CADEP-SFM Good Practises

Title: Use of Improved Cooking Stoves to Combat Desertification in Djibouti

Category: Forestry

Country: Djibouti

Audience: Farmers, Extension officers


Djibouti is characterized by arid climatic conditions and is covered by various forms of deserts that include; stony deserts, rocky and stony deserts, sandy and gravel deserts as well as clay deserts. The country experiences a very short rainfall period, with annual rainfall of 150-200 mm. The average temperature is about 31°C. The country is also vulnerable to effects of climate change. It is predicted that temperature in Djibouti will increase by 1.30C in the next 30 years. Due to effects of climate change, the country suffers from rescinding underground water, salinization of water, soil erosion, and land degradation. The main causes of the land degradation in Djibouti include; deforestation and severe soil erosion especially on the grazing and sloppy areas. Deforestation is aggravated by uncontrolled extraction of various wood and non-wood forest products. In Djibouti, wood is the main source of domestic energy. The rural communities use firewood, while urban populations use charcoal. In the recent past, the price of petroleum-based fuel has greatly increased. This has consequently led to high demand for firewood and charcoal by the peri-urban and urban dwellers, hence leading to increased wood harvesting. Cooking in the rural areas of Djibouti is done using traditional cook stoves which consist of three stones. These stoves are highly inefficient in wood utilization. In order to increase efficiency of wood use for energy, an improved energy saving cook stove was introduced.


  1. Reduce pressure on degraded vegetation
  2. Promote the stove for efficient utilization of the wood resource


Djibouti developed a National Action Plan Against Desertification (NAP/UNCCD) in early 2000’s and implemented several activities and initiatives that had been developed by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), in collaboration with the participating communities and other national stakeholders and partners, including: Ministry of Environment, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Initial demonstration and promotion of the improved energy efficient cook stove was undertaken in three sites characterized by severe desertification, overgrazing, and deforestation. These three sites were; periphery and poor urban areas of the capital city, Dikhil Region in the south of the country focusing on semi-nomadic women headed households around the main town and Tadjourah Region in the North of the country focusing on the periphery and semi-nomadic women headed households. The project was financed by IGAD among other donors. Participatory approaches were applied in implementing the improved cook stove activities with selected women groups. Sensitization was also done to other stakeholders such as; men working in charcoal value chain, households, and school pupils. Five (5) women were trained as trainers, and were used to disseminate the technology to local households. For each women group, the technical specifications of the improved cook stove were provided, and the improved stoves fabricated at the local workshops. In each site, fabricated stoves were provided to 100 households. Beneficiaries of the energy saving cook stove technology included households and small scale restaurants in the villages and in towns. The MoA in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment undertook continuous dissemination and monitoring in order to assist women groups and small local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to scale out the improved cook stove technology.


  1. Consumption rate of wood and charcoal in the area where the improved cook stove has been adopted has reduced by about 50-55%.
  2. The Training of Trainers has ensured higher adoption of the technology because farmers learn from each other


Use of cook stoves


The main constraints are:

  1. Disseminating the improved technology in remote rural areas which are difficult to access
  2. Shortage of skilled labour to fabricate the improved stoves in the nomadic areas


  1. Use of improved cook stove which can be used in combating desertification.
  2. Sensitization of communities, provision of relevant information and collaboration with the national/regional organizations will contribute to large scale adoption of the technology.


Use of improved cook stove has led to reduced amount of wood used for energy requirements, leading to improved vegetation cover in Djibouti. The improved stoves are a simple and efficient technology for use by rural population, peri-urban households and restaurants in urban areas.