Six Brick Rocket Stove
I would like to help the folk in Malawi save money on firewood while they cook. Rocket stoves are helpful in this. Unfortunately, they can cost £25+ to manufacture. If we asked them to buy one, it would be like asking us to pay £3,000 for a cooker. In my opinion the answer is to find a cheap locally produced way of making these stoves, that doesn't involve charity or industrialization of the process.
The SOLUTION, in my opinion is 'six brick' rocket stoves made from locally sourced clay, costing less than $1 to make. They have the potential to save each user $1 a fortnight.
These are some videos of me trying to make some (2010):
Since making these videos I have learnt that my idea of firing it in a drum did not work. Also it's unnecessary, because the bricks can be incorporated in the firing of normal house bricks in Malawi.
We took the molds to Malawi, Likuni, in 2010 and had a test batch of 80 made. We made a stove and it has been used by a local pastors family. Recently, another worker in Malawi, Susan Rheimer, needed some rocket stoves and she came to take a stove and the mould to see if this would help the people in the villages she works in.
My hope is that a 'stove making' craft will begin to grow locally without NGO mass programs or state funding. Maybe people will gradually switch on to seeing how a dollar invested by them will save many dollars on wood throughout the year.
This is a seed planted which may germinate into a cottage industry. We will see. (2011)
For those of you who followed our 'rocket stove experiment' 16 months ago, an interesting update. 2010 we took over molds and made 10 operational stoves (Cost £20). But the people we left it with didn't use them for long. I didn't want to push it, so just left it be.
2011 another friend in Malawi, Susan Reimer, heard about them. She went and picked up the old bricks and made their own stove. The man who helped her make the stove (10 mins) was a brick maker and loved it. He now wants to make them and distribute them. Its wonderful to see a possible national cottage industry slowly taking root organically, with local materials, local knowledge, local labour, local distribution and no gov/NGO funding. However, it did take one person to plant the seed of the idea- Susan Reimer: To read her Update click here.
How to really make a Rocket stove: