- About us
- Knowledge Hub
- Get Involved
Cooking Practices in Displacement Settings in Malaysia and Indonesia
Today, over 82 million people have been forced out of their homes due to conflict, persecution, or other human rights violations (UNHCR, 2021). Of these, 48 million are internally displaced people (IDPs), over 26 million refugees and others forcibly displaced outside their country, and 4.1 million asylum seekers (ibid.) More than 60% of refugees and 80% of internally displaced people live in urban areas (Muggah and Abdenur,
2018), compounding pressures on energy infrastructure and natural resources in cities.
In addition to conflict and persecution, displacement has been increasingly caused by natural disasters which have become more frequent and devastating due to climate change. In 2020 alone, natural disasters displaced over 30 million people within their countries, while conflicts and violence displaced approx. 10 million people globally (IDMC, 2021). While there is an overall scarcity of data on energy access in settings of displacement, we know particularly little about how the displaced cook, the practices and roles involved, the timescales, and coping mechanisms in instances where cooking technologies and/or fuels are insufficient. Cooking is a cultural experience, as the kinds of foods people cook and the practices they use vary widely (Leary et al, 2019). This is particularly pronounced in displacement settings where often people of different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and therefore traditions, including cooking, live next to one another and often share common community facilities.
Displaced households in a diversity of settings rely heavily on firewood and charcoal to meet their energy needs for cooking, particularly in camp and rural settings where access to infrastructure is limited. The same applies to community facilities (e.g., schools, clinics, etc.) and cooking within humanitarian institutions serving displaced populations. This puts significant pressure on the natural environment and exacerbates the effects of climate change, as well as negatively impacts health and safety, predominantly that of women and girls who are typically in charge of cooking tasks (HEDON, 2016). Some urban households and refugee households in camps (e.g., Co’s Bazar in Bangladesh) are also able to
access LPG for cooking (IOM & UNHCR, 2021; Lehne et al., 2016). Cooking using electricity is a limited option in refugee and rural areas due to the lack of access to electricity (GPA, 2018) though several mini-grids have incorporated cooking appliances on a pilot basis in those locations.
This survey is designed to gather information on the socio-economic characteristics of household, fuel use, appliance ownership, decision-making, and energy-related practices. In particular, the survey delivers three key benefits: (1) Resolution: By selecting specific districts and wards within cities, there will be a sufficient resolution to draw comparisons between these different neighborhoods; (2) Detailed Energy Use Breakdown:
Detailed questioning on energy use will enable the collection of data on the patterns of energy use, the services driving these, and reasons for fuel stacking by each displaced community. (3) Non-income phenomena: By asking a wide range of questions on routines, lifestyle, and socio-cultural characteristics alongside the energy use and socio-economic questions, phenomena such as aspirations, time of use profiles, and convenience can be investigated. The method we employ to analyze household energy use is resource and data-intensive, and there is a trade-off between spatial coverage and resolution (Ghiassi & Mahdavi, 2017). Since a high resolution is crucial to test and demonstrate our method, we limit this study to a sample of energy resolution is crucial to test and demonstrate our method, we limit this study to a sample of energy-poor wards from the city and rural location chosen, with certain characteristics: slums and low-income neighborhoods, migration trends, living conditions, livelihoods, and practices. In addition, we will try to choose the household with different fuel payment structures.
The data collection was conducted in Indonesia and Malaysia. The data collection in Malaysia was conducted in Miri District, Sarawak. According to the report published by the metropolitan of Miri, there were about five sequences of flood events that arise in Sarawak within the year 2010 to 2018. Referring to the data from the Municipal administrative center in 2016, flood series occurred in 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016, and 2018.
However, there has been no big flood event reported in 2010, 2011, and 2013. The flood event in 2015/2016 has been recorded as the maximum flood period with a total of 23 days originally from 28 December 2014 to 15 January 2015. An enormous number of floods had been recorded in the 2014/2015 flood experience with 7,052 houses and 29,204 victims. That figure is the highest and seven times worse if compared to the previous flood series since 2007. (S K Abid et al 2021 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 802 012059).
The data collection in Indonesia was conducted in Karo Regency where the households were impacted by Mount Sinabung Eruption. Mount Sinabung erupted for the first time in 2010, erupted again in 2013, and has not stopped ever since. The long eruption period has caused as many as 2.592 families and 9.319 IDPs (Mt. Sinabung Media Center, May 23rd, 2016). Some villages have been relocated to safer places, but some
are still on the constant brink of uncertainty, unable to return home yet unknowing of where to go next. In this situation, the community’s ability to cope and characteristics often play an important role in their resilience, including their energy access management, especially on how the displaced population cook, the practices and roles involved, the timescales and coping mechanisms in instances where cooking technologies and/or fuels are insufficient.
The data collection for this research used a mixed method, where the quantitative approach was questionnaires and the qualitative approach was semi-structured interviews, and Focus Group Discussions (FGD). Before conducting the survey, we developed the data collection tools based on information that we gathered from the literature related to cooking practices in displacement settings especially in Malaysia and Indonesia, to ensure its reliability and validity.
The data analysis combined both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The questionnaire survey results were analyzed using quantitative descriptive analysis. The raw data were transformed and visualized using tables and figures to make them easy to understand and interpret. To complement the data we collect from questionnaires, we also conducted content analysis for the data we collected from the semi-structured
interviews and FGDs with the institutions that provide food aid in both Malaysia and Indonesia. The data sets were analyzed to gain information and an understanding of food provisions for the people in displacement settings.