WWF-MWIOPO Asks the Crowd for Support | WWF

WWF-MWIOPO Asks the Crowd for Support

Posted on 12 March 2014    
Fatana Mitsitsy's are a healthier alternative to traditional stoves because they produce considerably less smoke.

This Earth Hour you can help both families and the environment by supporting WWF-MWIOPO’s crowdfunding campaign to provide 4,000 fuel efficient stoves for Toliara, in Southwest Madagascar.

4,000 of these stoves can help save 700 hectares of land from deforestation, per year. They also help impoverished families by cutting their energy costs in half – saving up to 15% of a families monthly budget – and providing a healthier, less smoky cooking environment.

See the campaign video and make your donation here

These stoves, known locally as a Fatana Mitsitsy, are a crucial element in a larger programme of sustainable energy access for the region.


Deforestation, the single biggest threat to the unique biodiversity of Madagascar, is a root cause of many of the environmental and social problems Madagascar is facing, such as sustainable energy supply, soil erosion, climate change and the loss of biodiversity and habitat for unique animal species. 99% percent of the population cooks with fuelwood (charcoal or firewood) and 92% of the energy used in Madagascar every day comes from fuelwood.

The standard cook stove used in Madagascar is highly inefficient, wasteful and provides an unhealthy cooking environment due to excessive smoke. By introducing a more efficient cooking technology, we can help prevent deforestation, protect endangered habitats, preserve local forests as a carbon sink, dramatically lower fuel costs for families and improve the health of women and children.


4,000 of these Fatana Mitsitsy woodstoves can provide healthier cooking conditions, save 700 hectares from deforestation and store 16,000 tonnes of carbon every year, and save impoverished families significant amounts of money in fuel costs. Fuelwood can consume 15% to 25% of a family’s monthly budget. Fuel efficient woodstoves can cut those costs by up to two-thirds, saving families $3 to $5 per month – that’s incredible savings in a country where 80% of the people live on less than 1 dollar a day. That frees up money that can be used for things like better nutrition, better health care and school supplies.

The need for the stoves is particularly acute in Toliara, where the average household uses 150 kg of charcoal per year – about 1.5 times the national average.


It’s only $8.50 to buy one stove. That means that for $8.50 you can save 0.175 hectares of precious forest, each year. You will help prevent the emission of 4 tonnes of carbon. You can help a family save money and live healthier lives.

Go to http://ehour.me/EH4000 and make a donation.

Read on for more information about how these stoves can help.

Conservation Benefits

The 4,000 stoves will protect 700 hectares of forest and store 16,000 tonnes of carbon annually. Each Fatana Mitsitsyreduces a family’s demand for wood and charcoal by 50 % or more, depending on the type of stove it is replacing. This helps to preserve the unique spiny forest habitat from which most of Toliara’s fuelwood is taken. The Spiny Forest is a shelter for many plants and animals that are specifically adapted to life in the spiny forest including lemurs, some bird species, the highly endangered radiated and spider tortoises and the critically endangered Belalanda chameleon.

Economic Benefits

The economic benefits are pretty simple. Currently fuelwood costs absorb a significant amount of a family’s income. Poverty is a big problem in Madagascar, with many families earning under 100,000 ariary a month. The greater energy efficiency of the stoves cuts demand by over half, resulting in significant savings which can then be put towards other uses, like better nutrition, clothing, supplies for school or investment in businesses.

This has been the experience of Soasitiana, a mother in Antaravay, Toliara who received a Fatana Mitsitsy following Hurricane Haruna.

“My choice was motivated by the savings I can achieve each month,” she says. “Bags of coal have become so expensive. I can save 10,000 to 15,000 ariary a month, which I can then spend to buy notebooks, books and other school supplies.”

Health Benefits

Madagascar is a young country, with the majority of the population under the age of 20. Toliara, the largest city in the South of Madagascar, is no exception. A 2011 survey estimated that 53.4% of the total population of 150,000 people was 18 or under, meaning the city is home to about 80,000 children. 

Mothers will often cook indoors in smoky rooms, infants tied to their torso with a cloth. While this closeness has many benefits, the inhalation of excessive amounts of charcoal and wood smoke has been shown to have a damaging effect on young lungs, leading to increased rates of pneumonia, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  Considering the key role that children play in the preparation and cooking of food, the efficiency and reduced smoke of the wood stoves also promises long-term health benefits. 

This has been supported by the women who received Fatana Mitsitsy’s during last year’s Earth Hour. Velisoa, who works at a hotel in Toliara, says,

“I use a lot of ovens to cook because I work at the hotel. They create a lot of smoke, which is very bad for your health. I’m almost always in contact with the smoke because I cook. But as you can see, the (fuel efficient stove) does not spew smoke and that’s great.”

Fatana Mitsitsy's are a healthier alternative to traditional stoves because they produce considerably less smoke.
© © WWF MWIOPO Enlarge
Fatana Mitsitsy's use 50% or less wood or charcoal than traditional stoves. Just one stove can save 0.175 hectares of forest per year.
© © WWF MWIOPO / Martina Lippuner Enlarge
Fuelwood continues to provide the majority of the cooking and heating energy in Madagascar
© © WWF MWIOPO Enlarge
Charcoal production is one of the leading causes of deforestation in Madagascar
© © WWF MWIOPO Enlarge

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