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Tanzania Project: Smokeless Stove programme

Tanzania Project: Smokeless Stove programme


Latest update

Project Completed: June 2012

Phase three of the smokeless stoves project was designed to build further capacity in the community, to further increase awareness of the health and environmental benefits of using efficient stoves and the importance of proper ventilation in kitchens, and to facilitate the construction of an additional 51 stoves.

A community capacity building meeting was held to provide the community with the skills, training and knowledge to sustain the stoves project. Awareness-raising activities were undertaken by 90 trained youth, targeting 540 households in nine villages. In addition, the youth constructed 51 efficient stoves. The community has taken ownership of the project, and created tools to facilitate construction and awareness-raising activities, and to monitor and evaluate their actions.

The new stoves perform well and the communities report that the anticipated benefits have been realised.

Thank you for supporting this project!

Posted: June 2012 – View Project Photo Gallery


Geita District, Mwanza Region, Tanzania.

Project Objective

* To build 140 smokeless stoves
* To provide training to 70 local people
* To increase community awareness
* To reduce carbon emissions

Who is Involved?

After successfully completing a number of projects around the world and in particulary Nepal, we are proud to be in a in partnership with Plan to fund a Smokeless Stove programme in Tanzania.

Project Background

The Geita District is located in the Mwanza Region, it is bordered to the South and the West by Shinyanga Region, to the North by the Sengerema District and to the East by the Misungwi District. Geita has 7 divisions, 33 wards and a total number of 185 registered villages.
According to the 2002 census Geita has a population of 712,195 people (Male 355,823 and 356,372 female)

The main economic activities in Geita are farming, livestock keeping, trading, fishing and mining. However, the main activity is farming which comprises 77% of the population in Geita. The main crops grown are maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, beans and bananas.
Geita is one of the main gold producing areas in the country with Geita Gold Mine being Tanzania’s largest Gold producer. This has resulted to an influx of people migrating to Geita to seek employment, which has had major environmental effects to the district.

Geita District has been highly affected by de-forestation, the majority of people in rural areas of Geita are entirely dependent on firewood while many town residents use charcoal for all their fuel needs. Hardly anyone has access to gas or electricity except in the largest towns. The district’s close proximity to Mwanza Region, which is one of the fastest growing cities in Tanzania due to its booming mining and fishing industry has also placed great pressure on Geita’s natural resource.

Cooking over open, indoor fires has had a detrimental effect on the health of women and children in particular. Exposure to high levels of pollutants from wood smoke cause eye and lung problems. Rural women walk increasingly long distances to collect wood and carry heavy bundles home on average 2 or 3 times per week. Due to the lack of community awareness on the effects of pollutants from wood smoke to the eyes, elderly women have fallen victim of superstitious beliefs by some community members that elderly women with red eyes are witches. This has caused more than 196 elderly women to be killed in six regions of the country last year alone, Shinyanga being on top with 50 murders and Mwanza being the second highest with 38 murders.

Women’s Empowerment
Rural women spend long hours collecting fuel wood. This puts women at a greater disadvantage as it prevents them from having time to participate in other productive, educational, or income generating activities. As a result women in the district are the poorest members of community.

How is Exodus helping?

Funding the Project:
Exodus are donating £21,697 to implement 140 smokeless stoves in seven villages and train 70 members of the community to ensure sustainability. This programme will impact greatly on the health of the communities, particularly the women and children. With client donations we hope to be able to scale up the project and help more villages.

Reducing Carbon Emissions:
The implementation of smokeless stoves will reduce the demand for trees for fuel which will help lessen the pressure on the vegetation of the region and enable regeneration to take place.The reduced amount of firewood used will importantly help reduce carbon emissions.

Community Awareness:
Community members will be consulted and made aware of the importance of planting trees, hence preserving the natural resources of Geita for future generations. There will be less time needed to go and collect firewood which will mean particularly for the women they have more time to do more worthwhile activities and will help empower them. Through the introduction of smokeless stoves and communities being sensitized, the lives of elderly women will be safeguarded and prolonged, as they won’t be subjected to brutal murders.

Where will the project be implemented?

The project will be implemented in IIhanamilo ward which has seven villages which are Nyanguku (2,134 population), Ikulwa (4,612 population), Shinamwenda (2,287 population), Bunegezi (3,105 population), Mwagimagi (1,585 population), Nyakato (3,717 population) and Igenge (2,624 population).

The ward was selected based on the increase environmental degradation that is taking place in the area and also the outbreak in the number of elderly women being murdered due to superstitious principles associated with elderly women with red eyes.

Explanation of Project and Targets

Project Activities

1. Community Sensitization (talking to and building a relationship with the communities so they can understand why and how Plan can work with them):

• Village leaders will be sensitized on smokeless stoves and the benefits it will have to their communities’ for example: elderly women who have been subjected to murders and other forms of abuse and the effects of cutting trees without having any form of control.
• Communities will be sensitized on the consequences of environmental degradation in tree cutting, effects of smoke both in health and physical perspectives and on how to construct smokeless stoves and usage of smokeless stoves.

2. Training of builders:

• The implementing partners will work directly with communities to deliver improved stoves. They will work closely with the village leaders to select suitable villagers to train as stove builders. Training takes 5 days and includes theory and practical sessions.
• 10 stove builders will be trained per village (7 villages will be part of the training).
• Each trainee will build a stove for two households during training. Stove builders will be provided with a manual to refer back to. Priority will be given to households with elderly women and small children.

3. Monitoring:

• Monitoring will be conducted by the implementing partner once the stove builders have completed building the stoves in the 1st identified household in order to check the standard of the stoves built, help stove owners learns how to use them and resolve any problems that might arise. The second monitoring will be done once the stove building for the 2nd household identified has been completed.

To view the planned breakdown of the cost please click here


This project will directly benefit 140 households in 7 villages in Geita and will indirectly benefit 20,064 community members of IIhanamilo ward.

Related Trips

Currently none of our trips run to this region. However, there will be a special departure in 2009 that will enable clients to visit the communities where Exodus and Plan have helped re-build community life


December 2011

Due to Plan’s partnership with a local organisation, they have managed to make some savings on the original costs, and as a result we are pleased to report we still have $4,399 left in the budget.

Plan propose to use these funds to construct a further 51 stoves in vulnerable households. They also want to encourage households to share resources in order to make stoves more affordable. A capacity building meeting will be held in February 2012 to provide community leaders, youth and village environmental committees with the skills, training and knowledge required to sustain the stoves project.

After the meeting, each of the 90 young people who were trained to build the stoves will visit 6 households in their respective villages to inform their community of how sharing materials will reduce costs. In the case of the Rocket stove, if households share cement and lime the costs are reduced from $18 to $6 per household. A total of 540 households will be reached in this way.

This is the third and final phase of the project. Thank you for supporting this project!

October 2010

Our Sales & Marketing Director recently climbed Kilimanjaro with an Exodus Special Group and made a field visit to the smokeless stoves project. Ben was delighted to report that ‘Progress has been excellent. So far 90 youth have been trained across 9 different villages and 180 Rocket Stoves have been constructed. The ‘mamas’ are really enjoying cooking on their new stoves. We’re making a really positive impact on the local communities’.

Phase One Results:
1. 90 youth have been trained.
2. 180 ‘Rocket’ stoves have been constructed.
3. Positive feedback from the villagers. Less smoke, less cooking time, less firewood, safer… The field visit was to Bunegezi, Mwagimagi and Buhalahala villages. Overall about 20 households were visited and review discussions were held with the village elders, Plan staff and the trained youth.

Raising Funds:
Kilimanjaro Fundraising Trek – In July 2010 five Exodus clients embarked on a fundraising trek to The Roof Of Africa. Congratulations to Pippa Chambers, Rhianna Wakely, Ian Jenner, Samuel Woodhams and Alexander Woodhams. Between them they raised over £2,000 for the project which is outstanding. Well done.
Royal Parks Half Marathon – Ben ran the Royal Parks half marathon for the second year running on the 10th October raising over £1,000.
We have completed the current fund raising for this project.

Phase Two: (October 2010 to March 2011)
The second wave of funding is now being implemented. This is intended to ensure sustainability and roll-out of the technology in Geita District. Funding has been provided for the construction of a further 90 stoves in the existing project area. The youth will not be paid to install the stoves but we are providing transport and meals as they will be working out in the field away from their homes. In addition to the building materials we will also provide the youth with the tools that they can take away with them and use to build more stoves independently.

November 2009

We are delighted to announce that Exodus runners, Ben, Sophie, Brendan and Emma all successfully completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon and between them, raised over £2,000 which will go directly towards the Smokeless Stove project in Tanzania.

The project is now well underway and we are pleased to hear that communities in the Geita District are seeing both health and environmental benefits already.

To view full update, please download the PDF document.

September 2009

On Sunday October 11th four members of the Exodus team will be participating (running!) in the Royal Parks Half Marathon. They will be fund-raising for the Smokeless Stove Community Programme that Exodus have established in partnership with the community development charity Plan UK.

Exodus are sponsoring a programme in the Geita District of Tanzania to provide 140 smokeless stoves in seven villages and train 70 members of the community to ensure sustainability. This area of Tanzania has been highly affected by deforestation and there are serious health implications with constantly cooking over open indoor fires. The programme will positively impact on the general health within these communities, particularly the women and children.

The programme will cost approx. £20,000 but through extra fund-raising like this we hope to scale up the project and help more villages.

If you would like to support one of us? Click on a name for their individual fund raising page Sophie, Emma, Brendan or Ben.


May 2009

Ready for the challenge
Last year two runners from Exodus ran the London Royal Parks Half Marathon in aid of Plan UK Smokeless Stove project in Tanzania. In October this year, four members of the Exodus team will run for the project, with the aim to raise GBP1,200.

If you would like to register for the run as a group or individual contact Clare Cowley at Plan on

For the April report from Plan, please download the PDF document


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