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Queen's Baton Relay: Tackling Malawi's energy shortage

29 January 2014 Last updated at 14:21 GMT

In the south-eastern African country of Malawi, where the majority of the population do not have access to electricity, a group of women are finding new ways to challenge a crippling energy shortage.

Demand for fuel is causing huge deforestation with many trees being chopped down for charcoal and firewood to be used for cooking and as a source of income.

Established in Malawi's capital Lilongwe in 2007, the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is addressing the problem by helping nearby villagers make their own wood briquettes.

By compressing wood chippings from industry and waste paper, the briquettes provide an energy source which decreases the demand for wood.

The Queen's Baton Relay arrived in Malawi following a short stay Seychelles, as it continues the journey around the Commonwealth.

BBC reporter Mark Beaumont joined the ladies for a traditional lunch and learned how communities in Malawi are adapting to the energy shortage.

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