In March 2010, TIST members from Uganda and Kenya had the opportunity to engage in a regional exchange to develop Best Practices for building mud stoves. Three members of TIST Kenya went to Uganda for a week, and six TIST trainers from Uganda spent three weeks in Kenya teaching one another their local best practices in building mud stoves. While in Kenya, the Ugandan and Kenyan stove experts teamed up to teach other Kenyan trainers to build mud stoves.
One of the TIST members who went to Uganda on the exchange is an enterprising woman named Salome Mbaabu. Salome is a long-time TIST servant with a heart for community service. She had been building mud stoves in TIST communities since 2007. While in Bushenyi, Uganda, she had the occasion to visit a bakery that used a mud oven built using design principles similar to those of the mud stoves she had been building in kitchens in Meru, Kenya. Salome took careful note of the stove design, and after returning home, she and two of her sons undertook building their own bakery.
Traditional mud ovens in local bakeries often use so much wood fuel that it is difficult to break even. But with the improved design principles Salome learned while in Uganda, she was able to use less firewood, start a profitable business and have a leg up on her competitors who use traditional non-improved stoves.
Now, years later, Salome and her family have a thriving bakery employing multiple people and deliver her bakery goods to many clients. They are considering adding an additional oven to grow the business. Look for her delicious rolls under the label “M&M” in Meru, Kenya!