Improved Cookstoves Program for Malawi
Residents of rural Malawi rely on firewood to cover approximately 90% of their domestic energy requirements. Deforestation and land degradation due to unsustainable charcoal and wood consumption is a well-publicized issue of the region. The open burning of wood produces harmful, toxic fumes in Malawian homes that cause respiratory illnesses and also pollute the planet. The Improved Cookstove Program promotes, distributes, and helps install stoves that burn firewood more efficiently, direct heat where it is most needed, and lower risk of inhaling smoke. The use of these more efficient cookstoves helps decrease demand on wood fuel, supports forest conservation efforts, reduces climate-warming GHG emissions, and the risk of respiratory diseases.
The Republic of Malawi is a small and densely populated country in southeast Africa, one of the world’s poorest countries. Access to electricity is very low and confined to urban areas. Approximately 98% of the households cook on smoky, inefficient, open fires using large branches and logs. The smoke of cooking fires makes Malawi’s women and children sick. According to the WHO, 13,000 of death in the country are directly caused by unclean cooking. Similar to cigarette smoke, soot particles, and toxic substances from cooking smoke are a leading cause of chronic diseases, and these harmful gases are also warming the planet.
How It Works
The new cookstoves replace inefficient, open, three-stone fires and traditional pot support and combust firewood more efficiently, concentrating the heat to where it is needed most. The result is faster, cleaner cooking with less wood burned, less carbon pollution and fewer trees lost.
Clean cookstoves help in reducing the need for fuelwood by up to 60% compared to open fire, thus supporting forest conservation efforts. These more energy-efficient cookstoves also reduce the time spent gathering firewood, and the time of cooking. Time savings allow women to participate in learning and community activities. Additionally, the new technology also cuts household costs of fuel-wood, a huge burden on low-income Malawian families. Faster, cleaner cooking also means less smoke inhaled, therefore, better family health. The current project is expected to remove 38,857 metric tons CO2 every year – the equivalent of taking 8,250 cars off the road for a year.
Facts & Figures
- Promotes energy-saving, clean stoves in rural communities in support of forest conservation efforts cleaner cooking, improved family health, and climate protection
- Saves families wood each month, significantly cutting forest loss in the long-term
- Helps ease rural life by cutting costs and reducing the time of collecting firewood and cooking
- Saves 38,875 metric tons CO2e from entering the Earth’s atmosphere every year – the equivalent of taking 8,250 cars off the road for a year
- Certification Standard: UN Clean Development Mechanism