Renewable energy for households in Lusaka, Zambia: efficient cook stoves for better living conditions and clean air
Consumption of charcoal in urban households is the main cause of deforestation in Zambia. Households in Lusaka depend predominantly on charcoal as energy source for cooking food and heating water.
Most households in Lusaka use charcoal for cooking and water heating. As charcoal production is very wood intensive, it leads to ongoing logging of trees and bushes and there are not sufficient biomass resources to cover demand. The sustainable energy project Lusaka fosters the switch from non-renewably logged trees for the production of charcoal to the use of renewable biomass for cooking purposes in households.
The use of an efficient cook stove leads to less wood consumption and therefore to a change towards sustainable usage of rare biomass resources. Biodiversity is conserved and soil erosion is reduced. Emissions resulting from fossil fuel combustion like carbon monoxide and black carbon, are reduced. This leads to clean air inside houses and less respiratory diseases.
The project contributes to a sustainable development in the region, as local markets for renewable biomass can emerge. Furthermore households benefit from lower fuel cost for cooking energy.
Positive social and economic side effects:
- Better air quality in houses and therefore less respiratory diseases.
- Less fuel cost for households as twigs can be used instead of charcoal
Ecological side effects:
- Less carbon monoxide emissions resulting from burning of charcoal.
- Less logging and erosion.
- Preservation of biomass protects biodiversity in the region.
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