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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Local entrepreneur embarks on new environmentally friendly technology

6th June 2011

An entrepreneur based in Njiro here has embarked on a technology he described as ‘friendly to the environment’ in an effort to address the issue of increasing demand of energy for domestic use in both urban and rural areas.

The newly introduced technology involved transforming waste materials and even remains of tree-made charcoal into a useful domestic energy source.

The entrepreneur, Joyce Solomon, who operates a plant of the newly introduced eco-friendly charcoal, told members of the Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) that the briquettes were more efficient than those of natural forests.

Journalists’ visit to her plant in Arusha Region was aimed at assessing the impact of climate changes and mitigation measures taken by communities.

The development of the technology had been facilitated by the Tanzania Engineering and Manufacturing Design Organization (Temdo) under the “Technology Business Incubators”, she said.

Solomon said, the technology was popularly known in the local Kiswahili as “Mkaa Poa Pekee” which literally translated ‘the only cheap charcoal.’

She said that the price of the charcoal made from the small plant was cheap compared to charcoal burnt from trees.

According to her, the technology which was still new played an important role in scaling down the impact of climate change, as well as creating employment opportunities for hundreds of people.

Another worker at the same plant identified as Ester Lazaro said that the price of one kilogram of the charcoal was 300/-.

“A family of six people can use five kilograms of the charcoal in more than three days, depending on the level of the economy of the users…market is there. We’ve not promoted the product, our customers are those who know our product,” she said.

The plant which is being incubated at Temdo premises, located in Njiro suburb here in Arusha, employs six youngsters on full time basis.

Temdo senior official Philemon Kilasa said that its program gave young entrepreneurs opportunities to use technology in producing goods to undertake their activities for three years.

He said that the organisation provided them with working tools and other facilities, including machines as well as offer them intensive training on their activities.

“During the first year, entrepreneurs are given all facilities including working space for free, but they start paying half of the running costs in the second year and in the third year, they pay for all the costs,” Kilassa said.

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