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close this bookBoiling Point No. 29 - December 1992 (ITDG - ITDG, 1992, 40 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentHousehold Energy Developments in Southern and Africa
View the documentCookstoves in East & Central Africa
View the documentTanzanian Stoves
View the documentCharcoal & Woodfuel Health Hazards
View the documentFrom Clay & Wood to Cast Iron & Coal in South Africa
View the documentHousehold Energy Activities in Uganda
View the documentGTZ Section
View the documentBurundi Institutional Peat Stove Programmes
View the documentWood, Charcoal or Coal for Cooking in Southern Africa
View the documentEnergy & Environment in Zimbabwe
View the documentA New Environmentally Sound Energy Strategy for the Development of Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentKang-Lianzao Bed Stove
View the documentField Trials of Electrical Heat Storage Cookers in Nepal
View the documentNEWS
View the documentR & D NEWS

Household Energy Developments in Southern and Africa

Africa is faced with an increasingly serious biomass fuel resource crisis. Many countries derive more than 80% of their total energy requirements from biomass, yet more and more of the continent's forests are being cleared for settlement, agriculture or timber extraction. At present, Sub-Saharan Africa's per capita consumption of modern forms of energy is less than half the average of developing countries and is declining. For development to keep ahead of rapidly increasing populations, more energy - particularly more modern and less environmentally damaging energy sources - must be made widely available.

The bulk of Africa's population will continue to rely on biomass. The three-stone fire place or simple biomass-burning mud mud are still the most common ways of cooking and should remain the main target for stove programmes. However, the potential for coal to replace charcoal and relieve pressure on forests in some Sub-Saharan countries is reopening the debate on the relative merits of different fuels. Choosing appropriate fuels and stoves remains a complex juggling of social, economic and environmental tradeoffs. Significantly, cooperation with women, as users and providers of energy, is now recognised as essential for successful household energy development.

In this edition of "Boiling Point'' we have attempted to provide a broad overview of this dynamic area of activity, from stove manufacture and promotion in Uganda, through policies on environmentally-sound energy use in Zimbabwe, to improved stove designs in the Republic of South Africa Much good work is being done by NGOs, governments and international agencies to address the problems of dependence on biomass fuel. The work of AFREPREN illustrates the importance of a trans-national approach to the problems which face the continent and gives grounds for optimism that these problems are not insurmountable.