Women Change Lives Through Energy-saving Stoves in Moshi Municipal CouncilFeb 25, 2015
Introduction of energy-saving stoves in the Moshi Municipal Council is making a difference in the lives of women in different households besides contributing to environmental conservation. Beneficiaries of a Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Project affirm that they are using less firewood in cooking, thereby turning challenges of environmental conservation into opportunities for development at a household level.
A total of 31 households in 9 wards of the municipality use energy-efficient stoves. The criteria used to select the benefitting households included aspects such as use of SLM techniques, e.g., soil and water conservation measures, agro-forestry, woodlots, bee-keeping, etc, and ability to contribute 20% of the cost of construction of stove, which costs TZS 300,000/= equivalent to USD 165.
Mrs. Aikasia Peter Lyimo, a food vendor at her Mfumuni Ward residence is a very happy woman who says she is proud to be a beneficiary because the project has reduced the burden associated with use of a costly and energy-inefficient stove. She says "I was using a lot of firewood that I bought at a very high price. Just imagine, I had to part with TZS 10,000.00 daily to get 40 kilogrammes of firewood, but now I thank God for this project, I pay TZS 2,000.00 only to purchase 10 kilogrammes, which suits my daily needs. The stove is efficient so efficient that food cooks within a short time, and it does not get cold as long as it is kept on the stove.
Since construction of the stove in September 2014, Mrs. Lyimo has invested the savings of TZS 8,000.00 per day in the construction of a kitchen sink and an oven for baking bread. She has also been able to settle school fees arrears for her children. "I had not paid schools fees for half the term. The money I have been saving has enabled me to settle the debt. I am also happy that as a family we can afford a balanced diet, we swap fish or meat for beans several days a week, we are changing for the better," she says, smiling.
Besides the financial benefit, there is the health and hygiene aspect. The kitchen room that houses the stove is now decent because the stove has a chimney that conducts smoke up from the fire, as opposed to her former stoves that left smoke indoor, which is pollution and bad for health.
Another beneficiary of the energy-saving stoves is Mrs. Victoria Kiwia’s household in Rau Ward. Being an environmentalist, she is very pleased to be a beneficiary of the project. She says "we were using about 20 pieces of wood, but now even three are enough to cook a family meal. Life is becoming good because we save a lot and invest the money in other uses. Sometimes we had to use gas or charcoal which are costly but we no longer use them. We have this stove, it is enough for us."
Many people from Rau have also called at her place to learn about the new technology so that they could as well install the stoves at their places. Installation of energy-saving stoves will indeed contribute to reducing deforestation and land degradation, the whole purpose of the SLM project. The SLM project, which is financially supported by the Government of Tanzania, Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).