Since it takes wood to produce charcoal, Tanzania suffers an annual loss of 400,000 hectares of forests with the main culprit behind this depletion of its major natural resources being the domestic fuel demand.
All urban centres’ residents use charcoal as the main domestic source of fuel while their rural counterparts still relie on firewood but both of these have to do with axes and chainsaw chopping down natural forests.
It is estimated that Tanzania’s urban centers consume over one million tons of charcoal every year with nearly 500,000 tons being burned annually, and half of it consumed in the country’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.
High costs of alternative and much cleaner fuel sources such as gas and electricity continue to drive the reliance on wood and charcoal for the 80 percent of the population.
State organs and Non-Governmental Organizations have tried various strategies to address the problem, but little has been achieved in curbing deforestation. This has been partly contributed by poor technology used in burning charcoal. Other factors include limited alternative sources of energy, as well as weak law enforcement mechanisms ....