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Solar Energy Stoves Installed In Zomba and Kasungu

It was just a dream, a wish and an idea. But finally, the solar stoves for Sakata and Chang’ombe Cooperatives in Zomba and Kasungu have now been installed. This follows the work of Community Energy Malawi (CEM) and Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) with support from Community Energy Scotland (CES).

The two cooperatives have been using firewood for their baking business. This was contributing to wanton cutting down of trees in the areas. But they still needed to continue with the business as it was providing an income to the members. This is why through COMSIP, they explored on using solar energy stoves with technical expertise from CEM, as said by Chawezi Gondwe, the organizations’ Energy Development Officer.

“Instead of closing their bakery because of the damage they were doing on the environment, we resolved to provide them with solar energy stoves. The stoves have now been installed,” he said.

He added: “What we are now left with is training the two cooperatives on using and maintaining them. We would like to see them being sustained.”

Gondwe (in blue shirt) with Chang’ombe Cooperative members in Kasungu

CEM is also working with the two cooperatives in planting over 10, 000 tree seedlings to refurnish the environment.

According to Dorothy Chindamba of Sakata Cooperative in Zomba, the present development has excited them as they will be able to produce more while saving the environment.

“We are happy at this. This is what we have been looking forward to for the past several months. The stoves are easy to operate, they produce more bread and save the environment, something we always wished for,” she said.

The cooperatives are a source of income for the members. They are used as Village Banks where members are able to borrow money at an interest and share dividends at the end of the year. This has improved the income in the households of the members.

By: Wonderful Mkhutche

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