History of the Jiko……………………………. 1
“One of the most successfully improved
cook stove in modern times…”
By Diana Jorge
How Does it Work?............................. 2-3
How to use it…………………………………… 4-5
How has it helped us?....................... 6-7
Where can it be found?.................... 8-10
Advantages & Disadvantages…………... 11
Bibliographies………………………………….. 12
It has been a combination of both local and international
involvement in developing the Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ).
Since 1982, the Kenya Energy & Environment Organization
(KENGO) has organized and promoted the use of the KCJ. A
number of foundations; CARE, UNICEF, U.S (USAID),
German aid (GTZ), Intermediate Technology Development
Group (ITDG) all participated in the evolution of the KCJ.
By the mid 80’s, the KCJ had been designed (inspired by a
trip to examine the Thai bucket stove), many local
ceramicists and metal workers had been trained to make
them and that’s when they started the successful business
and started exporting it to other countries.
The advantage of the KCJ in terms of science is
that it is designed and fabricated in such a way
that allows it to conserve the heat being
produced within it for a lot more time than a
standard open-fire. Being ceramic, it is a good
insulator. The KCJ works with heat transfer
through conduction. The fire is lit at the bottom
of the KCJ and the fire heats up the coals with
physical contact with conduction. The coals then
get very hot and since the ceramic substance is a
insulator, it traps the heat in the KCJ. You then
place your pot on top which is then also heated
by conduction because it is touching the flames
from the fire. The molecules are getting heated
up and are creating kinetic energy which causes
them to move very fast resulting in heat. The ash
from the coals then falls to the bottom and can be
cleaned. If the stove isn’t directly touching the fire
because of a small support, then the heat is
transferred through convection because hot air
If you are looking for an easy, simple and portable
cooking device, then the KCJ is the right one for
you because simplicity is what it does. In order to
put the KCJ to use, all you need basically is a
handful or so of charcoal and a fire source. You
start off by placing your handful of charcoal in the
KCJ and light the fire either with a match or a
lighter. Let the charcoal first heat up a little bit as
the flame transmits heat through conduction.
Then place your pot of food on top of the KCJ and
it will be cooked. The heat is trapped inside but
there are still air holes for the air to go through.
After using the KCJ to cook say: a pot of rice,
there is still enough heat trapped in the KCJ and
that is what makes it so efficient. So while you are
at it you can just go ahead and fry up some beef
or boil some vegetables. You don’t always have to
cook things, you could also just warm up stored
food! The cooking time using the Jiko may be less
due to more heat but still remember to keep a
close watch on your Jiko!
Simple diagram of KCJ in use:
In terms of how effective the Jiko is, I could give
you an entire page on how effective it is. The Jiko
was designed in such a way that it would solve
the following problems from the traditional stove
identified in Africa in the world today:
• It takes too much time to collect firewood
• It keeps people from finding satisfied jobs
• It uses up too much wood and trees
• Pollutes the environment with smoke
• Leads to global warming
• Many children get burnt from open fires
= Fire
= Charcoal
= Kenya Jiko
= Air Holes 5
By inventing the Jiko, it has provided people with
jobs like installing the Jiko in a household, it
requires people to make it, since the cooking time
is less, people have more time then to do other
things such as sewing which they can sell. People
with low income can also grow crops and sell
those too. By inventing the Jiko, it has reduced a
lot of the problems mentioned above. They
haven’t come to an absolute end, but hey have
been and are still being reduced.
The Kenya Ceramic Jiko is now mostly found in Africa
which is the place its most needed in. The origin is
Kenya, and in Kenya they sell the Jiko in the local
marketplace as well as Chardust Ltd. In Nairobi.
It is also sold here in Maputo. There is a factory called
IFEMA which makes ceramics and they also make
something very similar to the Jikos only they are not
called Jikos, they are called Poca. Short for “Poca
Carvao” which means “less/little charcoal”. This
factory is on the “Avenida da OUA” it’s near the
“Matadoro”. At the most, the price of it is about 300
meticais but not much more than that. The price in
dollars is about 8 dollars. No more than 8-10 dollars
usually. But of course it depends on the design or size
of the Jiko. The Jiko has been used already in more
than 30 other countries. Including some of the
following: Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya,
Malawi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi,
and Senegal and is being introduced to Burkina Faso,
Mali, Niger, Mozambique, and Madagascar.
The Jiko can be used literally
IFEMA has recently started making the
Poca. Joao Carlos, the owner of the
factory stated that the production of the
Poca all started when he was on a trip in
South Africa visiting the stove factories.
He had spotted something very similar to
the Jiko.
He asked the factory if he could buy one.
So he bought one and took it back to his
factory and just by luck they had the
special machinery to make it. At first it
kept exploding when in use because the
material wasn’t right but after months of
looking for the right material he finally
succeeded. It has been a huge success in
his factory. Recently he has received an
order of 200,000 of these stoves. The
costs are reasonable and still continue to
be great for low income families.
Uses 50% less fuel
Has provided new jobs
for plenty
Helps the economy
Very affordable for low
income families
Costs at the most of 10
Can be used anywhere
Cooking time is less
and this allows people
to do other things
while watching their
food cook.
Reduces fuel by 50%
Still requires fuel
Still releases smoke
which pollutes the
Reduces but still
releases co2
The fire from the
stove can still harm
While cooking using
the jiko, you must be
The Kenya Ceramic Jiko may not be the best
ultimate stove in the entire world, but it’s one
of the few stoves that reduces the chances of
affecting the environment. So let’s take
advantage of this and use the Jiko as a way to
help save the environment!
"Cook Stove." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Mar.
2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
Kammen D.M. "The Kenya Ceramic Jiko." The Kenya
Ceramic Jiko. HORIZON Solutions, n.d. Web. 27 Mar.
2014. <>.
"Bio-fuel Based Cooker." N.p., n.d.
Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
"Kenyan Household Cookstove." USAID
Winrock International, Dec. 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
Joao Carlos. "Kenya Jiko." Personal interview. 28 Mar.

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