Support restaurants to switch for green energy in Burundi

Project Name : OBEN - Restaurants

Key Facts

1,5000 restaurants equiped
80,000 T CO2 saved / year
6,000 efficient cookstoves installed


Project owner : Observatoire de l’Environnement et de la Nature « OBEN »

OBEN's project consists in reducing deforestation, support 1,500 restaurants in different cities and supply affordable, reliable and modern Energy in Burundi, a landlocked country classified as a Least Developped Country.

Between 1990 and 2010, Burundi lost 40.5% of its forest cover. In parallel, the annual available amount of renewable biomass, which is not used, is more than 1.3 M. tonnes per year.
Currently, the common practice for cooking in most restaurants consists essentially of using traditional open fire system (3-stone), and traditional stoves. These stoves are notoriously wasteful with an efficiency level of 10-15%, and they produces harmful smokes.
Restaurant's owner are mostly women, they are obliged to spend USD 100 per month for wood fuel procurement.

That's why OBEN decided to take action and help Burundi's restaurants to get an affordable, reliable and modern energy.
The project consists in locally-manufacturing institutional improved cookstoves for restaurants and switching from non-renewably logged trees to a sustainable energy supply: briquettes made of renewable biomass.
It reduces wood fuel consumption and thus associated expenses by 80%.
So far, 1,500 restaurants were equipped with these new stoves and 46,000 tonnes of biomass briquettes were distributed which is equivalent of the 80,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year.
The restaurants' owner are very grateful for this switch to this new fuel, the supply is simpler than before and the price stays the same (in contrary of the price of the charcoal that keeps rising because of the speculation).
To give you an example, the price they were paying for two days of fuel consumption with the old stoves is now a week of briquettes use.
Thanks to these savings, restaurant's owner are no longer obligated to take out a loan whose interest rates are high, the project therefore directly contributes to their financial autonomy.
The women interviewed have also underlined an improvement of their work conditions thanks to the reducing of harmful smokes.

All production facilities are located in Burundi. The site stretchs across 6 hectares and features 6 lines of production for biomass briquettes (3) and stoves (3). A fleet of 14 vehicles is dedicated to supply & deliveries. They produce 27,000 T/year of biomass briquettes and 180,000 stoves/year.


Between 1990 and 2010, Burundi lost 40% of its forest due to deforestation.

The project avoids 100 ha of deforestation per year.

The biomass briquettes is made of agro-industry residues (cane bagasse, coffee husk, etc.)

The project generates additional revenues for farmers and small size agro SMEs.

Street restaurants spend an average of USD 100 per month for wood fuel procurement.

The project reduces wood fuel consumption and thus associated expenses by 80%.

Traditional stoves produce harmful smokes

The project reduces indoor air pollution and related risk to respiratory diseases.

CSR Action

OBEN invests in the «energy efficiency school program » for which efficient stoves are installed in schools thus reducing the children budget for lunch.

OBEN is a labor intensive NGO providing jobs to 350 people. Each employee follows a four weeks annual trainee program.

OBEN started a tree nursery to seed trees for replanting. To date, 300 hectares have been replanted.




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