Dar es Salaam. The European Union (EU) and the government of Tanzania have awarded five grants to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as part of their commitment to environmental sustainability and climate action in Tanzania.
A statement released on Wednesday stated that the grants amounting to Sh26.1 billion have been allocated under the EU-funded Integrated Approach to Sustainable Cooking Solutions Programme.
In Tanzania, the programme aims to address the challenges of the cooking energy sector to improve livelihoods, empower women, and reduce climate change impacts.
With charcoal as Tanzania’s primary cooking energy source, the program recognises its unsustainable production, environmental damage, and contribution to deforestation and forest degradation.
The organisations are expected to implement various projects across Tanzania focusing on sustainable forest management and wood-fuel production in rural areas to enhance environmental sustainability.
The projects are expected to address fuel wood value chain challenges, promoting reforestation and enhancing sustainable charcoal production and biomass energy solutions.
The official grant signing ceremony was held at the Bank of Tanzania conference hall in Dar es Salaam, attended by officials from the EU Delegation to Tanzania and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
Representatives from the President’s Office of Regional Administration and Local Government Authorities, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Ministry of Energy, the Tanzania Forest Agency Services, the Tanzania Revenue Authority and the Registrar of NGOs were also present.
During the signing ceremony, EU Head of Cooperation Cedric Merel said that unsustainable and inefficient production and use of charcoal for cooking has significant environmental, economic, and social impacts.
“The EU is committed to helping Tanzania tackle these challenges,” he said. “Partnerships with government, development partners, private sector and non-government organisations is crucial in addressing challenges facing forest and cooking sectors.”
Mr Merel added that the programme is expected to reduce the amount of biomass used for wood fuel, thereby reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Amina Shaaban said the grant not only signifies financial support the EU has extended to Tanzania but also
fosters a partnership, collaboration, and shared values between the two parties.
“It highlights the belief that by working together, we can address the most pressing challenges of our time,” Ms Shaaban said.
“I urge all beneficiaries to implement these contracts per the agreed terms and conditions and should make the best use of the locally available human resources in the projects’ areas to enhance ownership and sustainability of the projects,” she added.