Learning and Reflection

Gender and Energy

The sustainable development goal (SDG) number seven entails “Affordable and clean energy” it aims to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.  As stated “Of the total energy consumption in Tanzania, 88 percent is estimated to originate from fuel wood, 7 percent from petroleum, 4 percent from charcoal, and 1 percent from hydropower. This means that 92 percent of total energy is derived directly from biomass”1. In addition this biomass is used for “Fuel wood constitutes 96.6% and 4.2% of cooking and lighting fuel respectively in rural areas (Kaale, 2005).”1

INTERFINi has been working in energy industry for over ten years in Tanzania, hence seen the transformation made through rural electrification done by the Rural Energy Agency (REA). Electricity in rural areas has increased domestic working time for women through lighting during the night and study time for students whilst leaving the use of energy saving appliances for cooking therefore not reduced the workload to women.

Significant efforts have been made in Tanzania to improve the thermal efficiency from 7–12 of the traditionally used three stone fuel wood stoves to about 20% of the brick or metal stoves designed by several NGOs, however, adoption rate is generally low due to lack of skills and technical assistance on how to construct them.

During the Jan – March 2022 quarterly visit INTERFINi conducted survey to 40 Villages in 09 Regions, found that out of 59 interviewee responded on energy the use for cooking; 07 are using gas, 31 are using charcoal and 41 using firewood. A large percentage of Tanzanians live in rural area 75% still depend on energy from fire wood.

Since women are the prime users of the fuel wood as energy for their domestic needs at home. They feel the strain (of walking long distance to collect firewood and smoke from their firewood) more than men of acquiring for the family.

The women need to be given skills and equipment on how to use clean energy (stoves) but affordable for their domestic activities. Access to clean energy will lead to improvement of health, minimized consumption of wood, provide time for women for other development activities, promotion of the utilization of local resources and enhanced environmental sanitation by utilizing waste products such as sawdust and rice husks whose disposal is sometimes a problem. In addition, women and youths can be given skills to create these clean energy stoves that will also improve their economic conditions.