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Briquettes – fired with enthusiasm (Oct 2013)

Updated: Sep 1, 2018

When we first presented the idea of Fuel Briquettes as a sustainable, healthier method of providing cooking fuel to the rural communities around Kasese, we expected a handful of people to come along out of curiosity.

We hadn’t expected to have to run numerous presentation sessions to over 500 people who arrived from remote and local community groups, over a7-day period.

Since that initial spark of interest was struck, local enthusiasm seems to have fired into life.

Our initial budget was just sufficient to buy 3 presses and to arrange training from Vickie Israel (a northern Ugandan briquette expert).

Our AWU team in Kasese studied the initial presses and, using the improvisation and manufacturing skills they are renowned for, have now copied them – making 4 more full-sized presses and 19 small hand-presses. These presses have been distributed to community groups in Kisinga, Kamughobe, Bwera, Kitswamba and St. Peter’s at Nyakasanga, ensuring our training plans can be expanded and enabling personal briquette production for a much wider group than we had thought possible within this timetable.

Our team have made a great start. It seems that briquette production is being keenly seized upon by each of the communities to whom we have so far been able to give press access.

A real impact is being made, but more needs to be done:

  • We need to look into ‘Rocket Stove’ production and distribution (they are massively more efficient burners than the traditional ring of stones or simple fire-pit)

  • We need the materials to build more briquette presses locally

  • We need more widespread distribution of presses to more outlying communities (the next groups who have expressed great interest are Rwensande, Kabatunda, Kajwenge, Bethesaida and Lhuhwahwa)

  • We need to work harder with our Street-kids ‘Briquette Champion’ team to keep them motivated. This is a golden-opportunity to make them part of the community, empower them and create a source of pride, activity and income through an organised briquette manufacturing and sales initiative.

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