in 2020 Malawi reached its target of reaching 2 million households with cleaner cookstoves by 2020 launched in Balaka, Malawi in 2013 by the then President of Malawi Joyce Banda accompanied by founding member of the Elders Mary Robinson.
This is a massive achievement and a great reason to celebrate as Malawi had reached the equivalent of 2 million families or approximately half of the entire population with cleaner cooking devices that not only brought about less exposure to dangerous smoke in the household but also reduced the need to expend time, energy and money on sourcing fuel. This is exceptionally important in a country where 96% of household energy needs are met by firewood and charcoal.
Many of the most vulnerable families in Malawi were targeted and reached through dynamic use of national social protection programmes and through 'piggy-backing' innovative social cash-transfers programmes that targeted the ultra-poor and labour constrained households.
Almost all of the cleaner cooking devices were designed and developed in-country over many years to reflect local preferences and were produced in all three regions, mainly by women in rural areas. The National Cookstove Steering Committee overseas the development of standards and tracks the countrys committment.
The Minister of Energy, Mr. Newton Kambala, at the recent event to commemorate reaching the goal commented that 'no other Southern African country has embraced the theme of cleaner cooking as Malawi has with a homegrown initiative.'
Malawi has now been nominated as a Global Champion for the the forthcoming High Level Dialogue on Energy under the asupices of the UN to be held in New York in September 2021, and awaits whether it will be selected in the coming weeks.
It certainly would be fitting for a country that has achieved so much in recent years to be present at the High Level Dialogue to ensure access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all by 2030.