Mwandida Josamu lives with her husband and four children in Katsukunya, a village in central Malawi. The Josamu family grows maize, soya beans, tobacco, and ground nuts on their five-acre farm.
They purchase a ton of firewood during the harvest season when they have cash. Since Total LandCare and C-Quest helped Mwandida build an efficient “TLC rocket stove” out of mud bricks; that ton meets the family’s needs for eight months, twice as long as it did when she cooked on an open fire.
During the time of year when there is no money to buy fuel, she must walk two kilometers into the forest to chop wood. Collecting a bundle of firewood takes her about two-and-a-half hours.
She has noticed that, in the past few years, she must walk farther and farther to collect firewood. Fortunately, now that she is using an improved cookstove, the bundles she collects last longer, and she is away from the village much less. She has more time to do her domestic chores, spend time with her children, visit with friends, and sing gospel.