We have just embarked on a training programme to empower poor households with clean energy solutions as part of the efforts to protect the environment and promote healthy cooking in Tanzania.
By Beatrice Philemon (The Guardian)
The Dutch are undertaking the programme, dubbed ‘Jiko Matawi’ in conjunction with Oak Workshop and General Supplies of Morogoro. The new Project aims at reducing deforestation cut environmental risks and protect women and children from diseases related with direct smoke inhalation. Oak director Omari Komba said early this week that the trainings they provide are mainly on how to make energy saving stoves. Komba said the new technology was meant to reduce charcoal consumption in the country, and thus complement the country’s deforestation campaign. “SNV is offering the training through oak workshop and General supplies …the training is offered to local communities with low income and currently at least 1,000 energy saving stoves have been made.” Speaking during the just ended 16th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition in Dar es salaam, Komba said the initiative sought to help Tanzanians to have access to clean cooking solutions.
The ‘Jiko Matawi’ technology produces heat through the use of small quantity of pruned tree branches, which is both healthy and environmental friendly. “SNV has decided to embark on this programme following unsustainable production and consumption of charcoal, which in fact has resulted in negative environmental impact such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, destruction of water catchments and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG),” Komba told the guardian. Research conducted in Mwanza, Kagera, Shinyanga and Simiyu regions established the majority people in the four regions do cut trees for their energy needs such as cooking. Komba said the practice was a liability to the environmental and human life. Meanwhile, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the EAC bloc have been called on to make use of the region’s abundant resources to spur its economic growth and ensure sustainable development.
According to the Uganda Deputy High Commissioner in the country, Stephen Kiyingi, the SMEs should form synergies and use the available resources for the benefit of the people in the five countries. “Let’s work together, using our own resources to the benefit of our nations,” the diplomat said at the just ended EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition in Dar es salaam. He said advancement of the regional economies to the levels attained by China and Japan can only be possible if the entrepreneurs work together in the interest of the bloc. Kiyingi said the EAC has all it takes to eradicate poverty and bring sustainable development to the region. He said the region catches the attention of other parts of the world because of its abundant natural resources.
This article was published on 10 December 2015 in Tanzanian newspaper The Guardian.