Production, utilization and implementation of coconut charcoal in rural Mozambique: As a clean cooking fuel and a way to improve economic empowerment of women in Linga Linga

Aktivitet: Examination och handledarskapHandledning av masterstudenter


Air pollution is a global health problem and in Mozambique, indoor air pollution is primarily caused by cooking over an open fire. This study examines the potential of coconut charcoal as a cleaner cooking fuel and as a possible source of income for women in the village of Linga Linga, Mozambique. Previous research conducted in the village identified a need to investigate the willingness of the community to adopt a different cooking method. Hence, this thesis focuses on the implementation of a solution. The study was conducted through a literature and case study in Linga Linga, which included field trials of different charcoal production methods, interviews, observations, and a workshop. The findings proved that coconut is a suitable material for charcoal production and that there are several methods of producing it in the village, none of which is superior to the others in terms of implementation rate. The so-called "pit method" was preferred for its low smoke production. Women in the village expressed interest in producing and selling charcoal, but for cooking a fung\~{a}o (a type of grill) was needed and the high cost made the charcoal unsuitable as a primary cooking fuel. However, charcoal could be used as a complementary fuel to wood and small-scale sales could benefit the women. The study concludes that a successful implementation requires consideration of factors beyond the technical aspects. Two different approaches were suggested: first, recognizing the differences between the engineer and user lifeworlds and attempting to understand them. Second, avoiding the imposition of labels that could lead to a distinction between the participants and contribute to a postcolonial structure. The study also acknowledges the challenges as well as the necessity of interdisciplinary research. These findings may be valuable for future studies in Linga Linga, as well as studies aimed at improving life quality for people in other contexts.