Tanzanian Hayboxes, Stoves, and Wonderbaskets

Tanzanian Hayboxes, Stoves, and Wonderbaskets, Meg Arenberg, Sunseed Tanzania Trust, August 2005

From Meg Arenberg:

Here in Dodoma we have focused on mud stoves with chimneys (a slightly adapted version of the lorena), with mud-built heat retention cookers (haybox) attached. I can send photographs and building instructions if you would like.

We have found these stoves to be the best option for average villagers with very limited resources. The staple food here is ugali, a pot-cooked stiff porridge of maize or millet, which is most often served with pot-cooked greens or legumes. Traditionally these are cooked over an open fire fueled by wood sticks...in extreme cases some families use crop residues (maize stalks and husks, sunflower stalks) in place of firewood. With few exceptions villagers here cook indoors. The stoves we promote allow families to cook ugali and vegetable at the same time with only one fire, and remove smoke from the home. The attached heat retention cookers (which use dried grasses, wood shavings, and/or millet/sorghum hulls for insulation) allow them to significantly reduce the firewood needed for cooking beans and other pulses, and also serve as a place to keep ugali hot after it has been cooked on the mud stove (reducing the need for reheating).

In areas where baskets are readily available (and for those who can afford to purchase them), we also promote "wonderbaskets"--portable heat retention cookers made from local baskets with similar insulation to the mud built version.

Hope this helps, and feel free to contact me directly if you would like further details.

All best wishes,

Meg Arenberg
Domestic Energy Project Coordinator
Sunseed Tanzania Trust
P.O. Box 2166
Dodoma, Tanzania
+255 745 442 677
meg@sunseedtanzania.org
website: www.sunseedtanzania.org