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close this bookBoiling Point No. 21 - April 1990 (ITDG - ITDG, 1990, 44 p.)
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An Aspect of Women & Stove Production in Tanzania

Background, Problems and Achievements of the Morogoro Fuelwood Stove Project

by Anne Sefu, Co-ordinator of the Morogoro Fuelwood Stove Project, Tanzania

(Summary by Emma Crewe, ITDG, from a paper presented at the Nordic Seminar on Domestic Energy in Developing Countries 25-27 September 1989, Lund University, Sweden)


l his paper gives an outline of the difficulties and successes encountered by the Morogoro Fuelwood Stove Project (MFSP). The MFSP is part of the Women's Training Centre (WTC) of the Christian Council of Tanzania (CHIT). The project began in 1985 with stove-making, tree-raising and environmental issues being introduced to the courses held at the VVTC. In addition, the project, together with its sister project, the Morogoro Women-focused Afforestation Project, ran twice-yearly special courses devoted to stoves and trees. Since 1985 MFSP has received funding Tom NORAD, and since July 1989, 20% of its resources have been provided by the CCI'.


The MFSP was initiated by the current coordinator as a women's development project aiming to investigate the suitability of a ceramic dual-purpose firewood and charcoal burning stove (called the Pangawe, and based on the Thai bucket stove, the Indonesian Keren and Tungku Sae stoves), and a fixed, mud stove based on the Senegalese Louga stove and to encourage women to raise trees. The prime objective of the programme was to alleviate the task of fuel collection and reduce deforestation.

Since 1985, the objectives have been modified for the following reasons: very few people habitually use both firewood and charcoal; while the demand fo. a more efficient charcoal stove became apparent amongst urban dwellers, rural households did not perceive a need for any improvement over the traditional three stone fire; and the common belief that firewood collection for domestic cooking causes deforestation proved to be unfounded. As a result of these findings, two separate portable ceramic stoves were developed: the Morogoro Charcoal Stove and the Morogoro Firewood Stove. The emphasis was on production training and promotion of the two stoves, and awareness-raising of the socio-economic and environmental advantages of conserving firewood. To date some 2,500 stoves have been sold, although not all of these are still in use.

The project has been monitoring the impact of stove design, training and publicity on the intended beneficiaries. The problems, lessons learned and achievements include:


· The lack of pre-project appraisal led to the misplaced assumption that the rural women perceived a need for improved stoves.

· The objectives and interests of the different parties involved (target group, project team, institution, donor) were poorly co-ordinated and sometimes in conflict.

· l he project became involved in too man' activities, over too great a geographical area, and in too many locations, and consequently follow-up on training was scans.

· The project has been understaffed and initially the level of staff expertise and experience in ceramics and stove technology and dissemination was inadequate.

· The question of sustainability was not given enough attention because the time needed to achieve goals was underestimated, and the future involvement of other institutions was overestimated.

Lessons Learned

Some examples include:

· it is impracticable to teach non-polters to make ceramic stoves;

· the project should not have involved itself in the marketing of charcoal stoves as commercially viable production was the objective;

· it is unrealistic to expect individuals in the community, especially rural women who are already overburdened, to carry out unpaid extension work;

· extension workers need to be trained in training methods for stove dissemination.


The project started out with the relevant literature, support from national and regional government and party officials, committed staff with a good knowledge of the local language and customs (who were the same gender as the intended beneficiaries), and excellent staff relations at all levels. Without these the following might not have been achieved:

· development of two appropriate and acceptable stoves: one for firewood and one for charcoal;

· income generation for the women stove producers and stove builders;

· increased confidence and knowledge for women through training, exchange visits, seminars etc.

· increased status of "women's work' as a result of public awareness-raising through promotion and training;

· increased public awareness of environmental issues;

· increased skills and knowledge of staff;

· savings in charcoal consumption/forest depletion; savings in cash expenditure at household level.

The Way Forward

The plans of the MFSP for the remaining two-year period of funding are to concentrate on:

1. At the Women's Training Centre - consolidating the method of training in stove-making, economic firewood use, tree-raising techniques, and raising awareness of environmental issues.

2. Charcoal stove production and marketing assisting the two potters' groups to produce and market durable stoves (both domestic and institutional) and stimulating demand among urban dwellers, with the aim of promoting sustainable stove enterprises.

3. Village fuelwood stove promotion - in co-operation with MWAP, continuing to support former trainees and to train others in Morogoro District.

4. Cooperation with relevant institutions - eg. holding a course in firewood stove-making for 20 women forestry extension workers at the request of the national headquarters of the Government's Division of Forestry.

In general, following on from the work of this project, stove activities in Tanzania should focus on: increased production of the Morogoro Charcoal Stove through the formal sector in urban centres; the development and promotion of more efficient institutional stoves; and a widespread educational campaign to increase awareness about the benefits of improved stoves. The campaign would stress the benefits of improved stoves to households, rather than to the nation in the form of reduced deforestation. However, it would also encourage tree-raising to generate income and ensure a supply of cooking fuel for households. Whether these suggested activities will take place will depend upon the availablity of the necessary resources and the commitment of Tanzanian organisations (both governmental and non-governmental), potential donor organizations and the intended beneficiaries.