their use, as this will help reduce national consumption of non-renewable biomass fuels  and, consequently, greenhouse gas emissions. This is to be done by stimulating demand for these new technologies and, at the same time, ensuring their availability on the offer side. In addition, producers of the new stoves will be offered training courses and machinery to help them increase production. Another important aim is to increase considerably the number of people in rural areas using climate-friendly cooking stoves. To achieve this, the project will educate potential users about the dangers of using traditional cooking fires and will demonstrate the advantages of using the improved cookstoves. This two-pronged approach is to ensure that the local market for improved cooking technologies will continue to grow for a long time. 

Ousmane Thiam, an Improved Fireplace Craftsman based in the Dakar region of Senegal

Ousmane Thiam, an improved fireplace craftsman based in the Dakar region of Senegal

Ousmane Thiam, an improved fireplace craftsman based in the Dakar region of Senegal

It is estimated that, altogether, around 11 million people in nearly two million mostly rural households will benefit directly from the project – and that nearly a third of these households are headed by women. Furthermore, the project will help reduce the likelihood of respiratory illnesses and the time spent on gathering firewood and on cooking. And an indirect impact will be that more time can be spent on income-generating activities and that children will have more time to attend school and develop as children. Improved cooking technologies thus contribute to more than just climate protection.

The BMZ is providing 1.5 billion euros out of its budget for the period from 2020 to 2023, making Germany one of the most important donors to the Green Climate Fund. On top of that, the BMZ is contributing some 12.8 million euros to projects being sponsored by the Green Climate Fund and implemented by German organisations. The impacts and synergies provided by these projects also contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Germany's development cooperation partner countries. And silent partnerships of this kind also considerably enhance donor coordination and coherence in international development cooperation.