Ninety-eight percent of the Rwandan population relies on firewood or charcoal for cooking. In addition, cooking done with these fuel sources usually occurs in small, poorly ventilated areas. Women and children are historically tasked with the role of cooking in Rwanda, and are exposed to harmful air pollution for hours a day. Household solid fuel is associated with 4.3 million deaths a year according to WHO.  Even though the health burden of household solid fuel related exceeds that of other illnesses including malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis, there is little awareness and attention given to its significant negative health consequences.

  •  HDI partnered with Metamorfose to introduce a technologically improved cook stove that is affordable, culturally appropriate, fuel-efficient, and reduces dangerous solid fuel smoke emissions that affect respiratory health
  • HDI targeted their distribution efforts in the eastern province by partnering with 14 community leaders to build 242 cook stoves for 117 families in the Nyamata sector. Distribution campaigns were linked with sensitization campaigns to educate community members about proper use and the cook stoves’ importance to respiratory health.
  • Along with sensitization about cooking-related respiratory health, community members were also educated on safe food preparation and kitchen hygiene to help decrease food related illness.

This project came to an end in 2016.


  • 14 Village leaders who were sensitized on using cook stoves and their health benefits by 2015
  • 242 Cook stoves built and distributed by 2015
  • 117 Families received a stove, were sensitized on their benefits, and educated on food and kitchen hygiene by 2015