Malawi: ‘Efficient energy use to reclaim forest’

Power transmission grid17 March 2014, Lilongwe – Government says efficient use of energy at household level can contribute greatly to the rehabilitation of the country’s diminishing forests and good health among people in the country.

Speaking at the close of the third annual Discover Open Day for Cleaner cook stoves in Lilongwe, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Wilfred Masanjala, said programmes that promote natural resource development like the improved cook stoves were appropriate for the Nation.

“Energy for cooking makes up the bulk of the crucial household energy needs because most households rely on either firewood or charcoal for household use and due to that our forests are decreasing,” he said.

He said there was need for all households in Malawi to have efficient cooking technologies at their disposal

Masanjala stressed the need for government’s commitment to address the challenges that the country is facing in terms of energy.

“The cleaner cook stoves programme has raised the profile of women by easing their work in food preparation, they do not have to walk long distances to collect firewood and their health is better because they do not have to inhale a lot of smoke during food preparation,” Masanjala said.

He said it was the desire of President Dr. Joyce Banda to see that by 2020 about two million households in the country use improved cook stoves.

In January last year, Malawi committed as a national partner to the Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves and established the National Cook stoves Task Force tosupport organisation throughout the country in scaling up access to improved cook stoves.

Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Dr. Yanira Mtupanyama, concurred with Masajnala that cleaner cooking stoves have the potential in helping to replenish the fast declining nature resources Malawi is losing due to deforestation.

“As a country, we are losing our natural resources due to rapid deforestation. We are slowly silting our Lake Malawi as a result of the heavy erosions that are taking place due to cutting down of trees, ” she said.

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