Assessing the awareness and adoptability of pellet cookstoves for low-income households in Lusaka, Zambia
Keywords:charcoal, pellet fuels, sustainable development, improved cook stoves, wood fuel
Wood fuel, charcoal, and firewood comprise over 70 percent of the national energy consumption in Zambia, as only about 25 percent of the population has access to electricity. Replacing charcoal braziers with cookstoves using sawdust pellets can support sustainable energy provision in urban Zambia while reducing deforestation on the countryside. However, acceptability of pellet cookstoves remains low, while the demand for wood fuel is increasing. The study investigated the acceptability of pellet cookstoves, in view of governmental policies, in the Matero-George compound, Lusaka. Qualitative approaches were applied, and respondents were households, and officers at the Departments of Energy and Forestry, and at Lusaka City Council. Factors shaping the stoves’ acceptability included their convenience, possibility of reusing pellets, their long-term cost advantages, and the perceived health benefits of pellets. The barriers included limited supply of pellets, combustible pellet cookstoves, stove size, maintenance costs, cooking traditions, and government policies for dissemination, sensitisation, and communication about pellet stoves. This study demonstrated that implementation of pellet cookstoves at the local level depends on a multitude of contextual factors, and confirms the need for relevant policy instruments if such energy consumption is to be accepted.
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