Ripple Africa says the use of fuel-efficient locally made cookstoves is key to reducing pressure being exerted on natural trees in the country where 98% of the population relies on charcoal or firewood for cooking.
Ripple Africa country director Force Ngwira made the remarks in Mzimba during a progress review meeting of the organization's Changu Changu moto fuel-efficient cooking stoves project which uses less firewood as compared to the traditional three stones fire.
Ngwira said the project has had a 98 percent adoption rate in the use of the cookstoves in the districts of Mzimba, Nkhotakota, and Salima where they are implementing the over K2 billion project being funded by conservation carbon Malawi.
"This project is aiming at preserving the natural existing trees we have in Malaŵi including Mzimba as you might be aware 98 percent of Malawians use firewood for cooking because this is the source of energy locally available to Malawians so the Changu Changu moto cooking stove will help in reducing the pressure on natural trees", said Ngwira
Ngwira said their findings indicate that a family of five people using the traditional three-stone fire consumes three bundles of wood a week but with the Changu Changu moto stove the same family only uses one bundle of firewood a week.
" So you can see that this Changu Changu moto cooking stove uses less firewood at the same time it reduces time women spend to collect firewood", said Ngwira
Ngwira said the project will ensure that it reaches out to all districts in the country as one way of ensuring that the natural forests are conserved for the use of future generations
The Changu Changu moto cooking stove is also being touted as one way of preventing smoke-related diseases which women develop from continuous use of the three-stone fires.
Mzimba district forestry officer Lifred Banda has hailed the project as a game-changer in the conservation of trees as evidenced by the response from communities working with Ripple Africa.
"The project is progressing very well and through interactions with the beneficiaries in the field we heard how they are using less firewood with the new technology initiated by Ripple Africa so we think this will indeed help in saving our natural trees", said Banda
The Changu Changu moto fuel-efficient cooking stove project by Ripple Africa is being financially supported by Conservation carbon Malawi with over 2 billion kwacha funding.