Govt sets end date of charcoal, firewood for institutions

THE government has announced to cease the use of firewood and charcoal in public and private institutions in Tanzania Mainland that prepare food and feed more than 100 people per day by January 31, 2024.

It has also directed the institutions that prepare food and feed more than 300 people to cease the use of firewood and charcoal by January 31, 2025.

Announcing the government’s decision in Dodoma yesterday, the Minister of State in the Vice- President’s Office (Environment and Union), Dr Seleman Jafo said that the institutions will be required to use safe and clean renewable cooking energy.

“With the authority bestowed to me under Article 13 of the Environmental Management Law Chapter 191, I issue this prohibition to the institutions with the numbers mentioned above to stop the use of charcoal and firewood by the mentioned time,” he said.

Dr Jafo explained that the government intends to reduce environmental, health, social and economic impacts resulting from the use of firewood and charcoal and it already has prepared a National Vision for the Use of Clean Cooking Energy as well as a Strategic Plan for the Implementation of the Vision for the period of 10 years until 2033.

He said that the vision has explained the cessation of the use of these energies for large users who are public and private institutions.

“Accessibility of charcoal and firewood is easy but their uses affects the users health by causing diseases resulted by inhaling dirty air that affects the lungs, heart and respiratory systems especially to children,” he said.

In addition, Dr Jafo explained that the government’s priority is to build an industrial economy, so the use of renewable cooking energy will provide an opportunity for factories to produce alternative charcoal in parallel with producing standardised and efficient stoves for the efficient use of such energy.

“The 2019 third report on the state of the environment in the country shows that the rate of forest destruction is high and there are more than 469,420 hectares of forests being deforested due to production of firewood and charcoal,” said Dr Jafo.

“It is estimated that 16 per cent of the land has been damaged and is facing the spread of desert and drought states due to unsustainable activities including deforestation for the aim of having firewood and charcoal for cooking,” he added.

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