Tanzania: Household Energy Case Studies


A Household energy demand and use
B Household Energy Supply
C Household Energy Sector Governace
D Household Energy Information
E Household Energy Case Studies

E. Household energy case studies

The following sketched information is based on KAALE and HIFAB (1998), who conducted a rural energy study.

A low income rural family was observed, living in a house built of burnt bricks and thatched with grass. The annual household income reaches TShs. 180,000 or EURO - 250. It is a family of ten, made up of a couple with eight children, two boys and six girls. The household is located in Isela village, Shinyanga Region, in the Northern Tanzania (approximately 2° South and 36° East; semi-arid climate with a vegetation cover made up of savanna / miombo woodland).

The head of the household, aged 44, is a farmer. In his family, five people are productive and five are juvenile dependants (still attending school). The main economic activities of the family are farming and livestock rearing. The wife manages the household (cooking, cleaning and fetching wood or farm residues).

As family head, the farmer decides on household spending, however in consultation with his wife (who is in charge of acquisition and use of energy for cooking, and preparation of the meals). Income sources include sales of cotton, maize, peanuts, dairy products and surplus cattle. No formal banking/credit services are available in the village, but the household may raise capital through a traditional micro-finance credit arrangement (Ifog'onho).

Food preparation is done by the wife and her elder daughters, with some occasional help from the other children. Construction of the house and the kitchen was accomplished with the help of neighbors and relatives. The kitchen house is a simple structure, based on the traditional designs. The main house has three rooms, which are shared between the couple, daughters and sons, respectively. Cold periods (mainly June and July) restrict the family's daily routing (family members gather round the kitchen fire, and retire to bed early after dinner).

Fuels used for cooking and heating include farm residues (maize cobs, cotton stalks, cow dung, and - more rarely - wood). For lighting, kerosene is used in a wick-lamp. There is a strong seasonal variation in the availability of crop residues, depending on which crop is being harvested at a given time. Biomass fuels are also used for burning bricks and brewing beer. Wife and elder Children are responsible for collecting/supplying fuel, which activity takes one to two hours per week. The family spends about Tsh. 3000 monthly on kerosene. They are mostly ignorant of improved technologies, and have only heard about improved wood stoves, which are not available in the village. The women would, however, prefer to acquire more efficient stoves and better lighting appliances.

Entertainment and communications is provided by a dry cell powered radio, which is the main source of information outside the village. Electricity is used for charging a cellular phone and communication.

Last edited by Miriam Hansen .
Page last modified on Sunday September 19, 2010 17:25:31 GMT.
  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.

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