Impact Assessment at Local Level: Experiences from Malawi – Mulanje District

Impact Assessment at Local Level: Experiences from Malawi – Mulanje District (1.4 MB pdf)
Verena Brinkmann, GTZ ProBEC – Programme for Biomass Energy Conservation 2005

Income generation through stove production, health improvements through reduced
amount of smoke, recognition and strengthening of private household activities and of
course decreased pressure on fuel wood sources – Biomass Energy Conservation
(BEC) is not only improving our environment, moreover it has economic and social implication, in particular for families in the rural areas of so-called developing countries.

Since 1998, the SADC Programme for Biomass Energy Conservation (ProBEC) is
spreading improved cooking technologies for the efficient and sustainable use of biomass energy. Several types of improved stoves are applied in Southern African countries.

In Malawi, the clay- and ceramic stoves are introduced through the Integrated
Food Security Programme (IFSP), targeting small-scale industry and private households
– in particular women.

In order to analyse changes achieved through energy saving stoves, to distil lessons
learnt and recommendations for further implementation of BEC methods, an extensive
qualitative impact assessment was carried out in Malawi. Four villages in Mulanje district in Malawi were assessed from July to September 2004, involving the traditional leadership, stove promoters, producers, stove-users and non-users.
Those households, which experienced this technology – 29% are currently using stoves
– shared the impacts of improved stoves.

While saving firewood up to 50%, those families spend only 50-70 MK instead of 100-
150 MK weekly on wood. Selling stoves for 120 MK each (comparing: compulsory daylabourer rate of 60-120 MK), stove producers reported to have an income of up to
1,300 MK per month. Through reduced smoke and increased hygiene, the women experienced less respiratory diseases and cleaner food. Gender relations in the villages started modifying. Women are improving their social position and role in families and villages; men start to be concerned about household issues. Reduced amounts of firewood required, saved forests, better water control and less soil erosion and degradation are improving the rural environment. Environmental changes are discussed among villagers.

Nevertheless to increase the adoption and to improve the further implementation, it still requires the consideration and work on the following factors.
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