Barclays Bank Tanzania, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has invested almost 1.5 billion Tanzanian shillings in projects related to environmentally-friendly charcoal production in two districts: Kisarawe on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, and Rufiji in south-east Tanzania.

In a bid to combat deforestation and raise awareness for the environment, Barclay's three year project will focus its investment on twelve charcoal producing villages. Feasibility studies carried out between January and July of this year have identified opportunities for the promotion of sustainable charcoal production in a country where 80 per cent of urban Tanzanians use charcoal as the main source of energy for domestic cooking.

In Dar es Salaam 1,600 tonnes of charcoal are consumed daily by 3.5 million people, while the national annual charcoal consumption is about 1 million tonnes, with half of this being consumed in Dar es Salaam.

The Barclays project will oversee the training of some twenty charcoal producers in the most efficient and ecologically-aware means of charcoal production. In addition the scheme will actively reduce deforestation by replacing trees in the areas surrounding the twelve villages.