This shocking fact that was quoted at the recent "EcoBricks" project workshop in Lilongwe and highlights how important clean technologies are to this country.
The recent research conducted by the project consultants from TARA and Clioma shows that improvements in traditional brick making techniques and the introduction of new technologies can vastly reduce the amount of wood used in brick production. Not only this but the higher quality bricks produced mean that even though individual bricks are more expensive, the fact they are standard, even shapes significantly reduces building costs due to the fact less cement is needed.
Next steps - to look in more detail at the commercial viability of a VSBK system in the country...
We're definitely moving in the right direction for green economy in Malawi. Also helping to reduce forest degradation in Malawi are wood saving stoves - now being produced in Lilongwe. Find out more here!
Biomass sources fuel construction and food preparation (fire wood & charcoal), current usage patterns far exceed ability to replace extraction naturally. Alongside the fact that Malawi is one of the most deforested countries in the world is that it has one of the smallest managed forestry sectors. New technologies will certainly improve efficiencies of the utilizing biomass and are essential to alter behaviour and wise use of Malawi's resources. However it is the source material which some think will simply run out within the life time of young Malawians. At present the country has no mechanisms to support or encourage the establishment of managed forests to fuel a growing population.