Energising Development (EnDev) Malawi

Project description

Title: Energising Development (EnDev) Malawi
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Malawi
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy
Overall term: 2012 to 2016

A woman cooking with an improved stoves provided through the Energizing Development Programme in Malawi. © GIZ

Context

With a relatively small surface area, but a large and growing population that is heavily dependent on fuel wood, Malawi is increasingly subject to energy stress. Over 90% of the country’s total demand for energy is met with firewood and charcoal. The latter is produced mainly from live trees in an unsustainable manner. The increasing population growth is therefore exerting significant pressure on the country’s forest resources, leading to forest degradation and a deforestation rate of 2.6% per year. Firewood is mainly used in open, three-stone fireplaces, even in urban areas. This is very inefficient and wastes precious forest resources. Moreover, open fires and smoke are a health risk, mainly for women and children.

Electricity accounts for less than 2.3% of the total national energy demand, with fewer than seven per cent of the 14 million-strong population having a connection to the electricity grid. Compared to its neighbouring countries, Malawi has only a nascent market for solar lanterns and small solar lighting kits. It is estimated that 62,000 picoPV systems have been sold here, which represents just one per cent of the potential total market. Most households therefore still rely on expensive, dangerous and environmentally unsustainable lighting sources, like kerosene and dry-cell batteries.

Objective

Some 625,000 people, mainly in urban and peri-urban areas, have access to improved energy for cooking using the ‘Chitetezo Mbaula’ stove. The National Cookstove Taskforce, chaired by the Ministry of Energy, has assumed coordination of efforts to promote the use of the new cooking stoves.

Malawi. A boy making improved cooking stoves, supported by the Energizing Development Programme in Malawi © GIZ

Approach

This project is part of Energising Development (EnDev), a global programme financed collectively by Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. In Malawi, it is working to promote a financially sustainable market for improved cooking stoves in urban and peri-urban areas. To do this, it is carrying out measures to strengthen both the supply and the demand side.

Demand-side activities focus on generating greater consumer interest in the ceramic, wood-burning stove known locally as the ‘Chitetezo Mbaula’ stove. On the supply side, EnDev Malawi provides training and skills for the craftsmen who produce the stove. A local non-governmental organisation, MAEVE, connects production to demand by liaising between the small-scale stove producers and large urban sales outlets such as supermarkets and filling stations.

The planned EnDev measures are expected to reduce exposure to smoke – mainly among women and children – in 140,000 urban households, and reduce deforestation by saving 65,000 tonnes of wood. This equates to an annual 50,000t reduction in carbon emissions (CO2e). The stove production activities will also provide new sources of employment and income in rural areas.

The Government of Malawi has launched an initiative to get as many as two million energy-efficient stoves installed in Malawian homes by 2020. EnDev Malawi is advising the National Cookstove Taskforce on the implementation of this initiative.

In a separate component, EnDev is running a national awareness campaign to support the wider take-up of high quality solar lighting products (solar lanterns and lighting kits), with a target of reaching 125,000 people, mainly in rural areas. This will bring significant benefits in terms of reduced use of dry-cell batteries, which are difficult to dispose of, as well as lower expenditure on kerosene and batteries and a reduction in the associated fire and health risks.

Results

By June 2014, nearly 47,000 people had gained access to improved forms of energy for cooking, as a result of the project. The number of stoves manufactured by 21 producer groups and subsequently sold through sales channels introduced by EnDev has risen to 8,000. In the first half of 2014 alone, the stove-making business created jobs for nearly 200 women and 60 men.