Op-EdWomen

Empowering Tanzanian Women: Clean Cooking Energy in the Face of Climate Change

Prepared by Upendo Mwakyusa

Climate change poses significant risks to women in Africa and particularly Tanzania from family levels to society levels, level in terms of economic, social, and health implications.

As the impacts of climate change intensify, women in Africa are disproportionately affected due to their roles in the household and society. According to United Nations statistics 80 percent of women are being displaced due to climate change.

This lead to increased vulnerability to violence, exploitation, and trafficking. Furthermore, women may also face increased responsibilities in caring for children and elderly family members as a result of climate-induced migration and stress on social services Women are often responsible for agriculture and food production in many African countries, and changes in weather patterns, such as prolonged droughts or excessive rainfall, that leads to crops growth failures and decreased food security.

This results to an in increased poverty and malnutrition for women and their families, not only that due to women demands on cooking energy they have been facing various gender based violence as they walk miles away to fetch fire woods and other kind of cooking energy so they can cook for their families.

On top of that some of them their healthy have been at risk due to usage of unclean cooking energy due to reliance on traditional biomass fuels like wood, charcoal and crops residues. These kind of cooking energies contributes to indoor air pollution leading to respiratory diseases and other health problems to women.

The exposure to smoke of the unclean energies has been linked to respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD) diseases according to (WHO) AND DHS).

Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, the President of United Republic of Tanzania, has recognized the importance of clean cooking for African women and in December 2022 at COP28 she launched a program to promote access to clean cooking energy to African women.

Through the Vice president’s office ministry of environment and union on 9th March 2024 we witnessed the commitment of our government on increasing access of clean energy to Tanzania women upon the commemoration of Women’s celebration day and month.

In Tanzania we have also witnessed the commitment on clean cooking energy adoption through various members of parliament such as Neema Lugangira who has been very active on promoting and supporting women in cooking entrepreneurship by providing access to clean cooking energy, this has also been pushed by other private sectors and companies such as Cocacola.

By providing women with affordable and sustainable alternatives like clean cookstoves and biogas systems, all these initiatives improves the health and well-being of families, reduce environmental degradation, and empower women to take control of their lives.

Tanzanian population with approximately 51 percent being covered by women, this is according to the 2022 census, we need to understand clean cooking energy is not only promoted to enhance protection of women health and rescue them from gender-based violence, clean cooking energy but also plays a vital role in reducing emission and thereby fostering cleaner environment for all. Y

Transitioning to clean energy is crucial step in mitigating climate change and reducing greenhouse gases emission, although we contribute less in emissions we still experience the impacts and the climate change shocks keeps threatening us day by day and with that in mind we cannot be silent and still we also have a part to do in this fight.

If all families or half of the families decides to embrace on clean energy the impact on environment would be substantial, and the collective shift towards cleaner cooking energies will significantly contribute to reduction in carbon emission and preserve our natural resources.

It is right time for private and government sectors to join hands and promote sustainable clean energy solutions that will benefit our environment and empower Tanzania women.

Through commitments that provides accessible and affordable clean energy options that cater to every household regardless of their economic status.

Without forgetting spreading awareness on significance of adoption of clean energies especially to the families or communities where the knowledge is low and access to information on these issues is poor, and by also considering cost effective and sustainable clean cooking energy initiatives we can ensure that clean cooking is within reach of all Tanzanians and by doing so we will create and raise a healthier and greener future for all.

Prepared by Upendo Mwakyusa. Founder and Executive Director Call For Environmental Conservation Organization

Upendo Mwakyusa. Founder and Executive Director Call For Environmental Conservation Organization

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1 Comment

  • Neema Mtenga
    Neema Mtenga
    May 23, 2024 at 8:42 pm

    Well written and informative.
    Congratulations Upendo your contributions in adapting to climate change effects are valuable.

    Reply

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