Empowering Rural Women – Scaling Up the Rocket-stove Project

Women learning to construct energy-efficient rocket stoves. Photo by UNOPS


A significant percentage of the population of Fiji still relies on wood and fossil fuels to meet their basic domestic energy needs. This places a strain on economies, human well-being and the environment. In Fiji, the practice of open-fire cooking is widespread in rural villages and settlements. It is estimated that, on average, a family needs roughly two tons of fuel wood a year to cook three meals a day. The burning increases greenhouse gas emissions in addition to creating challenges associated with land erosion and deforestation and exposing people to smoke from cooking.

This project contributes to improving the livelihoods and health of women in rural areas of Fiji through the adoption of a new cooking method using rocket stoves. These are small, efficient stoves that are built from resources available locally, use little wood and produce clean flames with no smoke. The project aims to train women and girls in fabricating and using rocket stoves and in climate-change awareness, build a warehouse to facilitate the distribution of sample stoves to communities, and provide training toolkits and follow-up visits to support the successful adoption of the new cooking techniques among households.

Lessons learned


One of the strengths of this project is a vast and diverse group of partners and stakeholders. Mapping of each role and responsibilities as well as fostering close communication and regular updates is the key to the project’s successful implementation.  

Way forward


Based on the success of and lessons from the implementation of the IBSA-funded rocket-stove initiative, the GEF Small Grants Programme in Fiji has planned to extend the new call for proposals to interested non-governmental organizations (NGOs)/community-based organizations that would like to continue implementing the rocket-stove initiative. Also, the Government has a plan to have a curriculum developed specifically on the fabrication of the rocket stove. This curriculum will be used by Barefoot College Fiji, a national training centre for national/regional women that is currently being built in the district of Nadogo, Macuata.

Results Highlight


  • 1,530 women trained, who fabricated and distributed 1,580 energy-efficient rocket stoves to the communities, resulting in a reduction of the use of fossil fuels and improved livelihoods.
  • 3,831 woodlot seedlings raised and distributed to community members for replanting.
  • Progress in the construction of a rocket-stove storage and workshop facility.  

Key features


Women and girls of Fiji


Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation; Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji; Community Centred Conservation Fiji; Gender Climate Change Alliance Fiji Ltd.; Grace Trifam Ministry; Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre; Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) Fiji; United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)




October 2017–September 2021

Mostly contributing to

“With this rocket stove, it saves up to $520 on kerosene expenses and $600 on gas expenses each year per household. The project not only addresses the economic components of what families would be spending and consuming but also promotes climate change and health issues.”
Dr. Jiko Luveni, Former Fiji Minister of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation