Dar es Salaam. The Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office (Union and Environment) January Makamba said on Thursday that the use of charcoal would go down drastically if other energy sources like Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are sold at affordable prices.
Currently, industry data show that 88.2 per cent of Tanzanian households use charcoal as their main source of domestic energy.
But speaking during the 3rd Mwananchi Thought Leadership Forum in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, February 7, 2019, Mr Makamba said much as the country needs to discourage charcoal usage, the best way to go about the plan was to reduce LPG prices.
“Majority of Tanzania’s households cannot afford the price of alternative sources of energy like gas. I therefore encourage the relevant stakeholders to reduce the price in order to enable Tanzanians to use the energy source,” said Mr Makamba.
He said since the production and trading in charcoal was a huge business in the country, it was impossible for the government to strike a ban on the use of charcoal.
“Charcoal business is among potential sources of revenues for local government authorities…I acknowledge that charcoal business employs a large number of Tanzanians but it also has a lot of negative impacts to the environment,” he said.