Efficient Commercial Bread Oven

by | Jul 17, 2023

THARS Environmentally Friendly Commercial Bread Oven to support School Attendance – Gitega City, Burundi


Location – Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services Center, Gitega, Central Burundi

Activities – Built an environmentally friendly commercial size bread oven to support the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services Center to be able to reduce food costs, and assist local children to receive a free lunch in return for attending school.

Period – 2 years, 2021-2023

Beneficiaries – Nearby communities who attend THARS. School Children who receive a free lunch

Project Status Complete. 

TIC is currently looking for a donour to raise funds for a second commercial bread oven in the city of Ngozi.


TIC partnered with the University of Ngozi and THARS to build the first rocket design high efficiency commercial sized bread oven in Burundi.


The Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS) center in Gitega city, Burundi, assists victims of trauma with multi-faceted healing and resilience building.  THARS had to purchase bread from local markets in order to feed people attending its programs, as well as for feeding lower income and marginalized children attending local schools.


An in-house bread oven to save THARS money and which could be used to teach practical skills to persons attending THARS.

Constraints and Limitations:

  • The oven is easy to replicate in other local communities
    • persons attending THARS can transfer the skill of baking bread to their home communities (economic resilience)
    • design concept easy to build
    • does not need electricity
  • The oven is efficient
    • Reduce the need for firewood
    • Environmentally sustainable
  • Can bake approximately 500 loaves of bread every 3 days
    • A (dough) mixer and shelter from the elements are add-ons that improve durability and ease of use
    • Requires low person-power to operate

Initial research indicated that a “rocket-oven” approach would assist.  A rocket oven uses 90% less firewood than a conventional oven and creates a very high internal temperature, using insulation and a specific building design.  The short video here has a very good technical explanation of how a rocket oven works, albeit on a small scale.  The film “Nowhere to Run”, at minute 34:39 onwards also has a brief explanation of the rocket oven approach.

Current Status:

The Project is Complete.  The oven is being incorporated for use at THARS.  With assistance from the University of Ngozi, the project came in on time and under budget. Therefore, TIC is exploring the best place to build a second bread oven in an effort to support Burundians and reduce deforestation.

Concluding Notes:

The oven will provide sustainable economic and environmental benefits.  THARS will save money by not having to purchase bread for the people it feeds, allowing it to spend more on substantive programming.  The working bread oven will also assist THARS in its main mission of teaching practical skills that assist victims of trauma to create economic resilience.  The main environmental benefit of the rocket oven design is that it reduces deforestation by using less wood than a conventional oven.


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