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< prev - next > Energy Stoves and Ovens appropriate_household_energy (Printable PDF)
NGOS influence government for commitment to supervise quality of energy technologies in
Energy is a critical factor in Zanzibar’s economic and social development. Effort is being made in
order to ensure adequate supplies of key forms of energy. The country relies on imported
petroleum-based fuels, whose purchase contribute to its balance of payments deficit.
Under biomass, wood fuel is the most important energy source representing 90% of the total
energy consumption. Fuel wood therefore constitutes the backbone of the socio-economic well-
being of the vast majority of the Zanzibar population.
High level consumption of charcoal and firewood has led to over-utilisation of wood from the
forests, especially in the coral rag area. Improved stoves where therefore initially introduced to
combat deforestation and, later on, for kitchen cleanliness. Within the households, it was realised
that income expenditures were being reduced in terms of money spent on fuel acquisition and
health care for illnesses related to household hygiene. This link between hygiene, income status
and energy conservation has enabled manufacturers of improved stoves to influence policy makers
to design energy policies to help communities and organisations promote efficient utilisation of
energy technologies. Energy technologies, especially improved cook stoves, have become income
generating activities in the 1990s in Zanzibar. Due to the domestic responsibilities attached to
women’s work in the household, the women were more eager to adopt, utilise and learn techniques
of energy technology production, especially the fuel efficient stoves, compared to the men.
Government take up supervisory role for quality monitoring
At present, the role of the Zanzibar Department of Energy and Minerals is to co-ordinate and
supervise the work of the stove producing groups in Zanzibar. Earlier, the Department of Energy
and Minerals was providing training to women groups in the manufacture of ceramic lines in
collaboration with Intermediate Technology The women were more organised into groups unlike
men who preferred tow work as individuals. The initial women’s groups were Bado Tupo at Kisauni
and Hatujali at Kiembe Samaki, and they were both pottery groups. Besides ceramic liners
production, the groups also produce ceramic flower jugs, pots with lids and other pottery products
which also generate income. These groups have worked as role models for environmental
protection through “stoves for income initiatives”. At present more people get involved in stove
manufacturing. New groups have been formed including Sanifu women’s group, at Urusi, Kidongo
Chekundu artisans and Meli Nne potters.
Although new groups have become involved in the manufacture of improved stoves in Zanzibar,
importing ready-made stoves from Dar-es-Salaam still continues. This is attributed to the fact that
the quality of the local stoves produced in Zanzibar and the quantity has not yet satisfied the
The main problems encountered by the local stove producers are:
Lack of trained artisans for metal claddings
Scarcity of raw materials for metal claddings
Lack of pottery skills, and
Competition with imported stoves.
Due to the above constraints many producers are still importing claddings from Dar-es-Salaam –
and expensive process. The challenge is now on the women who consider stoves production as the
major income earner.
Source: Khamis Bakari, Department of Energy and Minerals.
Case study developed by Sengendo, Muchiri and Gitonga.