Over 95% of Chadians use wood or wood charcoal as their sole source of household fuel. Cities are particularly vulnerable to the energy crisis, especialy after the government ban on charcoal production, transportation, distribution and utilisation, in December 2008. Less then 3% of the population in Chad has access to electricity on a regular basis, and the alternatives to wood or charcoal are limited, few or unavailable. The proposed and encouraged alternative source of energy has been liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is scarcely available to or affordable for the vast majority of the population (envodev.org).
The ecoCharcoal is an alternative energy. EcoCharcoal briquettes are very similar to wood charcoal both in form and at the rate they burn, making them a perfect alternative for the majority of households. They are produced locally, with simple means, representing a culturaly adapted solution for the people of Chad. In production, ecoCharcoal replaces wood by agricultural waste, such as rice and sesame straw. It has positive health, environmental and economic benefits: it burns cleanly, reducing exposure to the smoke that causes respiratory infections; it uses agricultural waste materials, therefore addressing the problem of deforestation; and it transforms a waste stream into high-value, income generating product, offering poverty relief through the creation of local jobs.
EcoCharcoal aims at promoting an environmentaly sustainable and legal source of energy that can easily reach both rural and urban areas, contributing to alleviate the current energy crisis.
On the next video, David de Armey explains the ecoCharcoal production method:
Currently there are 5 teams trained to produce ecoCharcoal in the south of Chad, in the rural areas around Moundou.
For more information about the eco-charcoal, please visit ENVODEV’s website.
If you would like to go through a more detailed program of the ecoCharcoal project here’s the link to download the pdf.