Jim Archer

Inventing The Community Cooker


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Jim Archer shares the challenge of rubbish in Kenya and how he has created a transformational solution to the problem – The Community Cooker.

David Roy Green of WHEN interviews architect & social entrepreneur Jim Archer in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jim Archer is the son of well known Kenyan architect Howard Archer and grew up amid a passion for building, intelligent land use and innovation. 

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Rubbish to resources…

After training as an architect in the UK Jim Archer co-founded Planning Systems Services in Nairobi in 1978. For many years Jim focussed his awareness on potential solutions to the the growing problem of the huge amounts of rubbish in his beloved Kenya. How could it be converted into resources that people needed?  In 2008 he designed The Community Cooker to be a sustainable community energy system which runs on most types of rubbish. 

The Community Cooker provides cooking & crop drying facilities as well as hot water in exchange for rubbish collected for fuel. The initiative has won several awards and is currently working with the ‘Princes Foundation’ to optimise on the opportunities that the the cooker can bring to many people in Kenya and beyond.

Community Cooker web page


DOP – The Zone UK
Editor – Andrew Kimery