ICSEE (T) is delighted to announce that for the first time, the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project is now available in the Serengeti.
The Maasai live in Tanzania and Kenya, many near near the most famous areas in East Africa for the protection and conservation of wildlife. Maasai and other tribal villages ring these famous parks which are recognized as international treasures.
We’re happy to note an important recent development. The East African and European agencies and authorities that focus on wildlife and natural resources are changing. They are realizing that sustainable reserve management needs to include assistance to the people living near the protected areas.
The Maasai Stoves & Solar Project’s work is important for the protection of the conservation areas because of the people’s need for firewood. With sixty percent less firewood required, our stove decreases the pressure on the woodlands in and near the parks.
From Kisioki Moitiko on conservation
A big goal of the Project is to ensure that communities living near Serengeti National Park utilize the community woodland in a sustainable way. Therefore, installing our energy-saving stoves in a sample of family homes will demonstrate reduced demand for firewood. When scaled up, this will maintain the sustainability of the community woodlands, and consequently reduce pressure along the Serengeti.
Stoves to the Bariadi District
Joyce Mungure of the Tanzania National Parks Authority, TANAPA, heard about our stoves and wanted to introduce them to the Sukuma People of Bariadi District, shown in the map above.
The Sukuma tribe is Tanzania’s largest.The Bariadi area, east of Lake Victoria, is of special concern. The Sukuma people living there are farmers and livestock keepers. Their houses are larger than those of the Maasai, but also poorly ventilated. And the people cook indoors with open fires as the Maasai do, with the same serious health challenges present.
Ms. Mungure knew that our smoke-removing and efficient wood stoves would be attractive to the people. She appreciated that increased efficiency in their wood use would be especially valuable to provide to the people who live in close proximity to the conservation area.
Getting started with stoves
Bariadi is far from ICSEE headquarters. Because many of the resources needed to initiate a new Project are not yet available there, we transported the necessary equipment, materials, and staff.
In fact, our staff and trainers from the Women’s Installation Team love to travel to see new places and meet new people. And the village of Matongo has proven to be a very interesting place to work.
We transported components for fifty stoves along with a brickmaking machine. After completing the training, we returned the machine to headquarters but we will manufacture a new machine in Arusha to be sent to the area.
Kisioki Moitiko continues his report from the field:
ICSEE(T) brought a team of experts to Matongo to initiate the work there.
These included the three women, Esupat Loseku, Leah Laiza and Raeli Philipo, and three ICSEE permanent staff members, Kone Meshuko, myself, and Saibulu Laiza. Three brickmaking experts from our factory in the Rift Valley also joined us.
We have good experience with Village Cooperative Banks in our work organizing widows. We were glad the Serengeti groups were organized in what they called a Community Cooperative Bank, which has the same framework.
Thirty members contribute weekly to their bank, from which they are able to take low-interest loans to support conservation-friendly income generating activities.
Here is a summary of accomplishments:
Trained six Community Conservation Bank (COCOBA) group members in Bariadi District on brick manufacture for the ICSEE energy-saving stoves Trained 15 COCOBA group members on stove construction Constructed and installed 25 ICSEE stoves Produced enough bricks for 50 stoves
The first 25 stoves are complete and in use in Matongo. The village trainees are in the process of completing the next 25.
Growing our reach
Although it is relatively expensive to bring our stoves that far, we have left behind a good team of people who are in the process of installing the rest, while training the community on the techniques.
This provides a strong foundation for continuation through time.. The visibility of the Project has already brought serious inquiries from other Serengeti groups.
We’ll continue to deliver stove parts to the Bariadi region while Ms. Mungere locates sources to continue to fund the costs. She plans to buy at least 50 more stoves to install in the region.
We are grateful to Ms. Mungere for spearheading this effort, and we are very happy to have the opportunity to bring these life improvements to the people, in growing numbers.