The Traditional Cooking Fuel: A Centrepiece in the Preservation of Cultural Values in Chiwundura Communal Area, Zimbabwe

The Traditional Cooking Fuel: A Centrepiece in the Preservation of Cultural Values in Chiwundura Communal Area, Zimbabwe

Mangizvo V. Remigios (Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0838-0.ch017
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The chapter discusses why households in Chiwundura Communal Area continue to rely on traditional biomass for cooking purposes. This chapter is a deliberate consideration of indigenous knowledge on the use of biomass. This qualitative study, used interviews, observations and focus group discussions to generate data. The study established that fuelwood was preferred to electricity because it made food tastier. The smoke that was produced from the fire was utilized to preserve food and seed. It was also used in protecting thatch from weevils. The traditional fireplace was also used for social cohesion as families sat around the fire in the evenings. It was however established that use of fuelwood encouraged deforestation, climate change and indoor pollution that was associated with a number of ailments. The study recommends a sustainable utilization of fuelwood as well as an adoption of green energy which has fewer effects on the health of individuals.
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Households in Chiwundura Communal Area rely on traditional biomass for cooking. In some cases this is despite the fact that their homesteads have been connected to electricity. This chapter looks at how cultural and traditional factors play an important role in determining the continued use of traditional biomass energy. This study acknowledges that household energy choices are determined by endogenous and exogenous factors. The endogenous factors deal with household characteristics such income, household size, educational background and the gender of household head; and, behavioural and cultural characteristics of the households, while the exogenous deal with external conditions which affect household energy choices. Exogenous factors included the physical environment, government’s energy policy and energy supply factors. This study deliberately looks at the role of cultural and behavioural factors as little attention is usually paid to them in determining domestic energy choice.

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