News from the ecoCharcoal Lands

After such a long break on the blog you might be wondering what is going on in Moundou, and how’s the ecoCharcoal project doing…
Last post I wrote, our local managers in Moundou were still working without any funds available. Now, Aquilas and Ghislain, are working really hard on the project and pushing our ecoCharcoal forward. Almost 2 months ago, we were granted some funds by MCC, our local partner organization. Jonathan and Angela, MCC’s representatives for Chad, truly believe in the potential of this project and are working together with Envodev-Tchad in order to push our activities forward.

All this silence can be partially explained by a major step back that happened in Domane last March: a fire destroyed the little storage place, along with some of the equipment and all the bags of carbonized straw inside (more than 60 bags)… luckily the day before the fire, Aquilas and Ghislain, were in Domane and brought 5 bags to Moundou, otherwise all the production would be lost.
This was a major catastrophe for our project, because we were relying on this season, the harvest season (between October and March) to store as much carbonized straw as possible so we could use it to produce ecoCharcoal and make it available on the market this year… but, by destiny, the fire happened right in the end of the harvest season, meaning that all the straw had already been destroyed on the fields, so we wouldn’t have more available for carbonization.
This compromised our project’ activities one year… because ecoCharcoal (the carbonization stage mainly) is  seasonal.
Luckily no one got hurt, it was only material costs.

While there’s life there’s hope, and in Chad this truly applies, for Aquilas and Ghislain never stop and are moving forward!

Today I received some pictures of a new improved cook-stove model that is being tested later today in Moundou. It is a stove that can use both charcoal and fire wood.

New improved cook-stove model

New improved cook-stove model

Ghislain also told me that they started in Moundou a Families’ Collaboration Programme, which consists on lending for 3 days an improved cook-stove to a family so they can test it and decide for themselves if they want to keep it or not. This is, from my point of view, a very good way not only to spread the word and principles of the improved cook-stove, but also to allow people to test it and eventually suggest modifications so we can improve it even more. This is still something new they are just trying out. 5 families participated already: 2 bought the stove, 1 is still undecided, and the other 2 didn’t buy for lacking the funds.
This actually show us the potential of the stove, and we really hope that in the near future no family who want to cook on an improved cool-stove, won’t acquire it for lack of means! This stove has the potential to save up to 50% charcoal, and it can be even more efficient when using ecoCharcoal (up to 60%)! Besides directly contributing to alleviate deforestation levels linked to charcoal production and fire wood harvest, it will help citizens reduce their expenditures on cooking fuel… and also, of course, contribute to decrease and control the level of smokes produced while cooking.

 

Despite what happened in Domane, Aquilas and Ghislain have already restored production and the storage is up and running. Our groupement in Domane is now working on an extra sesame field that was planted to compensate the losses in March, and soon we’ll have straw available to carbonize and retake ecoCharcoal production.

Here are some fresh pictures that arrived some days ago from Moundou, of Aquilas, Ghislain, Ruth (MCC’s volunteer) and Maddie (MCC’s volunteer) in Domane:

Best energies for our friends in Chad! Oyo!

 

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