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→‎Key Design Features: moved more info from biomass article
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Improving a stove design is a complex procedure which needs a broad understanding of many issues.  Involvement of users in the design process is essential to gain a thorough understanding of the user’s needs and requirements for the stove.  The stove is not merely an appliance for heating food (as it has become in Western society), but is often acts as a social focus, a means of lighting and space heating.  Tar from the fire can help to protect a thatched roof, and the smoke can keep out insects and other pests.  Cooking habits need to be considered, as well as the lifestyle of the users.  Light charcoal stoves used for cooking meat and vegetables are of little use to people who have staple diets such as Ugali, which require large pots and vigorous stirring.  Fuel type can differ greatly; in some countries cow dung is used as a common fuel source, particularly where wood is scarce.  Cost is also a major factor among low-income groups.  Failing to identify these key socio-economic issues will ensure that a stove programme will fail.  The function of an improved stove is not merely to save fuel.
 
Improving a stove design is a complex procedure which needs a broad understanding of many issues.  Involvement of users in the design process is essential to gain a thorough understanding of the user’s needs and requirements for the stove.  The stove is not merely an appliance for heating food (as it has become in Western society), but is often acts as a social focus, a means of lighting and space heating.  Tar from the fire can help to protect a thatched roof, and the smoke can keep out insects and other pests.  Cooking habits need to be considered, as well as the lifestyle of the users.  Light charcoal stoves used for cooking meat and vegetables are of little use to people who have staple diets such as Ugali, which require large pots and vigorous stirring.  Fuel type can differ greatly; in some countries cow dung is used as a common fuel source, particularly where wood is scarce.  Cost is also a major factor among low-income groups.  Failing to identify these key socio-economic issues will ensure that a stove programme will fail.  The function of an improved stove is not merely to save fuel.
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==Local manufacture of stoves==
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|bgcolor="silver"|Since 1982, the Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ), an improved charcoal-burning stove aimed at the urban market has been developed and manufactured by large numbers of small producers. The KCJ has two main components; metal and fired clay. Both these parts are made by entrepreneurs; the metal part (cladding) being made by small-scale enterprises or individual artisans, while the clay part (liner) is manufactured by slightly larger and more organised enterprises or women’s groups. The KCJ is sold by the artisans directly to their customers or through commercial outlets such as retail shops and supermarkets. The stove was initially promoted heavily to develop the market, by the NGO KENGO and by the Kenyan Ministry of Energy, through the mass media, market demonstrations and trade fairs. As a result of this substantial promotion, there are now more than 200 artisans and micro-enterprises manufacturing some 13,600 improved stoves every month. To date, it is estimated that there are some 700,000 such stoves in use in Kenyan households. This represents a penetration of 16.8% of all households in Kenya, and 56% of all urban households in the country. 
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|}Source: Dominic Walubengo, Stove Images, 1995
    
==Improved cook stove materials==
 
==Improved cook stove materials==
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