| Boiling Point No. 19 - August 1989 |
By Anne Sefu, Co-ordinator, Morogoro Fuelwood Stove Project, Tanzania
The project began officially in January 1985, following research carried out at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), at the Women's Training Centre of the Christian Council of Tanzania (WTC-CCT), in Morogoro.
The project is staffed by three Tanzanian women. The main objectives of the project are:
- to promote fuel-efficient stoves
- to raise awareness of environmental issues
- to promote the involvement of women in all aspects of the environment and encourage their development in general.
The first years of the project were devoted largely to developing stove models which were suitable for local needs. After working with local potters, with the students at the Women's Training Centre (WTC) and with the users of the stoves being tried out, we are now promoting two models - one for charcoal and one for firewood - that are acceptable to users and can be produced with locally available material.
Although these mud stoves are fuel-efficient (saving about 30% of fuel as compared to the three-stone-fire), relatively easy to build and require only locally-available material, the adoption rate is negligible; many of these stoves may have been built but very few are actually in use. The main reason for people's unwillingness to change their cooking method is that they are satisfied with their traditional stoves. as long as firewood is available for low cost in terms of money or labour.
From following-up on early stove dissemination by our own and other projects, we have come to the conclusion that inadequately trained and inexperienced stovemakers make bad stoves; astove which does not have the correct dimensions may use more fuel than a three-stone-fire and may be smoky and fail to light properly. This is the worst kind of publicity.
The Morogoro Charcoal Stove
This stove is of ceramic material, i.e. similar to pots, although the type of clay suitable for stoves may be different.
Experience shows that only skilled potters can be effectively trained to make these stoves and the project therefore will in future attempt to train only such potters in this type of stove-production. Problems such as the stoves cracking when first used are common, and professional advice is necessary to help potters set up production units. So far we have held numerous training sessions for such potters (and other women) in six locations in Morogoro Urban District (Magadu, Nugutu, Kibwe Juu, Mbuyuni and Towero) and only in the last case, Towero, is there still a steady production. The average number of stoves produced there by the approximately 20 potters over the last 12 month period is 45 per month.
A number of women from outside the region have been sponsored by other organizations for training by the project but very little data on their current stove production (if any) is available due to lack of feedback by the sponsors/trainees. It does appear from the feedback obtained, however, that stove-trainees who are non potters usually fail to produce at all; traditional potters face difficulties in organizing production and marketing, and need the assistance of more trained and experienced personnel. We also realize that a great deal of training has been wasted on trainees who have not for one reason or another been able to utilize their training. A further difficulty they face is the lack of payment (i.e. incentive) to train others in stove production.
All the above difficulties seem to have been minimized in the case of the project's most successful offshoot to date: the Boay Pottery Co-operative, near Babati in Arusha Region. I his co-operative, under the auspices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, sponsored two of its trained potters to come to Morogoro in August 1987 to learn to make the Morogoro charcoal stove. Since that time production has been steadily increasing with six potters now making stoves, and sales were recently estimated at 2()0 per month, at a cost of approximately Shs. 300-400 each, when sold in the town of Babati. Additional promotion of the stoves is given by the Forest Tree and People Project based in Babati.
It is probably worth noting here why there is a great potential market for this particular model of charcoal stove as compared to other models which may have nearly as high a fuel-effiiciency as the Morogoro Stove, such as the "Dodoma Stove" and the "Kenya Ceramic Jiko". Both these models require metal, an imported product, for their production: in the first case for the entire double-walled stove, and in the second case for the outer casing of the ceramic insert.
However, it is best that we be realistic in stove-promotion and concentrate our resources on areas where the need, and the chances of success are greatest, i.e. where people are facing real difficulties in obtaining fuel. These are urban areas where fuel - charcoal or firewood - has to be bought, putting pressure on urban dwellers' increasingly shrinking budgets, or in arid rural areas where firewood is only obtainable by travelling long distances. In the rest of Tanzania, the firewood situation is not difficult enough to make it worthwhile for people to change over to a relatively complicated stove from the three-stone-fire, which at the moment is adequate for their needs. Maria Berlekom points out in her paper "women end Forest Resources", that it is not firewood collection for domestic cooking, which causes deforestation. Rather it is after deforestation occurs that women and others encounter difficulties in firewood collection. It is at such a time that improved stoves may be more widely disseminated in rural areas. In the meantime, the suburban firewood-users should be the target group to begin using the Kilakala stove, for as we know, innovations usually become popular first in towns and spread from there to the countryside.
We have tried to illustrate that there is rather more to stove-making than meets the eye; the production takes some time and skill and is therefore best undertaken by people who can devote most of their working hours to this activity anti who have hate the requisite training.
In the case of the Kilakala stove for firewood, forestry field staff could be trained to make well-functioning stoves but such training" according to our experience, would require one week of very intensive, very physically demanding practical work. Trainees should, therefore, have a high level of commitment and motivation to acquire the skill and, on returning to their station of work, to practice it. Women field workers would obviously be more easily able to contact potential users and have more knowledge than men about the needs of such users, hut not all women might regard such manual work as fitting to their educational background and status.
Stove Journal Profiles
Bois de Feu Informations
45 his, avenue de la Belle- Gabrielle, 94736 Nogent-sur-Marne Cedex, France.
Tel: (1) 188.8.131.52, Tlx: 264.653 F CETEFO
Editorial Team: Philippe Laura - Editor; J Pierre Jambes - Publications Director; Brigitte Hammachi - Production and Subscriptions.
First Issue: July 82. 4 issues per year. Current Issue: 23/24.
Format: A4, 20-32 pages.
Subscriptions: 100 Francs for 4 issues.
Circulation: 2000 copies in 90 countries. Language: French
Target Readership: Decision makers, planners, agencies and field technicians, project workers and N.G.O.s.
Subjects covered: General problems of the fuelwood crisis and its effect on domestic energy and rural development.
"Informations" is a channel for publicising and exchanging experience and technology.
In the editorial of its first 1989 edition "Informations" announces Bois de Feu's intentions to take a widerview of the fuelwood and stove problems, to look at alternative energies and to place more emphasis on the socio-economic and cultural aspects of its activities.
Mwanzi Road, Westlands, P O Box 48 197, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 749747/748281 Tlx: 25222 KENGO Fax: 748281
Editorial Team: Achoka Awori - Co-ordinator; Elizabeth Obel - Managing Editor; Brazille Musumba - Editor; Alice Wafula - Assistant Editor.
First Issue: 15 July 1981, now twice a year. Format: A4, now 12 pages.
Subscriptions: Kenya - KSH 8() (£3.0()), Europe, America, Asia $5 (£3.00) - 2 issues.
Circulation: Anglophone Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
Language: English, articles in Swahili accepted.
Target Readership: Kengo organizations, research institutions, schools, government ministries and departments, national and international donor and development agencies, churches, women's groups, media agencies, extension workers and any individual who is interested in issues related to renewable energies and environmental protection.
Subjects covered: Activities in renewable energy conservation and development in Kenya, East, Central and Southern Africa and other Third World countries, research and development of genetic resources, tree-planting and agroforestry, promotion of improved cookstoves and other community income- generating activities.