Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Environment is a very important part of human life
Concerning the surrounding including living and non living organisims. The social- economic part of human being depends on environment, for example industries, business, agriculture etc

The environment in a good shape contributes in accomplishing the developmental activities. Also basic human needs like food, clothing and shelter come from the environment, for example raw materials used in making different kind of clothes, the food we eat and the materials used for building house such as timber and thatched grasses for roofs.

Protecting the environment is not something which can be done by one person and that’s why Nations, Governments, institutions and even NGOs’ have been cooperating with great determination in protecting the environment.

Tanzania is one of the Sub-Sahara coutries leading environmental preservation efforts. In fulfilling this effort it has been penning down different contracts in order to get aid from different countries and ratifying International Convetions on Environmental Management such as United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ramsar Convention and many other of environmental concern.

TaTEDO is among these NGOs’, which apart from conserving the environment; this Institution has also involved itself in achieving the modern sustainable energy initiatives together with reducing poverty especially in urban and rural areas. TaTEDO has been working closely with local communities in their areas in ensuring that they access modern energy technologies in improving their lives.

The use of traditional sources of energy within the city of Dar es salaam has been rising daily for many years now. This is due huge number of people using charcoal for cooking. Over 80 percent of the population in Dar es salaam use charcoal and firewood as a major fuel for cooking, this is due to increase in cost for alternative sources of energy like gas and electricity causing many Tanzanian resulting to most of them using biofuels eg charcoal and firewood.

As the population increases so is the use of fuel due to increase in demand. Almost 90 percent of charcoal used in Dar es Salaam is produced from forests within villages, districts and regions surrounding the city of Dar es salaam such as Lindi, Mtwara and Pwani.

Pugu forest is a good example of one such forest located in Kisarawe district, it is in danger of extinction because of excessive deforestation activities and burning of charcoal caused by increased demand of charcoal within Dar es salaam city.This Government owned forest has been invaded by people from different Regions with the purpose of burning the charcoal and cutting down trees with no consideration that the forast is supposed to be preserved.

Due to this problem the Institution for developing sustainable energy and conserving the environment (TaTEDO) in collaboration with two specialists from department of statistics, did a research on artisans who make improved stoves in Dar es Salaam.

The main aim of this research was to assess the number of artsans/improved stove producers, also to know their environment and the size of their projects.
This empowerment involves education on how to make these cookers by using modern and sustainable technology which does not have effect to our environment.

This cooker as it is known to many as quality/efficient charcoal stove was given the name because of its nature of using minimal amount of charcoal, is made by using modern and sustainable technology. It is more liked because of its efficiency incookin while conserving heat energy than traditional aluminium made charcoal stoves. It uses small amount of charcoal hence reduces cost, its raw materials are locally availabe and the cooker is durable because is made using modern technology.

Good example is a cooker called ‘Sazawa’ made by Institution for developing sustainable energy and conserving the environment (TaTEDO). This cooker is made by corrugated iron sheet, iron and two bars made by clay and together with a mixture of cement and dust of remains of paddy.

The stove is proved to be more than 70% effficient than the normal traditional charcoal stove hence reduce difforestation and emission of carbon to air.

TaTEDO has also been making efficient firewood cookers which uses less firewood in cooking large amount of food quicker, hence serves the environment from large damage.

The research done by TaTEDO through its depertment of Sustainable Bio-energy in Dar es salaam city April of 2009 at Temeke, Kinondoni and Ilala Districts, showed that, the field of improved stove has been growing fast in recent years. This has been proven by small industries, groups and individuals involved in making improved cooking stoves and sell them to earn some cash.

Big industries like Kasana-Temeke and Vingunguti-Kinondoni which have been runing for years did show an increase in production because of market growth.
This production has increase by a big percent and they have been selling their cookers in Dar es salaam, upcountry and even export to neighbouring countries like Mozambique.

Despite massive production of the cookers, still the
Users have been few because of failure to buy them due to high price which ranges between Tsh. 1800 - 2500 for which an average Tanzanian living under $ 1 a day can not afford to buy.

Difficult economic situation is the major source leading to environmental degradation in
our country and other developing countries where by demand for energy is inevitable.

The artisans have been working in difficult situation leading to their work being hard, production being low causing poor availability of their goods.

Every Tanzanian using charcoal as fuel , will greatly reduce the use of charcoal and hence reduce the effects of charcoal production to our forests while serving the income of Tanzanian if they have access to the improved charcoal stove. For example a family which uses one sac of charcoal for two weeks (i.e 14 days) for cooking in a traditioal corrugated iron cookers may use the same sac for one month (i.e 30 days) andin so doing they would have saved the use of charcoal and even the cost saved out of this use would have been used to improve the quality of Tanzanians most of whom are poor.

Inorder to serve our environment from production of charcoal, the Goverment, Institutions, NGOs’ should educate people on better ways of burning charcoal inorder to preserve our enviroment .
This empowerment may be :
• Educational; which may enable the use of modern and cheap technology.
• Financially; which may enable expansion of their projects to increase production and hence simplify the availability of their goods.
• Provide special areas for their wok and hence reduce their migration from one place to another which in turn will increase efficiency.
• Business; many craftsmen do not have enough knowledge about business. Its better different institutions help in providing business education so that they can run profitable business.

Many craftsmen who makes quality cookers, if valued and given priority they will for sure contribute greatly in preserving our environment.

The Environment is life, hence it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect and utilize it sustainably.

victoria maeda,

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