How to construct a kiln (Pictures and Instructions from IFSP, Malawi) 

Christa Roth, February 2003

1: measuring the foundations of the kiln

2: digging the foundation

3: covering the foundation with plastic

4: filling with foundation stones

5: filling up with quarry stones

6: compacting final layer of anthill soil

7: outline first layer of brick

8: checking first course of bricks


9: Soaking the bricks

10: Laying the fire chambers

11: bridging fire chambers

12: continuing the walls

13: finished kiln

14: preparation for firing


All pictures were taken by Christa Roth, Advisor for Food Processing and Biomass Energy Conservation in the Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP), Mulanje, Malawi. The IFSP programme is commissioned by the German Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development and implemented by the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ). IFSP started 1996 and is operating currently in 185 villages in Mulanje District in south-eastern Malawi. Since June 1999 , it has been co-operating with ProBEC (Programme for Biomass Energy Conservation in Southern Africa).  


More than  15.000 stoves are in use in the Mulanje area.  The stove design was advised by expertise from Tanzania and Kenya (e.g. ITDG  Kisumu, Kenya). The training of producers and awareness campaigns were carried out mostly by the home economics of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The kiln was constructed using the complete manual on 'How to build, use and maintain a better bonfire kiln' written by Moses Agumba and Vivienne Abbott, published by Intermediate Technology Kenya, PO box 39493, Nairobi, Kenya, ISBN 9966-9606-1-9
For any further inquiries please don't hesitate to contact us. We are happy to share our experiences.
Christa Roth and Christoph Messinger
c/o Integrated Food Security Programme Mulanje
P.O. Box 438 Mulanje (Malawi)
Phone + 265 - 1- 466 279,  Phone/Fax 466 435,
cell +265- 8-860 936