Reducing firewood consumption with efficiency in the kitchen

Since 1990, Tanzania has lost approximately 27% of its forest cover - equating to around 11 million hectares. As the population grows, the speed of destruction will only increase.

Left unchecked, this will result in environmental destruction, soil degradation, greater poverty - and, ultimately, conflict. 

While LTT can do little to address this macro problem, we can try to address the micro problem.

Schools consume a vast amount of firewood while preparing students' meals. This can be reduced with fuel-efficient kitchens, while action can be taken to create greater supplies of firewood in the future.

Help us establish fuel efficient stoves in more schools so we can make impacts now

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Reduce the demand for firewood

The traditional method of cooking in schools leaves much to be desired when it comes to fuel efficiency. Cooks prepare meals over an open fire, using three stones to create a tripod for their pots. Large sticks then burn under the pot to generate the heat for cooking - a process which is hugely inefficient .

We want to provide every school in Babati with a fuel-efficient stove, which will reduce the area's firewood consumption by over 50%.

By enclosing the fire in a 'rocket stove', with heat shared from one fire for two pots, the amount of wood needed for cooking is significantly reduced. What is more, the smoke can easily be directed away from the kitchen, reducing the risk of ill health to the cook. We can even achieve further fuel efficiency by training cooks in additional energy-saving techniques.

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Establish a sustainable supply

As well as reducing fuel consumption, we want schools to generate their own fuel. This can be achieved with a carefully planned tree nursery and tree planting programme, which all schools are encouraged to implement. 

  1. Each year, a school will grow 100-200 saplings.
  2. 50% of the saplings are planted in the school while 50% are sold - generating income to cover the cost of the following year's saplings.
  3. In about 10 years' time, the school can harvest their trees as needed, selling surplus trees for additional school income.

This simple model not only helps schools generate more income; it also means they no longer add to the problem of local deforestation.