Sustainable Charcoal Project
Residents of Kilosa district, Morogoro region have been urged to adapt the low-cost, efficient technology of using sustainable charcoal production to protect forests and restore the depleted environment in the region.
Morogoro region is endowed with several natural forests and mountains which are the main sources of water in the region and neighbouring regions, but the high rate of unsustainable use of forests puts the natural resources at risk.
The challenge was given over the weekend by the project manager on sustainable charcoal production from Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) Charles Leonard. The project which is engineered by TFCG in collaboration with the Tanzania Community Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA) is implemented in eight villages in the district.
The villages involved in the project include; Kigunga, Ihombwe, Msimbwa, Nyali, Doma, Isanga, Ulaya Kibaoni and Ulaya Mbuyuni.
The project manager said that the project has already identified charcoal-making households in the villages and will be trained on how to improve their production systems using low-cost, efficient technology such as the improved basic earth kilns and will be introduced to the market proposition of selling into branded markets.
“Kilosa district is endowed with natural forests which among other things regulates the climate, sources of water for many villages and brings rains for farming activities. This project is aimed at establishing a commercially viable value chain for legal purposes and sustainable production of charcoal,” he said.
He said that the overall goal is to improve climate changes adaptation and mitigation; to enhance environmental sustainability and to leverage returns on biomass resources; therefore, delivering sustainable development in Tanzania and its people.
According to him, a research shows that more than 90 residents living in urban areas use charcoal as source of energy for domestic use and for other purposes something that has accelerated forest depletion.
As a result, it is estimated that more than one hundred thousand acres of forests are lost every year due to unsustainable charcoal production.
For her part, Advocacy officer for MJUNITA Elida Fundi, said that apart from causing shortage of rains and other agricultural associated problems, forest degradation also deprives vast biodiversity including lives of flora and fauna which depend on forests as their habitat.
The six-year project was launched in June 2012 in the district and is being implemented in partnership between Tanzania Community Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA) and Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) and financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).