Back to Portfolio

Improved Cookstoves for Burundi Restaurants


Project Name: Restaurants Burundi

Project owner: POWA

Standard: Verra VCS

Project ID: 2540

The project consists in locally-manufacturing improved cookstoves for restaurants and switching from non-renewable logged trees to a sustainable energy supply: briquettes made of renewable biomass.

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 1.3m tonnes / year.

Currently, the common practice for cooking in most restaurants consists essentially of using open an fire system (3-stone), and traditional stoves. These stoves are notoriously wasteful with an efficiency level of 10-15%, and they produce harmful smokes.

The restaurants’ owners 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 speculation).

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 owners 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 reduction of harmful smokes.

OBEN has more than 15 years of experience and is operating 5 successful carbon programs, employing 175 staff and generating $2m of turnover (2021). Their production facility is located in Bujumbura. The site stretchs across 6 hectares and features 3 lines of production for the stoves. A fleet of 14 vehicles is dedicated to supply & deliveries. 


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

The project avoids deforestation in the country.

The biomass briquettes are 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 $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.

Heath care

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.