Mtwara. A renewable energy project in Newala District by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Tanzania) in partnership with a Mtwara-based civil societyorganisation (CSO).
The project is being implemented at Miyuyu Village, and is bringing hopes of reversing the fortunes of Mbwinji Catchment Area and protects it from drying up, contributing to climate change mitigation.
Miyuyu is one of the four villages selected to become renewable energy village models under a WWF project whose objective is to ensure renewable solutions meet all energy needs by 2050.
The other villages are Mabilioni (Northern Zone), Pandagichiza (Lake Zone) and Mkungugu (Southern Zone).
According to WWF’s Energy and Extractive Programme coordinator Savinus Kessy, the project aims at ensuring increased capacity and engagement of the civil societies and a sustainable energy transition in the country as part of a larger sustainable energy transition in eastern and southern Africa.
Various types of technologies are tested as part of efforts of the transition towards sustainable energy.
Mr Kessy said that the project aims at, among other objectives, seeking to influence the community on the use of renewable energy technologies that reduce use of firewood and charcoal which accelerate deforestation and the climate change phenomenon.
He mentioned renewable technologies as including improved cooking stoves, solar power and the use of solar driers for food and other materials preservation and other interventions that are compatible to renewable energy at the village and Newala District, in general.
A total of 189 improved Cooking Stoves, 45 solar PVs (in five classrooms, one teacher’s house, one Village Council office and 38 households) and two solar driers have been installed in the village.
MASHA secretary Veronica Chabruma said that installation of improved cooking stoves would enhance the reduction of trips searching for fire wood per week allowing women to focus on other social and economic issues.
Ms Chabruma said that considering the number of households (280) that are covered by the project, the number of improved cooking stoves installed in the village is an achievement and a hope for contributing to rehabilitation of the Mbwinji Catchment ares and climate change mitigation.
“Project beneficiaries have been taught on how to install solar panels and installation of Improved Cooking Stoves and tree nursery management,” she added.
The project, which is currently on the second phase, also according to Mr Kessy, focuses on promoting reforestation at Miyuyu Village and around Mbwinji Water Catchment area. “The project is further looking to empower communities to switch to alternative livelihoods which are environment friendly to sustain the project,” he said.
Mbwinji water catchment is an important water catchment area in east southern regions covering Lindi and Mtwara regions. The catchment provides water to two districts namely, Masasi and Nachingwea. It supplies water to Ndanda referral hospital and Ndanda high school.
Currently, Mbwinji water catchment loss its vegetationstatus and become to dry. The outcome has started to be observed as that there’s water scarce and water deliverance shifts in mentioned districts.
MASHA Director, Allan Mkopoka said that the project desires to see a restored Mbwinji Catchment area which is crucial to Masasi and Nachingwea Township.
He said that the catchment would also facilitate the maintenance of hydro-ecological stability of the area and also act as a carbon sink due to its wetland properties.