Fuel-efficient stoves for coastal communities

Fuel efficient stove

Fuel efficient stove, Sri Lanka © KEkaratne , 2009


The objective of this project was to rehabilitate and conserve threatened mangrove ecosystems using participatory approaches.


The mangrove ecosystem around Puttalam lagoon is under threat from over-exploitation and neglect. Urgent action is needed to protect the remaining mangroves and rehabilitate degraded forest areas. In the three lagoon villages of Palavi, Pallivasalthurai (Ammathota Fishing Village) and Kurakkanhena, villagers – like villagers across Sri Lanka – use wood, including wood from mangroves, as fuel for cooking. To reduce wood consumption and reduce pressure on mangroves, fuel-efficient stoves were introduced to 390 households as a sub-activity of three separate projects.

Target beneficiaries

390 households in three lagoon villages.


  • Supply of 390 cooking stoves.
  • Restoration of the local lagoon area with 4,000 mangrove plants.
  • Planting of 0.2 hectares with an alternative fuelwood species.
  • Delivery of five awareness programmes for regular mangrove users.
  • Delivery of four awareness programmes for 200 schoolchildren.

Accomplishments and challenges

Fuel-efficient stoves were supplied to 390 households: 300 in Palavi village by the Vinivida NGO Coalition for Eradicating Poverty through Knowledge and Communication; 60 in Ammathota Fishing Village by PEARLS (Peaceful Environment Assured Right Lasting Solutions); and 30 in Kurakkanhena village by the Semuthu Fisheries Cooperative Society Ltd.

The fuel-efficient stoves, a new technology for the area, were adopted and actively used by all beneficiary households. Users reported that the time taken to cook a standard dhal curry with the fuel-efficient stove was less than that of the conventional open hearth. Overall, the fuel-efficient cooking stoves reduced fuelwood usage by 40% to 50%. Further, due to the stoves’ higher efficiency, women spent less time preparing meals for the family and more time on other pursuits.

The lagoon area around the three villages was also replanted with 4,000 mangrove plants, but a Gliricidia fuelwood plantation was affected by drought, reducing the impact of the project. Nevertheless, the community was involved in the replanting of the mangroves and local schoolchildren learned about the importance of intact mangrove ecosystems.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Gender equality

This project targeted both men and women as beneficiaries.

Lessons Learned

Cooperation with the Grama Niladhari (government-appointed village leader) is vital for the successful implementation of project activities. Weather conditions must also be considered when planning project activities.

Project Facts



Puttalam, Sri Lanka



1st Jan 2009 to 31st Dec 2009

MFF Grant Amount


Implementing Partner

Vinivida NGO Coalition for
Eradicating Poverty through
Knowledge and Communication
Kiriyankalliya, Mudalama,
Sri Lanka

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