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close this book Boiling Point No. 29 - December 1992
View the document Household Energy Developments in Southern and Africa
View the document Cookstoves in East & Central Africa
View the document Tanzanian Stoves
View the document Charcoal & Woodfuel Health Hazards
View the document From Clay & Wood to Cast Iron & Coal in South Africa
View the document Household Energy Activities in Uganda
View the document GTZ Section
View the document Burundi Institutional Peat Stove Programmes
View the document Wood, Charcoal or Coal for Cooking in Southern Africa
View the document Energy & Environment in Zimbabwe
View the document A New Environmentally Sound Energy Strategy for the Development of Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document Kang-Lianzao Bed Stove
View the document Field Trials of Electrical Heat Storage Cookers in Nepal
View the document NEWS
View the document R & 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.