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New initiative to cut charcoal use in Lilongwe

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Two international firms, C-Quest Capital and Ener- G-Africa, have embarked on an initiative aimed at reducing the use of charcoal at household level in Malawi’s Capital, Lilongwe, by 50 percent.

The initiative comes at a time deforestation in Malawi is estimated to be responsible for the loss of 33,000 hectares per year due to cooking, farming, brick burning, and tobacco curing.

Speaking during an energy interface in Lilongwe, C-Quest Capital Chief Executive Officer Ken Newcombe said the project seeks to rollout the JetFlame stove, the development of which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Newcombe said the initiative has already provided funding to give out stoves to 250,000 to 300,000 households over the next four years.

He said, in addition to implementing double stoves, C-Quest Capital’s business model includes value creation by providing audits, post-installation visits, and creating employment opportunities in the countries where their stoves are deployed.

“The production of these stoves has moved from India and China to Malawi through our partnership with Ener-G-Africa,” Newcombe said.

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Finance Minister Felix Mlusu said Malawi continues to face a huge energy deficit and welcomes investors in the sector.

Mlusu said through the initiative by C-Quest Capital and Ener-G-Africa, Malawi will have alternative energy sources while conserving the environment.

Renewable Energy Association of Malawi Executive Director Ron Kabvina welcomed the initiative and urged the firms to join the association so that they could share notes with existing industry players.

C-Quest Capital’s purpose is to transform the lives of families in poor communities around the world by increasing and improving their access to sustainable, modern energy services while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat global climate change.

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