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< prev - next > Energy Stoves and Ovens appropriate_household_energy (Printable PDF)
Potential buyers need purchasing power and as such, the commercial approach many not benefit
the poorest of the poor
The approach requires fund, time and skills that may be new to a project
Energy technologies that are disseminated through commercialization are likely to be more
expensive, with less assurance for quality and performance.
Ceramic stoves sustain livelihood
In Missungwi District, Mwanza Region, North West of Tanzania, the Ministry of Agriculture
Training Institute, Ukiriguru (MATI-U) supports farmers in nearby villages. The villages are over-
populated and people grow subsistence crops on small tracts of land. Cotton which is a cash crop
is grown by less than 30% of farmers in this village. Support given to the villages is mainly in
skills training in agricultural and livestock development. Since 1988, among other things, MATI-
U’s programme has been focusing on environmental protection through promotion of improved
mud stoves.
While implementing dissemination of mud stoves, two of the women’s groups, collaborating with
MATI-U (Maria Nyerere and Juhudi women’s groups), in Ngudama village, had an opportunity to
send representatives on exchange visits to Kisumu, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda. Their aim was to
share experiences with local NGOs and groups receiving technical assistance in stove production,
from Intermediate Technology Kenya. The women recall t hat their main achievement was in skills
acquisition in ceramic stoves production. Unlike mud stoves, ceramic stoves are portable and easy
to sell.
Although the women only observed a demonstration of the ceramic stove production, once back
home they attempted to make ceramic stoves. Over a period of two years (between 1995 and
1997) they had gained a lot of “on the job skills” and had started marketing the ceramic stoves.
Demand for the ceramic stove is on the increase in the nearby Mwanza town.
Ngudama village which used to be one of the poorest villages in the district can now thank the
women’s groups for improvement of household livelihood through additional income from stove
sales and having come up with a strategy for addressing fuel wood scarcity. Although livestock
keepers (who are less than 11% of the total of the households in Ngudama), have slightly higher
incomes, the average income per family rose.
Women have managed to incorporate ceramic stoves production work with their agricultural work,
mainly suing the months available other than October to May when they are busy with crop
production. Women have realised that stoves can sell and can be produced hand in hand with crop
production activities. Today stove making is done throughout the year.
Although there have been socio-cultural constraints to women’s control and access to income in
the household, they have managed to use ceramic stoves production to earn their own income.
The two women’s groups, namely Juhudi and Maria Nyerere, have reported economic advantages
since 1996. For example, the Chairperson of Maria Nyerere, Mrs Mary Lufungulo reported to the
District Commissioner of Missungwi District that selling stoves has given members money. In such
cases women have to choose between spending money on immediate or long term needs. Due to
food shortage in 1997 almost everyone used the money to buy food, uniforms for their children
and paid school fees. Giving her own example, Mary bought corrugated iron sheets to support her
husband in constructing their house. She is proud that she now lives in a semi-modern house and
has bought a bicycle.