Between 1990 and 2010, Uganda lost an average of 218,000 acres of forest each year. Some of the world’s most outstanding animals are facing extinction due to this increased pressure on their natural habitat. This is linked closely to the high population growth rate in Uganda: at 3.3%, the country has one of the world’s highest growth rates.
With almost no access to electricity, alternative fuel sources are severely needed. Eco briquettes can replace the need for wood by turning agricultural and industrial waste into a carbon-neutral cooking fuel.
The Kibale Eco-Char Initiative aims to develop a sustainable and wildlife-friendly form of income generation that is a viable replacement for firewood and charcoal, thereby complimenting the continuing work of the Kibale Fuel Wood Project.
Since 2011, NNF staff and partners have produced more than 630,000 eco-briquettes. With the average family using 40 to cook meals each day, this accounts for a savings of more than 340,000 pounds of wood, much of which would have been taken from Kibale National Park.
Partner families from around Kibale trade farm waste for finished briquettes and surplus briquettes are sold. A partnership with McLeod Russel Tea, the world’s largest tea producer, helps with this program’s success.
Farm waste (like banana peels and peanut shells) is mixed with industrial waste from nearby tea factories (paper and sawdust.).
The ingredients are ground up and mixed together, then compressed into briquettes and dried in solar tents. These non-carbonized briquettes are an attractive alternative for those currently cooking with firewood.
In late 2015, NNF started producing carbonized briquettes for sale to those currently cooking with charcoal, further broadening the effectiveness of this program to protect wildlife habitat.click here for more detailed instructions.