Measuring & Understanding Household Stove Use Workshop

  • Posted on: 26 November 2015
  • By: Maeve

Approximately over 90% of Malawi’s population depend on wood, dung, charcoal and other biomass fuels for cooking. Most of these people cook on open fires, which burn poorly thus leading to low fuel efficiency and high pollution emissions. The current patterns of use causes significant negative impacts of several types, including human morbidity and mortality, outdoor air pollution, climate change and deforestation.

Improved cookstoves have long been identified as a promising option to reduce such negative impacts. Currently more than 160 cookstove programs are running in the world, ranging in size, scope, type of stove disseminated, approach to technology design and dissemination and financial mechanisms. So far, however, the attention has concentrated in developing new stove designs, improving large-scale manufacturing process, marketing techniques and financial incentives for stove dissemination. Relatively few efforts have been devoted to understand how stoves are actually adopted and sustained in terms of usage.

Considering that no stove program can achieve its goals unless people adopt and then use the stoves in the long term; MAEVE project, Lilongwe in conjunction with Malawi bureau of standards co-hosted a seemingly obvious but rarely technical capacity building workshop “Measuring and understanding household stove use, sponsored by Winrock International and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). The workshop which took place in Lilongwe, Malawi from 19th - 22nd October2015 had a total of 23 participants from international as well as local organizations. Among present were representatives from Christian Aid Malawi, Concern Universal Malawi, Cooperazione Internationale (COOPI), GIZ/EnDev Malawi, GIZ/EnDev Mozambique, Hestian Innovations Limited, Total LandCare Green, Winrock International, Winrock international (ARISE Project) and U.S Environmental Protection Agency. MAEVE is a local NGO committed to the promotion of fuel efficient technologies, biomass conservation, deforestation reduction and reduced exposure to indoor air pollution by improving the efficiency of technologies used for residential, institutional and commercial cooking and heating.

The workshop which embraced presentations, discussions, field practice, and hands-on exercises provided the participants with various qualitative and quantitative assessment methods for monitoring household stove use, including practical exercises on how to design, deploy, collect and analyze data from Stove Use Monitoring Systems (SUMS).

MAEVE is the innovative local organisation has therefore been equipped with knowledge and skills on how to monitor stove usage and adoption using temperature sensors called ibuttons. Presently, the organisation has been entrusted with the responsibility to undertake the initial Malawi improved stove adoption Study in Salima for three months starting from November to January.