Stove Project and Trees
The traditional method of cooking in Malawi is called 'Mafuya' and involves placing a pile of sticks on the ground surrounded by three stones. This method is very inefficient and produces a large amount of smoke, damaging to health. Malawi is struggling with issues of deforestation and firewood is expensive, increasing poverty.
It was during our visit to Malawi in 2011 that a medical student, Helen Robertson, pointed out the damaging effect of cooking smoke on the health of the women, babies and young children. We began this project in an attempt to address these health issues and soon discovered that there were other benefits. These include:
1. The stoves use up to 65% less firewood alleviating poverty and deforestation.
2. Stove building provides employment for our team of builders and administrators.
3. For each stove built we will plant several trees to address the issue of deforestation and climate change.
4. The stoves save women significant amounts of time because they require less time for collecting firewood, less time to cook and less time to clean the pots.
Our first project at Mbulukuta village in 2014 saw 150 stoves built and the second project at Ntiya village in 2016 192 stoves. During our visit to Malawi in 2016 the overwhelming message we received from the stove beneficiaries was:
"Please continue to share this project with others."
Phase 1 - September 2016 to May 2017
In phase 1 we received over £8000 in donations and have been able to buy our own ring making machine and build 387 stoves in Robertson, Namonde, Sadi, Sosola and Nkanda villages. With the additional help of extra funds from Manor CE Academy who are visiting the project in October 2017 our project workers have been able to conduct further research in tree planting schemes and with the support of FRIM (Forestry Reserve Institute of Malawi) are conducting training in all our project villages. In March 2017 7500 trees were planted in the five villages - 20 trees per household.
We have launched the final phase of the project with the aim to build the remaining 595 stoves in Peter Ntenda village and Mategula village. We achieved our fundraising target in December 2017 and building work is now in action to complete this project by March 2018. On Saturday March 31st we will be visiting Mategula village to celebrate the completion of the project.
We are now in the process of identifying new villages to continue this project.