Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management (CADEP-SFM)


Title :Reducing Deforestation through Use of Energy Saving Mud-Stoves in Juba, South Sudan

Audience :Rural, Peri-urban and Urban Households; and Extension Agents
Country :southsudan
Category :Land Management


Juba city is located in Juba County, Jubek State within Central Equatorial region of South Sudan. Juba lies at an altitude of 457 m (1499’) above sea level. The City has a tropical wet and dry climate with dry winters. The average annual temperature in Juba is 27.8°C (7.2°F), while the average annual rainfall is 972.4 mm (38.3”). On average, there are 104 days per year with more than 0.1 mm (0.004”) of rainfall. The city of Juba had a population of 372,413 persons (2008 Census) .
In the past, Juba City and its environs were highly forested. However, with the increase in urban population, demand for wood-fuel for cooking has increased, leading to massive deforestation and desertification. Patches of open spaces due to deforestation and environmental degradation are evident around Juba.
Conversion of forests to agricultural lands and tree over harvesting for charcoal production are the main drivers of deforestation in South Sudan. Despite presence and production oil and gas in the country, wood-fuel still remains the main source of energy for cooking and other energy requirements. Currently, the conventional stoves used for cooking and baking at household level are generally not energy efficient and therefore consume high amounts of charcoal. To address the challenge of large consumption of charcoal, mud-stoves were introduced in Juba. Mud-stoves are easy to construct and are energy saving as they use small quantities of charcoal. Due to these technological advantages of the mud-stoves, many households in Juba have adopted the practice.


To promote use of energy efficient mud-stoves to reduce deforestation, carbon dioxide gas emissions and desertification.


The technology of mud-stoves was introduced in Juba from Uganda. Households in Juba adopted the technology due to its multiple benefits including; use of small amount of charcoal compared to traditional cooking stoves known in Arabic as “Kanun”, and ease of construction.
To construct a mud-stove, the following materials are required; clay soil, pieces of stones or bricks, water, iron bars, and rabbit wire.

Steps in constructing and use of one burner mud-stove
Constructing a one burner mud-stove

1. Identify the site where the stove is to be build.
2. Draw the base diagram on the ground to map out where the stove is to be built.
3. Add water to the clay soil to form mortar (mouldable clay).
4. Spread some of the mortar on the base diagram drawn in Step 2.
5. Place the pieces of stone/bricks on the mortar to form part of the foundation
6. Spread more mortar to fill the spaces between stone/bricks and also to cover these foundation stone/bricks completely with clay to a height of about 4 cm. The bricks should be embedded in the clay. Smooth the clay.
7. Leave a space of 10-15 cm starting from the base upward without stones/bricks but with only mortar.
8. Place a rod or plant material vertically to allow space for combustion chamber
9. Continue building the stones/bricks on the first layer up to a height of 30 cm.
10. At 30 cm height, place 5-6 pieces of iron bars each of 40 cm across opposite walls parallel to the space for ventilation.
11. Place the rabbit wire in the middle position on the iron bars.
12. Continue laying mortar and stones/ bricks over the iron bars and edges of the rabbit wire in a circular form of 10 cm diameter up to a height of 15 cm, leaving a cavity or wall on the rabbit wire.
13. Make a circle of 10 cm diameter/15x5 cm triangular ventilation opening in the stone less/brick less space (see Step 7).
14. Smoothen the outer walls of the stove.
15. Leave the stove to dry for a few days before use.

Using the mud-stove
16. Use the stove once it is dry.
17. Put charcoal in the opening at the top connected to the rabbit wire.
18. Light the charcoal.
19. Place the cooking/boiling vessel over the stove.
20. Leave the vessel to cook/boil as required.
21. Maintain the stove whenever necessary.

Note: The stove provides a lot of heat compared to the traditional stove and caution should be taken to avoid over-cooking or over-boiling.
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A five burner mud-stove used in a local restaurant in Juba
town, Juba County, Jubek State
A two burner mud-stove at a house in Mauna Block 1, Munuki Payam,
Juba County, Jubek State - 2019


• Reduced energy costs as less charcoal is used. For example, Elizabeth Yapi Manasseh, and Mary Price Duel testified that a two handful measure of charcoal costing SSP 100 (US$ 0.77) can be used for a day using mud-stove compared to eight handful measure of charcoal costing SSP 400 (US$ 3.07) with traditional stove.
• Reduced deforestation
• Mud-stove cooks faster compared to local stove, thereby saving time that can be used for other activities
• Reduced carbon dioxide emission due to reduced charcoal production and use


• Use of briquettes as opposed to only using charcoal.
• Use of a mixture of charcoal and stone/gravel for cooking to prolong heat retention.


• Cannot be built in an open area where it may be exposed to rain.
• The stove is not portable.
• The stove requires regular maintenance.


• The practice is affordable and easy to adopt as its construction process is not complicated.
• The practice has potential for wider adoption even by poor households through increased awareness.


Adoption of mud-stoves has reduced; energy consumption, deforestation, carbon dioxide emission and desertification. The stove is easy to build, and uses locally available materials thereby making it easy to scale out.

The authors acknowledge Elizabeth Yapi Manasseh, Mary Price Duel and authors of Minutes of the AI-CD Workshop by MAFS/RSS for providing information used in compilation of this publication.

Agnes Imoya and Taban Elonai Andarago

Contact Us


CADEP-SFM head office is located at KEFRI headquarters in Muguga. 23 km north-west of Nairobi, off Nairobi - Nakuru highway.
P.O. Box 20412 - 00200 Nairobi.

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