Women asked to use briquettes as alternative energy source


Sister Teresa Mulenga of Teresian Congregation has urged women in the country to use briquettes made from maize stalks and saw dust as cooking energy source in their respective homes, in order to depart from firewood and charcoal dependency.

After a tour of Mendulo Parish in Mulanje Dinery, Sister Teresa told Malawi24 that she was committed to teaching more women briquettes making to reduce high dependency on firewood and charcoal that in turn contributes to depletion of Malawi’s forests.

Sister Mulega added that she decided to share skills for briquettes making with women to ensure they depart from use of firewood and charcoal after observing that a lot of forests are gone due to increasing rate of deforestation in Malawi’s forests.

“I decided to impart knowledge on briquettes making so that they should depart from high dependency of firewood,” she said.

Sister Teresa explained that Teresian Congregation doesn’t want people to be in captivity and this was the reason she decided to free them from going to distant places to fetch firewood instead of using more convenient means of energy.

She said using briquettes made from saw dust or dry leaves is cost effective because families don’t spend cash to buy firewood or charcoal.

“Use of briquettes made from saw dust or dry leaves is cost effective than use of fire wood,” Sister Teresa added.

One of the women from Mendulo who learnt briquettes making, Veronica Miteche, hailed Sister Teresa saying the new skill is relevant and timely as deforestation is on the rise due to high dependency on firewood and charcoal.

She said the briquettes making has proven to be cost effective and was a sure way of improving livelihood among the rural households.

Miteche pledged that she will impart the briquettes making skill to other women so that the skills should be widely shared to ensure energy efficiency at household level.

“I will further impart the briquettes making skills to fellow women to ensure they depart from high dependency on firewood thereby saving the forests,” she added.

At the end of the skills transfer, Sister Teresa and fellow catholic nuns agreed that they should scale up briquettes making to reach out to many women to contain further environmental degradation caused by wanton cutting down of trees due to firewood and charcoal production.

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