How we're helping local communities


Clean Cookstoves in Zanzibar

Sazani Associates, a ‘not for profit’ organisation that forms part of the Sazani Global network, introduced rocket stoves to Zanzibar in 2012 as part of their coastal livelihoods program and has embedded community champions to support the production and use of such stoves. Overcoming social and traditional barriers to their use has been a critical investment and conservation estimates show that the rocket stoves help to reduce fuel wood consumption by up to 50%, as well as reducing the particle size in the resulting smoke, promoting cleaner air and resulting in fewer eye and respiratory health problems in users compared to traditional wood burning. As well as the economic benefits of using rocket stoves, women have more time to engage in other livelihood activities thanks to a lower demand for wood collection and there is a reduced pressure on the fragile local environment.

In the promotion of the rocket stoves, Sazani brought together 15 villages to set up a community cooking enterprise in the form of a self-help federation called Kinamama (meaning “women together” in Swahili). The women were trained to use the new cook stoves in order to set up a low-carbon, fuel efficient and sustainable enterprise producing jams, preserves and dried fruit from the seasonal fruits and spices available locally. With marketing support from Sazani Associates, the women were then able to set up successful contracts with several of the large hotels in the region, many of which placing large orders. In addition, the local crafts and farmers market was established, taking place once a week, to provide a sales platform for Kinamama and other community enterprises to market their products to tourists and engage visitors in local livelihoods. This market provides a regular source of income and helps to promote sustainable business practice. Due to the ongoing success of the Kinamama clean energy enterprise project, the government has allocated a plot of land to Kinamama to build production facilities. The introduction of the stoves in a commercial setting has allowed the communities to learn how to use the stoves and indirectly promoted domestic usage.

Supporting the cost of production and promotion of rocket stoves in Zanzibar through The Sazani Trust and its associate projects therefore has tangible results for carbon emissions reduction, as well as socioeconomic development.

Estimate of how much fuel would be saved annually with 100 stoves= 386261.25 kg of tropical hardwood
1 kg dry wood stores approximately 0.45 kg C (ranging from 0.42 to 0.55 kg C)= 1.65 kg CO2
100 stoves would save approximately 637 tonnes of carbon per annum= 3186 tonnes of carbon over 5 years

Not included in these carbon calculations is the environmental impact of tropical forest losses, which is resulting from the harvesting of fuel wood. At least a portion of the wood cut is from mangrove coastal forests, which are believed to be many times more efficient at trapping carbon than tropical rain forest. Increased fuel efficiency of the rocket stoves will further preserve carbon by decreasing the amount of wood cut from forests and reducing pressure on the islands natural resource base.

Mangrove Rehabilitation in Zanzibar

The Sazani Trust is protecting mangrove and seagrass reserves in Zanzibar through community coastal management and  livelihood programs supporting adaptation for climate change. Blue forests are ecosystems made up of mangroves, seagrass beds and saltmarshes which provide vital resources for coastal communities throughout the tropics, including Zanzibar, who are among the poorest and most vulnerable to climate change. The blue forests protect against coastal erosion, regulate water quality, provide a breeding ground and habitat for countless marine species and supply food and raw materials for local livelihoods. In addition, blue forests sequester 6 times more carbon per unit area than undisturbed tropical rainforest. Despite only making up 3% of the worlds terrestrial forest cover, 55% of all carbon captured in forests across the globe is blue carbon. However, blue forest ecosystems in Zanzibar are under threat from deforestation and degradation resulting from unsustainable resource extraction, primarily for fuel wood collection.

Despite new legislation, without strengthening local mechanisms for governing mangrove and sea grass reserves communities driven by urgent necessity will continue to over exploit and destroy the remnants of these two habitats. The Sazani Trust, working with coastal communities in the semi-autonomous government of Zanzibar, aims to establish a system of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) for avoiding deforestation, the prevention of the destruction of sea grass meadows, the strengthening of local land tenure and rights over marine resources all underpinned through a program of sustainable livelihoods development. We are facilitating the science required for the accurate quantification of blue forest carbon stocks, in order to put a financial value on the conservation and management of these fragile ecosystems to be sold on the voluntary carbon market.

Donations made through voluntary carbon offsets will help to support local communities by building their capacity to manage blue forests and create sustainable livelihoods through conservation initiatives. As well as reducing carbon emissions and conserving biodiversity, this project will help to alleviate poverty and increase community resilience in a region under threat from climate change.