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."
With support from our sponsors and donors between September 2016 and May 2018 we have been able to build nearly 1000 stoves in seven villages in the Mbedza area. We are now embarking on a new project to build 2100 stoves and have identified 18 villages for this development.