Moving from Charcoal Use to Alternative Sources of Energy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Emmanuel Patroba Mhache


Reducing pressure on forest resources by promoting alternative sources of energy may significantly protect the environment and attract healthy ecosystems. This paper investigated the manner in which charcoal users can switch to alternative sources of energy in Tanzania. It draws data from a study that was conducted in Dar es Salaam region, where the use of charcoal is widely pronounced.The paper involved 108 respondents; including heads of households, officials, and charcoal users. Questionnaires, interviews, observation tools and documentary review methods were employed in data collection. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS version 20, while qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. The results suggest that about 75.9% and 14.8% of the respondents depended on charcoal and gas, respectively. The low prices of charcoal and peoples’ perceptions on charcoal are the main reasons influencing the overdependence on charcoal. Availability, reliability and affordability of charcoal are the main reasons why people are not ready to abandon charcoal and shift to alternative energy sources.The paper recommends that urban dwellers be encouraged to use alternative energy sources such as gas and electricity. Subsidizing prices/ tariffs of alternative energy sources may encourage the use of alternative energy sources. Adoption of the use of efficient and energy saving stoves may also reduce dependence on charcoal. This can be done in different ways such as providing energy saving stoves to people for free or at subsidized prices. Thus, the government, NGOs, environmental stakeholders, and others should finance energy saving stoves.

Keywords:alternative energy sources, charcoal, Dar es Salaam, fuel-wood, charcoal use

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