- What is Awamu?
“Awamu” is a Luganda word which means “Together”. We are a startup social enterprise that manufactures and sells clean gasifier cookstoves. Our stoves cook faster, are 90% smokeless, over 50% energy efficient and they make their own charcoal.
- What is the founding Story of Awamu Biomass Energy?
In 2009, Mr. Nolbert Muhumuza met Dr. Paul Anderson and they began prototyping on different models to a suitable TLUD stove for the Ugandan market. In 2011, The Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) won a World Bank-funded grant which aimed at promoting gasifier stoves throughout Uganda. The BEIA project which was concluded in 2012 (where Anderson was technical adviser), concluded that there was market for these stoves.
Nolbert and Anderson began discussions and negotiations shortly after the project to continue the good work of CREEC, and since we were already developing a gasifier stove, we wanted to also capitalize on the market created by the project. The main concept was to have an affordable gasifier stove on the Ugandan market that can be locally manufactured by young boys and girls so as to create jobs and improve livelihoods.
- When was Awamu Established?
On October 18 2012, Awamu Biomass Energy was formally registered as a for-profit enterprise limited by shares.
- Where is Awamu Located?
We are located on the premises of St. Noah Church of Uganda in Makerere Kikoni (Opposite Caltec Academy), in Kampala.
- What Problem is Awamu solving?
Over 90% of the Ugandan population still rely on biomass fuels for cooking. Improved cookstoves are used in only 10% of the approximately six million Ugandan households, the rest still use the inefficient 3-stone fire. As a result, women and girls spend over five hours daily cooking in smoky (toxic) kitchens, they frequent forests to collect wood which exposes them to accidents and rape, and they get lots of ash in the end.
- What is our business Model?
We target households in peri-urban and rural communities that still heavily use 3-stone stoves for cooking. We sign distributors at the bottom of the pyramid as agents, and we create awareness through community demonstrations, exhibitions through organized groups.
- What is Gasification?
Gasification is a process of separating the heat-generated gases from the solid biomass for the purpose of controlling the burning of the gases. There are four stages in the micro-gasification stove after initial lighting of the biomass with a small amount of starter fuel such as kerosene: 1) biomass drying, in which water vapour is given off; 2) pyrolysis, in which temperatures over 300°C and limited oxygen from the primary air flow generate energy-rich gases, leaving solid black carbon; 3) Migration of the gases upward to the second combustion zone which when mixed with oxygen (secondary air flow), the gases are burnt; and 4) char combustion and conversion to ash. This last stage is interrupted and the char conserved as charcoal for further cooking, a raw material for charcoal briquettes. Our stove burns dry biomass like maize cobs, wood, twigs, bamboo, carpentry off-cuts, cassava stem etc.
- What Recognitions has Awamu received?
Awamu Biomass Energy was recognized as an exceptional social and environmental enterprise through the SEED 2013 Award.
- Are there employment or internship Opportunities available?
We exist create social, environmental and economic impacts at the bottom of the pyramid. We usually post opportunities on our website as well as social media including Facebook and Twitter.
About our Products
- How did we come up with this stove?
Gasification is an old technology what was used in World War II. There have been efforts since early 1980s to create micro-gasification cookstoves especially targeting households in the developing world.
Awamu Co-founder Prof. Paul Anderson interfaced with and decided to focus on efforts to promote micro-gasification stoves in 2001. His tireless work has led him to several countries including Uganda and eventually led to setting up Awamu Biomass Energy.
- How many types of products does Awamu have?
We manufacture Troika gasifier stoves, TChar Adaptors, Institutional gasifier stoves and various biomass processed fuels.
- What technology is this?
A gasifier stove utilizes the technique of pyrolysis to cleanly burn dry biomass, cooks faster, require no attention, over 50% energy saving and is also 90% smoke free therefore reducing indoor air pollution. The charcoal created can be used for further cooking or sold off to earn an income. Our stoves are multi-fuel woodstoves (they will use any dry biomass like maize cobs, carpentry offcuts, bamboo, twigs etc).
- What does this stove use?
Our stoves use any dry biomass like maize cobs, wood, twigs, carpentry offcuts, bamboo, cassava stem, un-carbonized briquettes etc
- What is the durability of this stove?
Our stoves have a guarantee of 12 months, but they can also be easily serviced by any experienced Tinsmith. Parts that break easily are the pot-rests and the grate.
- Where can I buy the stoves?
From many towns around Uganda especially in Eastern, Central and Western Uganda. Please do call us for specific directions for our distribution point in your local area.
- How much does each stove cost?
A Troika stove costs 50,000 Ugx ($16). A TChar adaptor costs 30,000 Ugx ($10). An institutional gasifier stove costs 1,200,000 Ugx ($365).
- What is unique about this stove?
Awamu gasifier stoves are affordable, cleaner and tailored for the Ugandan market unlike competing products.