Die Ofenmacher e.V.


The organisation "Die Ofenmacher" aims to install simple loam ovens for indoor cooking in rural households in Nepal to replace the open fire commonly used.
The costs for one stove are 8 Euro including material and wages for the stove maker. This amount is financed by our organisation. The members of the rural household take part in the process by providing the materials for the loam bricks and they bring their own labour to the process.
Advantages of Smoke-Free Ovens
- Safer and healthier living conditions. Family members would no longer be exposed to open fires and hazardous smoke.
- Prevention of accidents. No more burn victims from open fires. Cooking pots would rest on the stoves more stably and thus reduce accidents.
- Prevent long term consequences of exposure to smoke like COPD, lung cancer etc.
- Reduction in wood consumption (up to 50%). It would lead to the preservation of forests and reduce the work and time women spend gathering wood.
- Decrease in cooking time.
- Additional source of income. The oven makers would benefit from the supplementary income.

Organization Type Non-Governmental Organization

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Dr. Frank Dengler
Secondary Contact

Address Euckenstr. 1 b
Website http://www.ofenmacher.org
Phone +49-89-80084427
Fax +49-89-80084427
Calling/Fax Instructions

Our Focus

Primary Initiatives, Target Populations, and Scope of Work:

In the years from 2005 to 2009, around 4000 smoke-free ovens have been built in farm houses in the districts of Kavre, Dhading, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Sindhupalchok and Kathmandu. In 2009 and 2010 we managed to increase our working field and started oven building activities the districts of Nuwakot, Dolakha, Ghorka and Saptari. Our goal for the year 2010 is to build 2500 ovens and to continue building in even larger numbers in the coming years.

Fuels/Technologies: Biomass
Sectors of Experience: Behavior Change
Rural Development
Countries of Operation: Nepal

Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas

Social/Cultural barriers to using traditional fuels and stoves:

Meeting Social/Behavioral Needs:
Promoting smoke-free ovens means to change peoples' behaviour and attitude. First contacts with the new ovens are normally enabled by building a demonstrator stove in a prominent household in the village. Women visit and experience the advantages of the oven in practice. Our experience is that soon after that, the communities produce lists of households to be equipped with stoves. After the first ovens being in use, the advantages are communicated by word of mouth and further requests are coming up.

Market development for improved cooking technologies:

Developing Local Markets:
All of our currently 12 stove makers (normally farmers or workers) are working part time on this job giving them an additional source of income to maintain their families.

Most rural households in Nepal cannot afford the small amount of 8 Euro for one oven. This is why we still support these households for building the new oven. As the construction of the oven is very simple and locally available material is used, maintenance and repair of the ovens can be performed by the local people themselves and no further support is needed.

Technology standardization for cooking, heating and ventilation:

Improving Technology Design and Performance:
The ovens have been developed by the Energy Sector Assistance Program (ESAP) initiated by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AECP, http://www.aepc.gov.np ). This organisation also works on continuous improvement of the ovens. Technology development and standardization is done by ESAP with which we are working closely together.

Indoor air pollution exposure and health monitoring:

Monitoring Impacts of Interventions:
We are doing field visits and interviews on an irregular basis.

The initiative started from the Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital in Sankhu (http://www.nepalhospital.de), which is specialized on plastic and reconstructive surgery. Most of the severely burnt children there got their injuries in open cooking fire accidents. Furthermore the hospital is often treating people suffering from lung problems like asthma or COPD which are most probably caused by the exposure to smoke from childhood age.

Relevant Publications or Studies

None noted

Our Contribution to the Partnership

We would like to bring in and exchange our experience in
- advantages and limitations in practice of the loam oven we are propagating
- addressing people in rural areas and helping them change their attitude and behaviour
- working under basic conditions wrt housing, food, health support, infrastructure
We can help broaden the platform of experiences on different types of improved cooking stoves. Different climatic, geographical and social conditions (as seen in Nepal) cause different requirements on the stoves which we need to understand better to provide the best possible solutions and implementation strategies.