International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research
ISSN: 2351-8014
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Assessing the role of Institutional factors on the use of Improved Cook stoves in Kenya's Homabay County

Volume 12, Issue 2, December 2014, Pages 390–408

 Assessing the role of Institutional factors on the use of Improved Cook stoves  in Kenya's Homabay County

Isaiah K. Okuthe

Original language: English

Received 8 October 2014

Copyright © 2014 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the study was to examine the influence of institutional factors on the adoption of improved cook stoves in Homabay County, Kenya. The economic, social, ecological and environmental roles and benefits of forests are obvious and need no emphasis. Inefficient use of fuel wood is considered one of the main causes of deforestation. Use of more efficient improved cook stoves is proposed as one of the measures that can reduce demand for fuel wood and charcoal and help in lowering the annoying deforestation rate in many developing countries. During the 2000s several programs aiming at testing and disseminating energy saving technologies were implemented in Kenya. One of these technologies was improved cook stove (ICSs), which was intended to increase the efficiency of using energy from biomass sources. The global focus on ICS and clean fuels has increased because of their potential for delivering the triple dividends: household health, local environment quality and regional climate benefits. However, ICS and clean fuel dissemination programs have been met with low rates of adoption. This study was carried out to examine the adoption rate and the factors affecting adoption of improved cook stoves in Homabay County. The study is based on primary data collected through personal interviews with husbands and wives in 220 randomly selected households. In Kenya all the household domestic tasks, particularly food preparation and related activities, are considered women's responsibilities and all the decisions related to them are taken by women. An ex-post-facto survey design which utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection was used in the study. For quantitative data collection, a sample of 220 small scale farmers households selected using systematic random sampling from the households in the Division were engaged. For qualitative data, 40 households and 37 Key Informants selected using purposive sampling from the division were used. The results showed that the device's adoption rate is low. Results of the study indicated that that, access to credit, participation in extension, participation in cooperative society and membership in social groups were important variables which had positively and significantly influenced adoption of ICS. Whereas, the study found no evidence to show that tenancy status influences adoption of ICS. The overall finding of the study underlined the high importance of institutional support in the areas of extension training, strengthening cooperatives and social groups and improving market and credit condition to enhance adoption of ICS.

Author Keywords: Institutional factors, Improved cook stoves, Smallholder households.

How to Cite this Article

Isaiah K. Okuthe, “Assessing the role of Institutional factors on the use of Improved Cook stoves in Kenya's Homabay County,” International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 390–408, December 2014.