Most rural areas in Tanzania host a large population, and they continue to suffer from the impact of deforestation. The problem will continue if no concrete measrues are taken to arrest the situation. The speed of deforestation in rural areas is almost at the same pace just like fastgrowing wicked social and environmental challenges of urbanization.
The increase in deforestation goes hand in hand with the growing population in urban areas, resulting in increased inequalities and climate change threats.
In most cases the increase in deforestation taking place in Tanzania, is explained by limited energy alternatives for cooking at household level, and because economic activities in rural areas are limited to dry seasons and other factors.
Because of limited cheaper energy alternatives, firewood and charcoal remain the only easily accessible and reliable source of energy for cooking, while on the other hand processing charcoal and cutting firewood remain as main reliable economic activities for people living near forests areas.
On the other hand, the main markets for charcoal and firewood are the fast growing in urban towns and a majority of their population are unemployed, poor and cannot switch or afford other sources of energy for cooking - such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), solar (given high initiation costs which are substantial for average income earners) and electricity. In this respect, populations residing in the fastgrowing urban towns of Tanzania save money by using “cheaper sources of energy for cooking”.