Fumakaba | Project

Replacing charcoal and firewood with butane gas for more than 25 thousand families

About 95% of the population living in Guinea-Bissau uses firewood and charcoal for cooking and other energy needs due to low electricity production and the almost non-existent supply of butane gas.

Given poor financial conditions, both in urban centres and in rural areas of Guinea-Bissau, people overuse these fuels in food preparation, which has a major negative impact on health and on the environment.

The Fumukaba Project promoted replacing charcoal and firewood with butane gas for the preparation of food in households in Guinea-Bissau. Fumukaba impacted more than 25,000 households in Bissau neighbourhoods (about 50% of families residing in the region) and contributed to:

  • The use of cleaner energy inside homes, with a large impact on health and the environment;
  • The introduction of a safe technology with a positive impact on the time available for children's school activities and the participation of women in community life;
  • Encouraging commercial and small business development;
  • The promotion of female entrepreneurship;
  • Reduction of forest devastation in Guinea-Bissau.

Fumakaba’s mission is to promote the energy transition and encourage communities to adopt cleaner energy solutions, particularly in the outskirts of Bissau, where families with less economic power live and where charcoal prices are higher.

+ 25,000 families in the Bissau Region

+ 220,000 inhabitants

+ 100 thousand hectares of deforestation avoided

+ 530 thousand tonnes of CO2 avoided

Started in April 2018, the programme lasted 24 months and it is framed within the Sustainable Development Objectives that guide Galp Foundation.

Sustainable Energy

The Challenge of Sustainable Energy in Guinea-Bissau

In Guinea-Bissau, about 95% of the resident population uses wood and charcoal for cooking and other energy needs, due to the low production of electricity and virtual non-existence of the supply and regular use of butane gas, both in urban centres and in rural areas. 

FUMUKABA was born with the aim of promoting the energy transition in Guinea-Bissau and encouraging the community to adopt cleaner energy solutions, in particular, in the outskirts of Bissau where families with less economic power live and where charcoal prices are highest.

The baseline study also reveals that there is excessive use of charcoal and firewood in food preparation in Bissau, impacting health and the environment. It is therefore necessary to adopt assertive measures to reverse the situation.

Thus, Fumukaba also aims to adopt a solution that allows the country to preserve the forest by stimulating the increasing the use of butane gas as an alternative to the traditional use of charcoal.

Although the many advantages of butane gas are recognised, most families cannot afford the initial investment in the stove, accessories, gas cylinder deposit and the first gas load. As this is the biggest barrier to adopting this type of energy, families will be offered a kit consisting of a stove, a burner and a 6kg cylinder of butane gas, leaving them with just the cost of the cylinder deposit (11,500 CFA) to pay. Later, when they return the cylinder, they can get that money back.

The price of bottled gas - regulated by the Guinea- Bissau government - is competitive against the cost of a bag of quality charcoal in Bissau, allowing for the continued use of gas. The project's goal is to reach some 25,000 Bissau households (approximately 220,000 inhabitants). Among these, 100 families will be subject to a regular follow-up process throughout the project, so that the impacts of the Fumukaba project are monitored.

Project Partners

The project is supported and funded by the European Union and GALP Foundation and implemented under the “Pact of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa - Phase II” programme. The European Union, Galp Foundation and the UCCLA (Union of Portuguese Language Capitals Cities) are therefore partners in the project. But the Guinean government, Petromar and the Municipality of Bissau, are also relevant stakeholders that support the implementation of the project. Galp Foundation funds 10% of the project and the EU funds 90%, for a total of 1 million Euros.