Fuel to Pot: MUBAS and Stirling University's Collaborative Initiative Addressing Solid Fuel Challenges in Household Cooking

News   Bester Nyang'wa   April 28, 2022
PIC: Woman cooking using firewood.
MUBAS, in collaboration with Stirling University, has been an integral part of the innovative project, "From Fuel to Pot," generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in collaboration with the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council. This interdisciplinary partnership addresses the critical issue of solid fuel use in household cooking, affecting over 3 billion people globally, especially those in low and middle-income countries who lack access to modern energy infrastructure. The project focuses on the adverse health impacts of using solid fuels like wood, charcoal, coal, and biomass waste, emphasizing the challenges faced by poor urban dwellers in informal settlements.

Working closely with community members in Ndirande, the project employed participatory and interdisciplinary methods, including walking interviews and photovoice, to delve into the lived experiences of women and children in households using solid fuels. This approach aimed to understand the 'fuel to pot' journey and gather insights that can contribute to the development of contextually appropriate interventions. “The project was not necessarily trying to address the challenges, but rather more of trying to understand the context in which solid fuels are used”, said Limbani Kalumbi (lead investigator) lecturer in the Department of Environmental Health at Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences – MUBAS. He further added that the feedback from these discussions will help shape the project's direction, ensuring that the interventions address the priorities of the communities involved.

The engagement of residents in Ndirande adds a crucial community perspective to the research, making it a collaborative effort with far-reaching implications for addressing the challenges of solid fuel use in household cooking.

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