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Efficient combustion technologies in Tanzania and Vietnam

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Comparing experiences to improve the health of local communities dependent on forest resources, through the introduction of new technologies for cooking, awareness-raising and carrying out emission analysis.


Water and Sanitation


One year




malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Efficient combustion technologies in Tanzania and Vietnam



The project "Efficient combustion technologies in Tanzania and Vietnam" will be implemented in two countries: Vietnam, where we operate, and Tanzania, where our partners Mazingira works.

A comparison between the two locations has revealed the presence of a common problem. In both countries the technologies used for cooking are often harmful to health, inefficient and strongly linked to the presence of firewood. 74.5% of the Tanzanian population lives in rural areas where the access to resources for bare necessities is not difficult.
However, the high concentration of villages near forested mountain areas and the inadequate use of land and natural resources have had a negative impact on living conditions.
In the Kilombero Valley, at the foot of the Udzungwa Mountains, where Mazingira operates, the uncontrolled exploitation of resources has destroyed biodiversity and altered the balance of the forests. When this was permanently blocked by the government in June 2011, the result was that local people became deprived of their main source of energy. Furthermore, the little wood left that is still available for the population of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park is not used properly.
The most common cooking method consists in lighting a fire among three stones, which disperses more than half of the heat and produces large amounts of smoke harmful to health and the environment.

In Vietnam, almost 71% of the population is occupied in the agricultural sector. In the district of Son Dong, in the province of Bac Giang, the population is almost entirely engaged in agriculture, which is carried out with traditional methods and that yields enough products for subsistence only and in a way that does not help the economic growth of the region.

In rural areas, the use of gas for cooking is not widespread and the most widely used fuel remains firewood. The fireplace on which cooking is carried out is located in a room used as a kitchen; this is usually a small windowless room with insufficient ventilation, which results in an accumulation of smoke that causes serious health problems, especially in women and children. Moreover, the indiscriminate collection of firewood undermines the biodiversity in the nearby forests.

In Vietnam, as in Tanzania, the cultivation and processing of rice produces a large amount of waste material: rice husk and rice straw. These waste products are burned outdoors by farmers, a practice prohibited by Vietnamese law.

The project will be carried out in the commune of Tuan Dao, in the district of Son Dong in northeast Vietnam, and in fourteen villages bordering the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, in the Morogoro region in southern Tanzania.


The main goal of the project is to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the people living in rural villages of Vietnam and Tanzania by introducing alternative technologies for cooking food.

We will work on the diffusion of these alternative technologies among the population, and in particular we will propose the use of different models of cookers ranging from models using rice husk (such as the Mayon Turbo Stove) and biomass briquettes, to insulated baskets and earth ovens. The technologies chosen will be monitored to measure emissions and their real efficiency. This work will be carried out by two students of the Faculty of Engineering of Trento - Degree in Environmental Engineering and Appropriate Technologies for Developing Countries. They will be supported by experts from Trento, but will carry out their field research in Vietnam and Tanzania.

We have already introduced some energy efficient technologies in Tanzania and selected 14 groups of people, each one consisting of 5 women from 14 villages in the area. The 70 women involved, after receiving training on these new technologies, have been assigned the task of spreading the information learned within their community.
The promotion campaign organized by these women involves door-to-door activities that will be supported by Mazingira for the first six months, but that will be completely run by these groups of women.
In this way, we want to push women to become independent and self-financing through the sale of the technologies themselves.

In Vietnam, the solution proposed by GTV includes the introduction of biomass stoves with reduced emissions, which aim to reduce the level of pollution in the kitchen and make use of a product – rice husk - which would otherwise be simply wasted.
To carry out these activities we will work alongside with PED - Population, Environment and Development Center - a Vietnamese NGO with years of experience in these fields. Not only will PED manufacture and distribute the stoves, but it will also contribute to organizing the campaign.

Awareness is a key factor of the project and for this reason we will conduct awareness-raising campaigns in the local communities about the dangers deriving from using traditional technologies - like the open fire - for health, especially maternal and child health, and for the environment.

On these occasions the new technologies will be presented to the communities, along with their advantages and how to use them. These awareness and promotion activities represent an educational component which is essential to the success of the project.


Tavola Valdese

Associazione Mazingira Onlus

GTV Onlus

If you also want to contribute to the realization of this project make a donation by using the following IBAN : IT78 N080 1334 2900 00000 307219.

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