Tanzania: Best Practice Case Studies

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Energy programs have been implemented across Africa and specifically the Eastern Africa by various organizations for over twenty-five years. Programs have evolved and improved by taking advantage of both formal and informal communication of program features and lessons learned. The best practice projects presented herein seek to build experience and knowledge by establishing a structure for sharing best practices to helpmeet today’s complex energy challenges.

Improved Mud Stoves at Madale Youth Centre, Tanzania

A participatory analysis conducted in March 2007 showed that households in Madale, Tanzania were using fire wood as their main source of energy for cooking. On average a family of 4 members used 2-3 bundles of firewood per week for cooking using an inefficient three stone stoves. As a result deforestation was rampant due to tree cutting for firewood collection, and this adversely impacted the environment. In addition, significant time and resources was also used by Madale centre women to find firewood.

The improved mud stoves intervention has allowed reduction of firewood consumption to between 50 and 60%. The households now need only one bundle of fire woods against the three bundles they used before with three stone stoves. On the other hand cooking time has also decreased substantially and equally important the level of deforestation. Adoption rate has been 96% following the fact that already 48 households out of 50 are currently using improved mud stoves. The remaining two families weree also finalizing construction of the mud improved wood stoves under consideration.

Implementation Strategy Approach

The strategy involved baseline data collection, participatory planning and target setting, demonstration and training, monitoring and evaluation.

Impacts and Benefits

Realised benefits and impacts included:

  • Time saving for women and children searching for fire wood for cooking
  • Reduced deforestation as a result of efficient improved mud stoves
  • Reduced time of cooking due to increased efficiency of the mud stoves
  • Increased time of women and children for other economic activities including horticulture.

Uzi Solar PV project, Tanzania

Uzi is located in south west part of Unguja Island. It has 3,200 inhabitants. The village is involved in agriculture and fishing. It is about 3km from stone built road which is only passable during low tide. The village is not connected to the grid and hence use of kerosene and diesel was rampant on the island which has negative impact on environment. Lack of awareness on alternative energy sources in the island triggered the need for demonstration project[1].

Tanzania Energy Situation - Solar Energy

Implementation Strategy Approach

The project started with baseline data collection on existing energy options, analysis of average household energy demands and feasible power options for the island. Solar PV system happened to be more relevant for the island. Fifty households were identified to participate in a pilot project. These households were divided into groups of 5 and each group provided with a 120Wp solar PV module, a 10A charge controller and an inverter. The households were responsible for buying their individual batteries. The houses were supposed to be within 300 metres from the selected central household where the module was installed. Each household is designated one day per week to charge its battery and return to connect it to his household circuit. The energy in the battery was enough to take them through out the week. For customers with televisions, they were allowed to charge two days a week.

The charging fee is TZS 2000 - 3000 and is meant to cover operational and replacement costs. Uzi Electricity Supply Committee was formed to collect fees and ensure the well being of the installed systems. An important parameter of the fee is that it was comparable to what they used to consume on kerosene or diesel for generators.

Impacts and Benefits

Twelve more households have been connected by the Uzi Committee. The households are not paying the investment cost of the entire system, but rather for what they consume. Participants in the pilot project are currently getting quality light and energy services for television at a cost lower than what they used to pay for kerosene and diesel. Reduced use of kerosene and diesel on the island has environmental benefits and the money saved money is additional income for the households under consideration.

Bitale Women Multifunctional Platform (MFP), Tanzania

The Chemi chemi group women in Bitale village and many other rural communities in Kigoma region spend a considerable time and energy to process palm oil from palm fruits. Four or more strong people or children absconding schools are supposed to rotate a locally made palm oil extractor. The efficiency of the extractor is as good as the strength of the four people rotating the traditional extractor. As such, a lot of palm oil used to remain in the palm cakes.

On the other hand, cracking palm kernels is done locally by using stones where one used one week to crack 20 kgs. Women and children therefore spent considerable time on this activity[2][3].

Multifunctional Platforms (MFP)

Implementation Strategy

After a baseline study, awareness campaigns were staged in the village on various energy options (including Multifunctional Platforms (MFPs)) to support their activities. The women group expressed a desire for a MFP. UNDP/GVEP project provided the MFP on revolving fund basis where, after repayment the funds would go to another village. The MFP is a power tiller which is able to till land, carries farm produce, does milling, pumps water and planned to generate electricity in the future. Other separate units for cracking palm nuts and palm oil processing including sterilization and clarification are also available.

Provision of the units was followed by capacity building i.e. demonstration and training on how to install, use and maintain.

Impacts and Benefits

Already the women group has generated income and paid back to UNDP the funds for procurement of the power tiller. Women and children are no longer involved in extraction of palm oil. The machine and operator are doing it at a very high efficiency. The amount of palm oil from a 200 l container has increased dramatically (between 20 to 30%) as a result of the high efficiency of the mechanical machines (MFP) employed. This in turn has positively impacted on income of the group.

Time spend for cracking palm nuts has decreased from 5 days for 20kg to 5 minutes only. Saved time is now used for other productive activities. More time is also available for children for education purposes.

On the other hand, palm oil processing costs have decreased subsequently increasing income.

Further Information


GTZ (2007): Eastern Africa Resource Base: GTZ Online Regional Energy Resource Base: Regional and Country Specific Energy Resource Database: VII - Best Practice Case Studies.

  1. TASEA (2007), “SunENERGY: TASEA RENEWABLE ENERGY MAGAZINE – ISSUES I”, Dar es salaam, Tanzania.
  2. Bariki Kaale (2007), “Introduction on Bitale MFP: Energy mainstreaming into Regional and District Programmes in Kigoma Region” UNDP/GVEP, Dar es Salaam
  3. Finias B. Magessa (2006), “Socio Economic Baseline Information for Bitale and Mahembe Villages Kigoma Region”, Dar es salam, Tanzania