Bleubird in Malawi

Bleubird in Malawi

As you may already know, at the heart of Bleubird is a passion for protecting the planet we love. We have always planted one tree for every order, however, over the course of the past 2 years, we have been working on a larger, more trackable project, which offers multiple benefits to both environmental and humanitarian causes.

This new project will help to reduce carbon emissions, consequently improving the lives of people in Mulanje, a small province of Malawi.

Our Project in Malawi is just one part of our ongoing Eco Side. You can read more about that by clicking the link below.


Problems...

How?

One of the most common methods for families in Mulanje to cook their daily meals is by using a tradition 'Three Stone Fire'.

This traditional method of cooking uses 3-4 bundles of wood each week, which contributes to deforestation.

Collecting this wood takes familes 3-5 hours each week.

Burning the wood gives off a lot of smoke - essentially it's an open fire.

It is common for young children to get badly burnt. The fires are usually open and placed in the middle of the living accomodation.

 

The changu changu moto...

Ripple Africa have developed a fuel-efficient cookstove, called the Changu Changu Moto (fast Fast Fire).

Each cookstove uses only 1 bundle of wood per week - reducing household wood use by 66%.

The stoves are much more efficient, require less wood and produce less smoke.

The stoves have 2 burners and the flame is encased, making it much safer to cook on than tradtional methods.

Solutions...

Solutions...

The changu changu moto...

Ripple Africa have introduced a fuel-efficient cookstove, called the Changu Changu Moto (fast Fast Fire).

Each cookstove uses only 1 bundle of wood per week - reducing household wood use by 66%.

The stoves are much more efficient, require less wood and produce less smoke.

The stoves have 2 burners and the flame is encased, making it much safer to cook on than tradtional methods.

 

What we've achieved so far...

What we've achieved so far...

In 2021, when we launched this project in Malawi, we built 900 cookstoves.

Each stove saves an increible three tonnes of carbon per year.

To put that into perspective, that is the equivalent carbon saving of 90 commercial flights from Dublin to New York… not too bad at all.

In 2022...

For Black Friday 2022, we once again matched every £/$ spent on our website and donated it to our Malawi project. These new stoves are in the process of being built and once they are, we will update you with a total figure of stoves built to date.

Finally, we are setting the goal of building 3000 cookstoves by November 2023 - that's 3000 families directly benefiting and 9000 tonnes of carbon being saved.

Further Information  

Why it's important

Ripple Africa is helping local communities to build fuel-efficient clean cookstoves in Malawi, Africa.

The Changu Changu Moto:

  • reduces household wood use from three bundles of wood per week to just one
  • contains the fire within the cookstove at the side of the kitchen, reducing injuries from burns
  • has a double burner so that two pots can be cooked simultaneously, saving time
  • produces substantially less smoke than the traditional three-stone fire, reducing coughing and breathing problems
  • takes just one hour to make and is made from free local and readily available materials
  • The Changu Changu Moto is a sustainable and locally produced fuel-efficient cookstove made out of just 26 mud bricks and a mud mortar mix. It is an adaption of a 16-brick design by Dr Larry Winiarski and has been specially modified by Ripple Africa for Malawi after lots of positive trials and community feedback

The project aims are as follows:

  • Tackling deforestation in Malawi – Around 95% of families in Malawi depend on wood for cooking and millions of trees are cut down every year for use on inefficient traditional three-stone open fires. The Changu Changu Moto project with Ripple Africa so far has resulted in 97,000 fewer bundles of firewood being needed EVERY WEEK, reducing household wood use by 66%.
  • Improving the health of women and children – According to the World Health Organisation (2018) close to 4 million people die prematurely each year from illness attributable to household air pollution from inefficient cooking practices. The Changu Changu Moto produces less smoke, reducing smoke inhalation by people cooking or sitting around the fire. Also in Malawi, women traditionally prepare the food with their children playing near them in the kitchen and it is common for children to fall into the fire or for women’s long skirts to catch fire. Sixty percent of households consulted by Ripple Africa reported that a member of their family had sustained serious burns from a traditional three-stone cooking fire. The Changu Changu Moto fire is contained, greatly reducing the risk of burns while cooking.
  • Sustainability – The stoves are made of a simple mud mortar mix and can be easily repaired by householders when broken. Ripple Africa doesn’t build the stove and walk away but works with households to deliver the long-term education which will ensure the stove will be used for life.
  • Saving labour – For women who collect wood, the stove can mean a saving of up to 10 hours each week. The stoves also cook faster (Changu Changu Moto actually means Fast Fast Fire in Chichewa), and the double burner means food is ready in half the time. This frees up time which women can spend on other activities.
  • Saving money – In many parts of Malawi, people cut down trees from existing forests near their home. However, in urban or heavily deforested rural areas, families have to buy their fuel for cooking. Wood is extremely expensive and makes up a huge proportion of a family’s expenditure, and a 67% saving in money spent on wood is particularly important to poor families.
  • Educating families about sustainable living – In addition to teaching people how to use the fuel-efficient cookstoves, much time is spent on discussing why people should use them. Users learn about the problems of deforestation, and the importance of sustainable and environmentally friendly living solutions. This is the key to ensuring the long term success of the project.

*Information taken from rippleafrica.org

What ripple africa has achieved so far

  • So far, Ripple Africa has helped communities construct over 47,000 Changu Changu Moto cookstoves and have supported the householders to maintain and use them.
  • They have reduced the burns rate within Nkhata Bay District by more than 60% as the fuel-efficient cookstoves are safer than a three stone fire.

There's a lot going on...

Doing the right thing is a challenge, especially when it usually ends up being the harder, more expensive option, but myself and our team are committed to sharing our progress and being honest and transparent with you. When we get things right and when we get things wrong.

I am so excited to get this project fully up and running in order for us to have a closer connection and witness a tangible impact both for the environment and for the people of Malawi. It won't happen overnight, but it is slowly building.

You can read more about our Eco Side below.

Cheers,

Matt.

There's a lot more going on...

Doing the right thing is a challenge, especially when it usually ends up being the harder, more expensive option, but myself and our team are committed to sharing our progress and being honest and transparent with you. When we get things right and when we get things wrong.

I am so excited to get this project fully up and running in order for us to have a closer connection and witness a tangible impact both for the environment and for the people of Malawi. It won't happen overnight, but it is slowly building.

Cheers,

Matt.