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Energy-efficient heating and cooking technologies

Wood is one of the most important energy sources in Tajikistan’s households. Due to uncontrolled logging, the country has lost such large forest areas that deforestation is having a massively negative impact on the ecosystem, and ultimately on the population’s food security. In the absence of alternative sources of energy, the project promotes the development and use of energy-efficient wood stoves which cut fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and reduce emissions.


Country / Region / Place 
Muminobod, Khovaling, Kulob and Shamsiddin Shohin districts in Khatlon Province

Target group
Rural and peri-rural population, blacksmiths

Funding requirement
300'000 Swiss francs

Project duration
01.08.2016 bis 31.03.2019

Project number

Project objective
Development, production and distribution of energy-efficient stoves

Project coordinator
Martina Weber, Tel: 041 419 24 56, mwebernot shown@caritasto make life hard for spam

Asia / Europe


Background information

Tajikistan is one of the countries most severely affected by climate change. It is already suffering from phenomena such as rising temperatures, melting of the glaciers that feed the rivers, and reduced rainfall, which moreover occurs frequently as heavy or continuous rain. This causes extreme events such as flash floods, inundations, mudflows and landslides. It endangers human lives and damages or destroys the infrastructure. It also severely affects agriculture, on which 70 per cent of the population depend for their livelihood. The poorest country in central Asia lacks the means to take measures to adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts. On the contrary: the inadequate provision of infrastructure and the weak state of the economy force the population to adopt practices that damage the ecosystems even more, and thus aggravate the impacts of climate change.

Apart from hydro-electric power, Tajikistan depends on wood, since other energy sources such as solar energy are expensive and can only be used to a limited extent because of the long winter. However, the electricity supply is unreliable, especially in the rural areas, and in the winter, it is only guaranteed for a few hours a day. As a result, approximately 70 per cent of the population in Tajikistan – around 5 million people – primarily use wood as an energy source. Fuel wood consumption is high because inefficient stoves are used for cooking and heating. Moreover, the escaping flue gases affect the health of the women who do the cooking, and lead to general air pollution.

Due to uncontrolled logging, only 3 per cent of the land is now covered in forest. Deforestation has severe consequences for the eco- and land use systems in Tajikistan. The rainwater runs off rapidly and carries away the fertile soil layers instead of seeping into the soil and continuously feeding the groundwater and the watercourses. This reduces the water retention capacity of the soil and leads to less water being available for plant growth and for irrigation during the dry summer season. This in turn affects the agricultural yields, and ultimately the food security and incomes of the farming households.

These negative developments are predicted to increase in the future unless decisive countermeasures are taken.  Actions that prevent further deforestation are vital, since forests play an important role in the regulation of the water cycle and soil conservation, bind CO2 and thus act as a climate regulator. Forests also act as a biological filter for pollutants present in emissions, provide  mechanical protection for settlements, infrastructure and agricultural land, and perform other ecosystem services. The conservation of forests therefore reduces the impacts of climate change and enhances adaptation to climate change. With supplementary measures that reduce CO2 emission, the population’s resilience with regard to climate change increases.


What are we doing?

The present project continues the successful work of a previous project, in which an energy-efficient wood stove made from metal was developed. It was launched on the market in the Muminobod District in Tajikistan. The stove cuts fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and reduces emissions, including CO2, and thus reduces domestic and general air pollution in an innovative way. In the current project, this stove will be introduced in the neighbouring districts. First, a range of models, which were developed in the previous project for different requirements, are to be further improved with regard to energy efficiency, emissions and user-friendliness.

In a second step, the value chain for energy-efficient stoves will be developed and optimised. The blacksmith workshop in Muminobod, which has already cooperated with Caritas in two earlier projects and is equipped with modern machinery, will supply interested blacksmith workshops in the neighbouring districts with prefabricated parts. These are then bent and assembled into stoves. This process enables the cooperating workshops to produce energy-efficient stoves at relatively low investment costs and thus open up a new source of income. Thanks to the division of labour, productivity increases, so that the stoves can be offered at affordable prices. At the same time, the scope of the project is extended, which allows a more significant environmental impact to be achieved.

In order to guarantee its sustainability, the production and marketing of the energy-saving stoves are done on a purely commercial basis. This means that the workshops are not subsidised by the project, but work on their own account. Equally, the project will not establish its own promotion and distribution structures, rather, the sales take place via dealers. The project takes on the task of developing networks among the individual actors of the value chain, advising them in contract negotiations and mediating if any problems arise. In addition, it supports the blacksmiths in business aspects such a calculating prices, producing business plans and using them as a management tool, and subsidises necessary investments to a limited extent. The project also organises and funds the technical training of the newly included blacksmiths. By concentrating the project’s contribution  on a supportive and advisory role, the blacksmiths are enabled to tackle and master the new challenges independently. In addition to the producers, the project also works according to the same principles with the participating suppliers, transport companies and dealers in order to ensure a smooth functioning of the value chain. Individual targeted promotional measures such as the broadcasting of advertising spots and a promotional film on state television, as well as the provision of information material, supplement the work of the dealers and strengthen the sales performance.

In order to enable poor households to acquire an energy-efficient stove, the project also arranges the provision of interest-free, earmarked loans by organisations in the communities.The intention is to take account of the experiences gained in this project in the medium term for a planned major project across borders, which will propagate further energy saving measures such as house insulation. 


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