Promoting environmental conservation to boost resilience in Tanzania

The Danish Refugee Council boosts access to access to alternative energy sources and promoting environmental conservation in refugee camps and host communities in Kigoma region.

On 9 March 2022, DRC will officially launch its 3-year energy and environment project funded by the Embassy of Denmark in Tanzania. The project works with host communities and refugees to address two sides of the same coin: the need to contribute to the environment conservation and alternative source of energy for cooking, all while contributing to livelihoods.

This ambitious project relies on a collaboration between local communities and refugees to contribute to the reforestation and environmental regeneration efforts in Kakonko, Kibondo and Kasulu. DRC and community members have already produced 600,000 indigenous tree seedlings for afforestation, which will also generate an income for almost 2,000 people through the production of fruits.

Growing trees alone is, however, not sufficient to regenerate the land if the wood is later chopped for firewood for cooking. DRC will therefore work with local communities to produce char, the raw ingredient for the bio-briquettes produced by refugees – an efficient alternative to firewood that can safely be used for cooking in energy-saving stoves.

The Danish Ambassador, Ms. Mette Nørgaard Dissing-Spandet, said, “we are pleased to support this project, because it will improve access to and use of bio-briquettes as alternative energy for cooking. This will make a difference not only to the environment but also to those women and girls who would be less at risk when they do not have to go and collect firewood for cooking. As more than 750,000 trees are expected to be planted, the project will directly contribute to afforestation and with additional training on environmental protection and bio-briquette production, it will present micro- and small-scale business and income generating opportunities especially for vulnerable people.“

On his part, Stephan Deutekom, DRC’s Country Director said, “I believe the key to this project is that it looks at the bigger picture. It addresses the urgent need to protect the environment, find alternatives to firewood and generate an income. We work hand-in-hand with local communities, refugees and local authorities to make sure that the project revolves around their needs.”