Cooking for a stronger planet

Woodfuel is the most common form of energy used for cooking and heating households in Tanzania. In poor, rural communities, women rely heavily on traditional stoves – associated with a host of diseases. And while Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) cause cancer, respiratory infections and premature deaths, the burning also releases harmful emissions into the environment.

Solar powered change 

The Supamoto project, run by Dorcas Tanzania and Lions Club Tilburg, aims to address the country’s dependence on charcoal and firewood by enabling women in remote areas to switch to clean, high-efficiency solar powered biomass cookers. We set up a number of micro collection centres where locals – turned entrepreneurs – manage the shredding and transport process. The biomass is then delivered to the manufacturer, who produces sustainably-sourced pellets and briquettes.

Community-Based Conservation 

During its short lifespan, Supamoto has shown the merits of local production and clean energy – delivering real solutions to some of the poorest communities across Tanzania. In Ugoro village, where the project began, clean cooking is now an affordable and accessible option for women. To date, we have helped reduce deforestation, reduce gas emissions, improve women’s health and decrease workload.

Gaining momentum 

In 2019, Dorcas has big ambitions for the project, with plans to improve livelihoods by increasing household income, enabling savings and generating new job opportunities in rural areas.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Clean cooking-project contributes to the following SDGs:

  • 1. No poverty: Clean cooking is part of basic services necessary to lead a healthy and productive life and saves households time and money.
  • 2. Zero hunger: Efficient cookstoves reduce the amount of fuel needed to cook, thus reducing the burden on families who would otherwise have to collect it, buy it, or trade food for it.
  • 3. Good health and well-being: Reducing smoke emissions from cooking decreases the burden of disease associated with household air pollution and improves well-beging, especially for women and children.
  • 4. Quality education: Children, particularly girls, are often kept out of school so that they can contribute to household tasks, like cooking and collecting fuel.
  • 5. Gender equality: Unpaid work, including collecting fuel and cooking, remain a major cause of gender inequality.
  • 7. Affordable and clean energy: Clean cooking is essential to addressing energy poverty and ensuring sustainable energy security for billions of people.
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth: Energy access enables enhanced productivity and inclusive economic growth. The clean cooking sector offers many job opportunities.
  • 11. Sustainable cities and communities: Clean cooking addresses household and ambient air pollution, resource efficiency, and climate vulnerability.
  • 13. Climate action: Up to 25% of black carbon emissions come from burning solid fuels for household energy needs. Clean cooking solutions address the most basic needs of the poor, while also delivering climate benefits.
  • 15. Life on land: Up to 34% of woodfuel harvested is unsustainable, contributing to forest degradation, deforestation, and climate change.  

04 January 2019

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