Establishing a "last mile" retail system for CANARUMWE


News

“Now, I have a clean kitchen, my cooking time has reduced and I save about a third of my firewood since I started using the Canarumwe stove” says MUKANDUTIYE Marie Madeleine a user from Ngororero district.

In support of the Government’s efforts the World Bank supported the Rwanda ICS - Improved Cook Stoves - “Market Based Solutions to Eliminate Energy Poverty Project”, that has been implemented by SNV in partnership with EWSA, Billem Innovations and AEE – African Evangelistic Enterprises.

SNV built the project on recent experiences with ceramic stoves: the Canarumwe firewood stove and the Canamake Ivuguruye charcoal stove which were introduced by EWSA in early 2011. Both stoves perform significantly better than former models and reduce the quantity of firewood and/or charcoal needed. They therefore have the potential to reduce household energy expenditures, to protect the environment and, in the case of the Canarumwe firewood stove, diminish respiratory and eye illnesses due to reduced smoke exposure.

In 2012 and 2013 SNV conducted two specific ICS related studies about the performance, user appreciation and supply of Canarumwe stoves. The studies concluded that: 73% of a sample of 100 households interviewed considered their expectation -of saving wood, cooking faster and reducing smoke- having been met by using the Canarumwe stove and 66% considered also its price (on average 1.700 RWF at that time) as an adequate price.

Despite the product quality, efficiency and the appreciation of the Canarumwe stoves by the end users, the market demand and uptake has remained low with an estimated 25,000 stoves having been sold during the past 3 years, whereby most of these stoves were sold in the vicinity of the potter cooperatives that were producing the stoves.

This is why the actual project’s aim is not just to further promote and create awareness of the benefits of these stoves but to establish a sustainable demand-led supply chain by:

  • Improving the performance and management capacity of the Canarumwe stove Producers Cooperatives in each of the 10 intervention Districts;
  • Mobilising rural cooperatives and commercial retailers to get engaged in the stove business in order to sell stoves in closer vicinity to the end users;
  • Developing a network of installers, who install stoves and arrange smoke evacuation measures in the homesteads of rural households.

The achievements after three months of project implementation are encouraging:

Increase of stove production: The 10 existing Canarumwe production units have significantly increased their production from an average of 145 stoves to an average of 700 stoves per month per production unit. The overall production of 21,148 stoves have reached 117% of the end target of 18.000 stoves.

Increase of demand: More than 50 retailing cooperatives engaged in a serious demand pledge for a total of about 27.200 stoves, which is 50% beyond the project target of 18.000 stoves. The number of sold stoves (from Producers to Retailers) has reached 11,137 stoves and is rapidly increasing (86% in less than one month).

Installed stoves: Produced and retailed Canarumwe stoves need to be installed in a mud kitchen hearth at the rural households. These are the stoves which have been sold to the end user for the standard sales price of 2,500 RWF (EUR 2.75) including installation. Currently 7,942 stoves have been installed (increase of >300% in less than one month) reaching 44% of the end target of 18.000 stoves installed.  

“I  now make at least  RWF 20,000  per month from installing canarumwe cook stoves and I intend to treble my earnings through this business as I have the capacity to install 6 stoves a day and have many interested customers” -  Umulisa Rafiki  a young Female installer from Kirehe district.

These figures indicate the emerging success of our approach based on intensive work in the field in close collaboration with our partners and with strong support from EWSA, local authorities and administrations. We foresee that we will not only soon achieve the fixed target of -producing, retailing and installing- 18,000 stoves but above all that we will have established an emerging sustainable market oriented supply chain of affordable improved cook stoves in 10 districts which can be scaled up nationwide.

One of the key targets to be fulfilled under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) concerns the dissemination of ICS and domestic biogas digesters. In collaboration with the private sector the Government of Rwanda wants to deliver improved cook stoves to 100% of the population and to install 100,000 domestic biogas digesters by 2018.

“Now, I have a clean kitchen, my cooking time has reduced and I save about a third of my firewood since I started using the Canarumwe stove” says MUKANDUTIYE Marie Madeleine a user from Ngororero district.

In support of the Government’s efforts the World Bank supported the Rwanda ICS - Improved Cook Stoves - “Market Based Solutions to Eliminate Energy Poverty Project”, that has been implemented by SNV in partnership with EWSA, Billem Innovations and AEE – African Evangelistic Enterprises.

SNV built the project on recent experiences with ceramic stoves: the Canarumwe firewood stove and the Canamake Ivuguruye charcoal stove which were introduced by EWSA in early 2011. Both stoves perform significantly better than former models and reduce the quantity of firewood and/or charcoal needed. They therefore have the potential to reduce household energy expenditures, to protect the environment and, in the case of the Canarumwe firewood stove, diminish respiratory and eye illnesses due to reduced smoke exposure.

In 2012 and 2013 SNV conducted two specific ICS related studies about the performance, user appreciation and supply of Canarumwe stoves. The studies concluded that: 73% of a sample of 100 households interviewed considered their expectation -of saving wood, cooking faster and reducing smoke- having been met by using the Canarumwe stove and 66% considered also its price (on average 1.700 RWF at that time) as an adequate price.

Despite the product quality, efficiency and the appreciation of the Canarumwe stoves by the end users, the market demand and uptake has remained low with an estimated 25,000 stoves having been sold during the past 3 years, whereby most of these stoves were sold in the vicinity of the potter cooperatives that were producing the stoves.

This is why the actual project’s aim is not just to further promote and create awareness of the benefits of these stoves but to establish a sustainable demand-led supply chain by:

Improving the performance and management capacity of the Canarumwe stove Producers Cooperatives in each of the 10 intervention Districts;

Mobilising rural cooperatives and commercial retailers to get engaged in the stove business in order to sell stoves in closer vicinity to the end users;

Developing a network of installers, who install stoves and arrange smoke evacuation measures in the homesteads of rural households.

The achievements after three months of project implementation are encouraging:

Increase of stove production: The 10 existing Canarumwe production units have significantly increased their production from an average of 145 stoves to an average of 700 stoves per month per production unit. The overall production of 21,148 stoves have reached 117% of the end target of 18.000 stoves.

Increase of demand: More than 50 retailing cooperatives engaged in a serious demand pledge for a total of about 27.200 stoves, which is 50% beyond the project target of 18.000 stoves. The number of sold stoves (from Producers to Retailers) has reached 11,137 stoves and is rapidly increasing (86% in less than one month).

Installed stoves: Produced and retailed Canarumwe stoves need to be installed in a mud kitchen hearth at the rural households. These are the stoves which have been sold to the end user for the standard sales price of 2,500 RWF (EUR 2.75) including installation. Currently 7,942 stoves have been installed (increase of >300% in less than one month) reaching 44% of the end target of 18.000 stoves installed.  

 

“I  now make at least  RWF 20,000  per month from installing canarumwe cook stoves and I intend to treble my earnings through this business as I have the capacity to install 6 stoves a day and have many interested customers” -  Umulisa Rafiki  a young Female installer from Kirehe district.

These figures indicate the emerging success of our approach based on intensive work in the field in close collaboration with our partners and with strong support from EWSA, local authorities and administrations. We foresee that we will not only soon achieve the fixed target of -producing, retailing and installing- 18,000 stoves but above all that we will have established an emerging sustainable market oriented supply chain of affordable improved cook stoves in 10 districts which can be scaled up nationwide.

One of the key targets to be fulfilled under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) concerns the dissemination of ICS and domestic biogas digesters. In collaboration with the private sector the Government of Rwanda wants to deliver improved cook stoves to 100% of the population and to install 100,000 domestic biogas digesters by 2018.