First appeared in

Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


The introduction of efficient cookstoves to families through Afghanistan’s capital Kabul is improving health, reducing emissions, and slowing deforestation rates.

The “Efficient Cook Stoves for Women in Afghanistan” project is distributing modern and efficient cookstoves to families throughout the capital Kabul, and is funded by a grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government of Korea.

In Guldara, a district of Kabul, more than 95% of families use wood to cook their food, warm their houses and boil water. The efficient stoves are estimated to require 65% less fuel than traditional methods and produce significantly less smoke, helping to contribute to healthier lives for women and children that spend the most time around the stoves. By reducing the need for firewood, the stoves also help to reduce the amount of time that women, who are usually responsible for household work, spend collecting firewood.



The project expects to distribute a total of 19,488 aluminum cookstoves to communities with little or no access to electricity.

The locally made cookstoves are part of a larger project that aims to bring more sustainable forms of energy to Afghanistan (photo by Afghanistan Sustainable Energy for Rural Development, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development).

The Challenge

Only a small percentage of the Afghan population have access to efficient cook stoves, and traditional mud or clay stoves are partly responsible for the 54,000 premature deaths that occur due to air pollution every year.


Economic More efficient stoves will reduce cooking times by 50% and consume significantly less fuel, resulting in time and money savings.

Environment Reducing the need for firewood means a reduction in deforestation from forests around Kabul, conserving natural habitats and reducing carbon emissions.

Health The project will play an important role in reducing indoor air pollution and improving the respiratory health of recipients.