Over 80% of Uganda's energy needs come from biomass charcoal and firewood (statistical reference available), and most of this comes from cutting down forest trees to make charcoal and firewood for cooking and heating. This is likely to be the primary energy source for Ugandans for the next 30 years. If nothing is done, continued exploitation of forests for charcoal and firewood has led to loss of an average of 200,000 hectares of forest cover annually (statistical reference available), mainly due to exploitation for cooking fuels. This has led to drastic changes in local climate, leading to extremely heat, unpredictable weather, last slides, flooding and heat waves. OUR SOLUTION: Our solution recycles locally produced organic waste into cooking fuel called charcoal briquettes, which are actually more efficient, to replace charcoal produced from trees. Our solution is complimented by energy saving cook stoves that we design and produce and are designed to be thermally efficient by conserving heat, and ensuring that cooking is faster and consumes less fuel.
Many users have found this solution, not just environmentally sustainable, but also more cost effective in terms of savings made on cooking fuel and more and more households and institutions are adopting it.OUR MODEL: We realized that we cannot scale the solution country wide along, so we adopted a community based model that engages women and youth in local communities through training and skilling to produce their own briquettes and cook stoves that they also sell and generate household income. To ensure market, we purchase part of their produce, brand, package and distribute to retail outlets around the country. We are able to distribute up to 300 tonnes a a month through this joint effort. We have found this model to be cost efficient as well as socially responsible since it empowers local communities as well.FUTURE PLANS: Our target is to distribute up to 1000 tonnes a month in the next 2 years, so plans are to increase production by getting more producers involved through training, investing in logistics to improve our distribution capacity, marketing through awareness and education, as well as engage in research and development for more efficient recycling processes.