In Tanzania UNEP DTU Partnership is part of improving access to cleaner energy while helping sustainable businesses and creating better conditions for some of the most vulnerable people in Africa.
The Tanzania Traditional Energy Development Organisation (TaTEDO) has developed a business plan to supply locally produced improved cookstoves with funds administered by UNEP DTU Partnership.
The improved cookstoves will help reduce the wasteful consumption of wood fuels for cooking and heating, bring down high costs for users and reduce harm to both health and the environment.
The project finance come from successful businesses paying back loans they received through the African Rural Energy Enterprise Development (AREED) facility, managed by UN Environment and UNEP DTU Partnership, which invested in local enterprises offering cleaner energy products and services in rural Africa.
Read more about the distribution of reflow funds for African social enterprises working with clean and renewable energy here.
No stakeholder left behind
Through TaTEDO and the reflow funds from AREED, managed by UNEP DTU Partnership, business and market development for scaling up supply and demand of improved cookstoves in Tanzania has started to have significant impacts.
This is felt in the entire value chain, from stove production, marketing and sales to end use. With the added value, no stakeholder in this chain is left behind.
With the help of the funds from AREED different initiatives within the project have taken place. According to project coordinator, Shukuru Bartholomew Meena, TaTEDO has been able to procure different machines to improve production capacity of the improved cookstoves.
“Initially our workshops had capacity to produce few improved cookstoves for households, but with the support from AREED, TaTEDO has managed to procure and install different machines to facilitate quality and increased production of a wide range of different institutional and household improved cookstoves.”
According to Shukuru Bartholomew Meena the invested reflow funds have been invested in further mechanizing the workshop, leading to lower-cost production.
“Production of Improved Institutional cookstoves requires better working tools than the ordinary ones we had before, with the new machines that we have installed with the support from AREED, our future in the market of improved cookstoves is promising and bright” he concludes.
“Capital was a problem”
Thanks to new marketing activities, also funded by the funds from AREED, consumers are beginning to realize the benefits of improved cookstoves.
“With the information I got from the leaflet and staff at the pavilion, I made a decision to order the oven. At the moment I am baking cakes and breads that I sell to my neighbors, shops and students in the nearby school. My income status has changed, I make more than TZS 25,000 everyday (11 USD), this is great improvement for my family”, says Doreen Paul, one of TaTEDO’s customers.
The project is continuously expanding its network of distributors and sales agents in Tanzania where partnerships with a local manufacturer of cookstoves and a micro-finance institution helps facilitate rollout.
“Previously, capital was a problem. After being introduced to the loan as working capital, I have now started making orders of up to 40 stoves in a month. As the community becomes more aware I will increase my order to more than 100 stoves and hopefully realize the extra income”, concludes Rosada Kimaro who is a sales agent in Himo Kilamanjaro.
Rosada Kimaro adds that she sees lack of capital as a limitation to most small entrepreneurs to establish or expand energy product businesses.
The killer in the kitchen
Inefficient cook stoves and cooking over open fires is often referred to as “the killer in the kitchen”. The smoke and micro particles is estimated to cause more than 3.9 million deaths, every year, with women and children the primary victims.
But the AREED funds invested in TaTEDO not only has a positive impact on women’s health issues.
Mrs. Livan Mboya is another sales agent in Dar es Salaam who has been active for more than 5 years selling improved cook stoves. She sees this business as a tool of female empowerment
“Since I started being a sales agent, I have seen myself growing from one level to another, all my needs comes from this business, I am able to pay for my children fees through this business.”
The use of revolving funds has not only helped the sales agents but also the stove artisans. Most of them lack working capital which has led them in the past into buying low quality materials for stoves production which results into poor stoves products.
Improving access to clean energy across Africa
Through the dissemination of information, TaTEDO hopes to increase awareness on the benefits and potential of improved cook stoves as more and more beneficiaries are accessing quality stoves.
On a broader scale UNEP DTU Partnership is expecting more achievements while supporting the establishment of social energy enterprises in Africa to improve access to clean energy services.