Uganda Turns to Local Volcanic Rocks As Substitute for Charcoal

“It sounded ridiculous and unbelievable. How can stones cook?” Mr Matembe remembers asking himself. Like regular charcoal, these rocks are stacked in the stove and charcoal dust is spread liberally atop them.

Twigs of pine or any highly flammable species are then inserted in the middle of the rocks and lit with a match. Within minutes, the stones catch fire and it spreads throughout the stove.

The stove is also fitted with an on-off switch that enables the rocks to burn when turned on, and cool and return to their natural state when turned off. The stove comes with a radio, phone charger and has two lights.

Unlike charcoal which burns down to ash, these rocks can be used multiple times without losing their power or texture. Domestic stoves retail at Ush200,000 ($53) together with the rocks while a “bag” of the rocks alone sells for Ush35,000 ($9) for domestic use and can last up to six months.

Full story: The East African

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